Wild Brecks

Andrew Haslen - linocut and watercolour

Andrew Haslen - linocut and watercolour

Jonathan Yule - oil on canvas

Jonathan Yule - oil on canvas

Jonathan Yule - watercolour

Jonathan Yule - watercolour

WILD BRECKS

The ARTISTS FOR NATURE FOUNDATION (ANF) has for the last twenty five years brought together artists from across the world to highlight endangered wildlife and threatened habitats. The sole aim of this non-profit, non-political organization is to raise awareness of threatened and fragile habitats, flora and fauna through the creative output of internationally renowned artists.

ANF’s method is to invite artists to use a variety of media to showcase a particular area and its wildlife. The aim is to encourage local people to look afresh at the natural world around them. Appreciation of nature and enjoyment of green places are essential elements of human well-being and our work will help people to meet their potential through greater understanding of what makes the natural world so precious.

The latest project, planned to take place in 2015 and 2016, will highlight the unique and fragile Breckland of Norfolk and Suffolk, the driest area of Great Britain. This ancient landscape rich in history includes rare and threatened lowland heath, wet carr, fen and chalk streams and is still under pressure despite its official ecological and archaeological designations. ANF involves local people by working with schools, holding open-air workshops with the artists and pupils. Towards the end of the artists' visits there will be local exhibitions of their work. (Our project featuring tigers was seen by 250,000 people.) With ANF’s proven track record in attracting the attention of TV, radio and newspapers and the publication of a book on this wonderful area will highlight the unique and fragile nature of the Brecks and its 12,500 species, more than 2000 of which are of national conservation concern. To find out more about this exciting project, please read on.

WONDERS OF THE BRECKS

A personal statement by Ysbrand Brouwers Sr. founder/director ANF (founded 1990) With different groups of artists I have had the privilege to help organize and guide 13 ANF projects over the last 25 years. In Alaska, in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, we brought attention to The Copper River Delta, a vast and almost untouched ecosystem of an unprecedented size, richness, variety and beauty. In Peru and Ecuador we visited the highly endangered dry forests between the coast and the Andean mountain range where almost 70 % of the remaining fauna is endemic. In India we highlighted the Bengal tiger and its environment alongside the people who live and sometimes are confronted with this majestic cat. In Europe, unfortunately, ancient cultural landscapes and highly interesting and important fragments of nature are often overlooked.

Therefore, we also travelled, by invitation of several different conservation bodies, to Extremadura in Spain, The Pyrenees in Catalonia, to the marshes in North Eastern Poland and recently to the Isle of Sark. Since 2002, I have visited The Brecks on a regular basis to experience the deer rut in September, the flight of the wonderful barn owls in full daylight (never seen in my native Netherlands) and to watch the mysterious stone curlews and nightjars. Walking the Pingo Trail is a wonderful experience. You might see and hear a wide variety of waterfowl and other birds, or watch a muntjac or roe deer in the undergrowth or see the huge Breckland red deer grazing the adjoining fields or sometimes-wading chest high through the flooded woodland. The pingos themselves and their setting are, although I have travelled widely, something I had never seen before.

And my love of The Brecks was awakened when I passed through the area on my way to the North Norfolk coast to see the spectacular evening flight of huge flocks of waders and tens of thousands of pink-footed geese. It seemed a shame that so many passed through on their way and didn’t stop to sample the wonders or the fragility of this unique landscape. Too few of the visitors to the area realize just how important the Brecks.

This is why I started thinking about a new Artist for Nature project to increase public understanding of The Brecks and to support the great work of the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and the Breaking New Ground partnership.

"Artists for Nature Foundation has recognized that artists can make a significant contribution to the conservation of nature by conveying the feeling and atmosphere of a scene in a way that is quite unique….an eloquent testimony to the concern of artists for the future of the natural world"  

 

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh President Emeritus of World Wide Fund for Nature

Norfolk artist Harriet Mead, president of the Society of Wildlife Artists in the UK, working with children of Sark School on a previous ANF project.

Norfolk artist Harriet Mead, president of the Society of Wildlife Artists in the UK, working with children of Sark School on a previous ANF project.

EDUCATION PROJECTS AT LOCAL SCHOOLS

We strongly believe that nature conservation goes hand in hand with education. To reconnect people with the area in which they live, we start with the next generation.

Therefore we always work together with local schools in the areas that we highlight. The artists take the pupils and their teachers out in the field and point out the special elements e.g. characteristic plants or trees, birds, livestock and wildlife. Side by side the pupils paint and draw with the artists in the open air and later back in the classroom they work together on mono prints or a mural. We have followed this format in Tala school in Bandhavgarh, India, in local schools in Peru and in the school on the Isle of Sark.

The enthusiasm among the pupils, their teachers and the parents is always overwhelming and heart-warming. Exhibitions of the pupils’ work have always been very well received. Some pupils’ work has appeared in the exhibition of the whole project. Parents and teachers have the opportunity to meet the artists at “show-and-tell” evenings that we arrange during the project. At these events the artists show some of the work they have done during the project and discuss their approach to painting the project area and its wildlife. In The Brecks we plan to involve as many schools as possible and will be working closely with Breaking New Ground in achieving this.

ANF Jubilee exhibition in The Netherlands

ANF Jubilee exhibition in The Netherlands

PARTNER/SPONSOR PROPOSITION

THE ARTISTS FOR NATURE FOUNDATION uses art created by renowned and talented artists from all over the world to draw attention to the need for nature conservation as an essential element of sustainable development. ANF is a catalyst between the public and nature conservation organizations, using the arts to encourage people to become involved in nature. 

THE ARTISTS FOR NATURE FOUNDATION OFFERS UNPARALLELED OPPORTUNITIES TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

In return for your financial and other support we can offer a range of possibilities in which your company can use our products (your own ideas and wishes are always welcome):

  • Your company could make use of our quality artwork, books, graphics art etc. for Christmas gifts and other presents, as long as it is clear that you are using an ANF product and linking it to our aim: nature conservation and the project the art was made for.
  • Your offices and public areas could be enhanced by ANF artwork in changing exhibitions.
  • for special events , ANF could provide an attractive stand with information about the activities that your company supports.
  • ANF could supply a column for your house magazine, illustrated with artwork, which will keep your readers updated on ANF projects and successes, indicating your company’s role in these projects.

Depending on how you support ANF, your company could get credits (name, logo, advertising) in publications such as:

  • ANF books
  • ANF periodicals
  • TV films and documentaries on ANF projects
  • Traveling exhibitions (invitation cards, catalogues, posters)
  • Press releases and interviews
  • ANF events
  • ANF information stands on nature conservation- and other fairs.
  • ANF Website

Often environmental issues are presented to the public in a negative way. The approach of ANF by communicating through art is a positive reflection of the great work of nature conservation organizations in the Brecks.

The ANF organizes international projects and invites artists to work in a threatened landscape. They portray the area in all its diversity. The artists offer their artwork to ANF for exhibition and reproduction purposes. You will find more information in our web shop.

"Art for the love of Sark, the Jubilee year project for the Artists for Nature Foundation has had a hugely positive effect on the Islanders. The school children in particular gained so much through their work with the visiting ANF artists. Nature education and conservation now play a regular part in their schooling. Sark also continues to gain much positive publicity through the project book and film."

 

Michael Beaumont OBE Seigneur of Sark

SUCCESSFUL ANF PROJECTS

The Copper River Delta, Alaska, USA

1996-97 / partner/Clean Water alliance

Aim: after the Exon Valdez oil spill, local activists and native Indians united in the Clean Water Alliance, who invited ANF to draw attention to the unique ecosystem.

Results: With a foreword by President Jimmy Carter the project book was given to all the members of congress. They were invited to visit the area and many did. Although Ronald Reagan and both Presidents Bush supported large-scale oil and gas exploitation in the region, all plans for this have been stopped.

Tigers in India

1998/ Partner/ Glasgow Museums and Galleries

Aim: To highlight the environment of the Bengal Tiger and celebrate the year of the tiger. Results: With grants from different organisations including WWF this widely applauded project produced an excellent book and exhibitions and established an Environmental Education and Research Centre in the buffer zone of Bandhavgarh National Park. We strongly believe that nature conservation and environmental education go hand in hand and therefore we continue to work together with local schools in the region.

The dry forest in Peru and Ecuador

2003/partners/ Bosques Sin Fronterras and WWF

Aim: Not many people are familiar with the dry forests of South America. The project aimed to draw attention to what remains of this precious habitat in the Tumbesian Region between the coast and the Andes in Peru and Ecuador known as. Almost 70% of the birds and mammals in that region are found nowhere else in the world.

Results: When we showed a local politician called Yehude Simon why we were visiting the region it was an eye opener for him. He even visited the book presentation and first exhibition of the project at the British Bird Watching Fair in the UK. Later he became Prime minister of Peru and now he is deputy leader of the congress. Known as the green political leader, he is a great supporter of the organisations we worked with.

The Great Fen in the UK

2005/Partners/The Wildlife Trust & English Nature

Aim: to help to raise funds to create a Living Landscape in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Results: with the resulting ANF book, the variety of images created by our artists, and the publicity created the Great Fen Project had valuable support in raising over £11 million in the two years following the ANF project. With 70% of the fen having been bought the whole project is years ahead of schedule and a great success.o this love and to make it visible and comprehensible to others"

Sark, a channel island between the UK and France

2011-12/ Partners/ The people of Sark & artist Rosanne Guille

Aim: To stop over-development of this beautiful island as powerful incomers try to take over the island by making offers to local landowners for pasture and arable land in order to create vineyards. This will radically change the way of life the islanders and visitors love so much.

Results: The ANF project, book, film and exhibitions, gave Sark international publicity. Critical newspaper articles, radio and TV broadcasts in the UK and the local media brought great encouragement to those fighting for the survival of this beautiful island.

"Nature is not only a matter of numbers and facts, but also a matter of the heart… Artists are often able to give shape to this love and to make it visible and comprehensible to others"

 

HRH the late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands

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