Graham Hobart explains that conservation societies are really good at making us feel guilty about the plight of certain popular animals being poached and driven to extinction but no matter how much money we give them the situation seems to only be getting worse. Habitat encroachment is one of Hobart's biggest concerns. Having grown up in Africa he watched animal populations decline year by year as he traveled further and further into the African interior. While living in the Congo he witnessed first-hand large areas that had absolutely no animals at all (except for crocodiles) due to over hunting.
Hobart looked back in history to determine the last era that animals roamed freely in great numbers. He estimated that when it came to the African plains and the American West it was during the second half of the 19th century that the critical balance shifted. Imperialistic notions of "Taming the Wild" in order to extract wealth was the ambition of many nations across the globe.
At the time there were artists that accompanied scientific expeditions and early explorers. Upon their return they would publish lithographs for wide distribution showing how magnificent the untamed natural world really was. When Hobart viewed these lithographs in his childhood they captivated his young imagination.
"With my work reminiscent of Victorian lithographs my goal is to evoke a haunting nostalgia that will inspire us to reverse our course of destruction of the natural world and improve the lives of those we share this planet with."
~ Graham Hobart
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