Award-winning artist produces exclusive new print to support ground-breaking UK conservation project
An award-winning Scottish artist has been selected to create an exclusive print that will play a vital role in helping to protect and grow the population of Golden Eagles in southern Scotland. The partners behind a ground-breaking UK conservation initiative believe that the “stunning creation” is now more important than ever for the continued success of their project while the country follows the government’s Covid-19 recovery plan.
The pioneering South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project invited professional artists from across Scotland to make submit proposals for the design of a poster, part of an important new informational leaflet to help people understand how they can address concerns about low numbers of golden eagles in the area.
Based in Wigtownshire, printmaker and Associated Member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Lisa Hooper was selected because of her passion for protecting wildlife and utilising her artwork to beautifully showcase the wonders of the natural world. She created the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project prints with great skill and precision over several weeks using an intricate process on an antique circa 1860 Colombian Press. In addition to the final striking image featuring as a poster at the centre of the project’s printed leaflet, Lisa will now sell these exclusive A2 South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project prints and make a donation from each sale to support the project’s ongoing conservation efforts.
Speaking about the importance of the leaflet and artwork at the current time, Philip Munro Community Outreach Officer at the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project said: “The understanding and proactive support of people and communities throughout Scotland is absolutely essential for conservation efforts. We need to keep building on the support of our 10,000 plus special project participants and volunteers, even in the middle of this unprecedented global crisis, so that we can ensure that we can see even more of these magnificent birds across the south of Scotland’s skies for generations to come.”
“We have designed our interactive leaflet to help us reach those who cannot access our beautiful natural world at this time. With Lisa Hooper’s stunning creation at its heart, we hope it will truly inspire people to take golden eagles under their wings and protect them for generations to come.”
Artist Lisa Hooper, based in Wigtownshire, added: “I don’t normally do commissioned work, but this brief really grabbed me because of the subject matter and the great cause it was supporting”.
“Up until 2006, I worked in conservation and have a lifelong passion for natural history. So as a professional artist specialising in the creation of local landscapes of the south of Scotland and wildlife art, this project was the perfect fit for me. Wildlife art can awaken interest in and concern for the natural world and for me that’s important. I aim to create loose, observational art depicting creatures in their element.”
Lisa used a “reduction linocut” process to create the exclusive South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project print. She gradually and carefully cut away one piece of lino around 15 times, putting it through the printing press at each cut, sometimes multiple times with different colours, to add different layers and bring the image to life. Lisa added: “It was really pleasing to see the eagles emerging as the process evolved over several weeks”.
Leading graphic designer Kirsten Murray initially designed the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project’s leaflet featuring Lisa’s poster for use at schools, community venues, and various events and festivals throughout 2020. However, the Covid-19 lockdown began before the design was complete and with some uncertainty behind when normal community engagement work can resume, the leaflet has been transformed into an interactive digital download so people can learn more about how to protect golden eagles in the south of Scotland safely from home. The digital version of the leaflet and an A4 size download of Lisa’s artwork will be available to download from: www.goldeneaglessouthofscotland.co.uk
The pioneering South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project has been set up to address concerns about low numbers of golden eagles, which play a vital role in helping to maintain a healthy local ecosystem, in the south of Scotland.
The project team has successfully translocated four golden eagles from the Scottish Highlands to the south of Scotland. The four birds have settled into their new habitats and are fending for themselves. Support from volunteers, land managers, raptor specialists and other participants plays a pivotal role in helping the iconic species continue to grow in numbers and thrive in the area.
Project partners include RSPB Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Southern Uplands Partnership. Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, project partners, Scottish Power Renewables, the Scottish Government and Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway LEADER Programmes. The initiative is a key project under the Scottish Government’s 2020 Challenge for Scottish Biodiversity (which sets out a route map to protect and restore Scotland’s biodiversity).
For the latest news on the project visit: www.goldeneaglessouthofscotland.co.uk
For more information about Lisa Hooper and to purchase one of her exclusive golden eagle prints visit: www.hoopoeprints.co.uk