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Renowned artists battle hurricane to help save the albatross from extinction

Last modified: 03 October 2011

Wandering albatrosses painting

Wandering albatross painting

Image: John Gale

Two internationally-acclaimed wildlife artists battled a hurricane and survived to tell the tale – all to raise money for globally-threatened albatrosses.

Sailing 900 miles to the remote island of South Georgia, a UK Overseas Territory, in a 20-metre yacht, John Gale and Chris Rose encountered waves as high as houses and winds in excess of 80 knots. But their determination to reach their destination to sketch and paint endangered albatrosses and other wildlife to raise vital funds spurred them on.

Seventeen out of the 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction.  Around 100,000 are killed each year by hooks from longline fisheries – a rate of one every five minutes.

Moved by the plight of the albatross, the artists travelled to South Georgia in January 2010 to paint the birds and the spectacular world they inhabit. An exhibition of their work, Artists for Albatrosses, was held at The Air Gallery in London during October.  The pair donated 25% of all sales to the RSPB and BirdLife International’s Save the Albatross campaign. Their paintings can be viewed at www.galleryofbirds.co.uk

They have also provided a limited edition, signed and numbered print run of two paintings, with all profits being donated to the ATF. The print by Chris Rose, (Storm passing - wandering albatross) can be seen in the website www.galleryofbirds.co.uk  and the print by John Gale (Wandering albatrosses – Prion Island, South Georgia) is shown above. Sizes are approx. 320mm x 500mm and the cost is £145 each.

Prints can be purchased by writing to Evelyn Johnson, The RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy, Beds, SG19 2DL, stating which print you want to purchase and enclosing a cheque for £145 for each print made out to the RSPB. If you prefer to pay by credit or debit card, please call Evelyn on 01767 693332 or e-mail evelyn.johnson@rspb.org.uk

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