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The Wallace Line

01 Jan 2010 / 0 Comments / in about art, natural world

I so enjoyed letting my mind run free when I painted ‘Life on Planet Three’, I thought I’d do a similar painting using many of the same motifs and visual language, but with Indonesia and Australia at its heart. The result is this: The Wallace Line.


The Wallace Line is a biogeographical boundary that separates Asia and Australia. The line is named after naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who during his travels through the Indonesian archipelago in the mid 19th century, first observed that to the west of the island of Lombok only Asiatic species occur and that to the east of Bali is a mixture of Asiatic and Australian species.

The painting features some of the creatures that Wallace collected on his travels, including a huge atlas moth and a black-browed barbet (the green bird on the top left), a specimen which Wallace collected I saw last year on display at the Natural History Museum in Tring.

I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to express my fascination for biogeography and my admiration for Wallace in bright bold colours.

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