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Tree of life

03 Oct 2006 / 0 Comments / in about art, natural world

I love biodiversity and wanted to make a picture with lots of creatures in it – a ‘tree of life’ – a bit like one of those scientific diagrams showing how different species have evolved from a common ancestor. Except in my case not. Just creatures in a tree. I wanted to show how all creatures, humble, commonplace, exotic and useful, all have a unique value that has nothing to do with economic wealth.

To do this I wanted to use gold and purple; these have been used historically to indicate wealth, power and status because the substances themselves were so expensive. Purple dyes came from the secretions of a Lebanese sea snail and gold is… pricey!

So here’s Tree of life:


In it you can see a mammal (brown hare), a bird (goldfinch), a reptile (chameleon), an amphibian (red-eyed tree frog), a fish (flying fish), a crustacean (sally lightfoot crab), an insect (a silk moth) and a plant (a vine). The moon features large as it controls so many of the rhythms of life.

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