WILDLIFE ARTISTS from Leeds are in the running for an international prize.
Beverley Drury and Gemma Hayward have been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s (DSWF) Wildlife Artist of the Year award.
The two artists are competing for the top £10,000 sponsored prize, which will be decided in London later this month.
Beverley Drury is self-taught and began sculpting birds in scrap wire. She added new, gilded, enamelled and plated wire to capture birds’ behaviour. Her entry is a nuthatch.
Fellow nominee Gemma Hayward graduated from the University of Leeds in 2004 with a BA Hons in Graphic Design. In 2015 she gave up a job teaching art to pursue a career as a full time artist. She expresses her love of wildlife, photography and art in her realistic graphite and coloured pencil wildlife drawings. Her entry is a vulture.
The judges will make their final decision on 163 pieces of art on the morning of Tuesday, June 27 ahead of the private view and prize-giving.
Wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd said: “I set up my foundation with the sole purpose of giving something back to the animals that helped me achieve success as an artist. At a time when the world’s wildlife is under such devastating pressure from expanding human populations and the illegal trade, it seems fitting that we take a step back and reflect on the sheer beauty and diversity of our natural world and what could be lost if we do not truly appreciate the value of the world around us.”
Each piece in the exhibition at the Mall Galleries from June 28 to July 2 is for sale. Profits will be split between the artists and the DSWF’s wildlife conservation projects across Africa and Asia. Since 2007, the event has raised more than £350,000 to help protect some the world’s most endangered wildlife.