CHIMPANZEE COMMUNITY 2
Image: Belsay children © Drawing for the Planet
Drawing for the Planet's Chimpanzee Community 2 project in partnership with charities Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP) and Born Free (BFF), raises awareness of endangered Chimpanzees, and funds for LCRP’s vital work caring for around 90 critically endangered Western Chimpanzees, orphaned by the illegal bushmeat and pet trades.
"Chimpanzees are humankind’s closest relatives, sharing over 98% of our genetic blueprint, and are highly social and deeply intelligent. A keystone species, these sentient mammals help sustain their forest habitat and thus mitigate climate change as these ‘green lungs’ store carbon and generate oxygen." Born Free
Deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade are decimating Western Chimpanzee populations with as few as 18,000-65,000 wild individuals remaining. Their decline affects us all.
Image: Jenny and Jimmy Desmond, Founders of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection © Jenny Desmond
Chimpanzee Community 2 project includes a series of workshops where children from the USA, UK and Liberia participate in Born Free Education's Amazing Chimps workshop, co-delivered by its Head of Education, Laura Gosset and Jenny Desmond, Co-Founder of LCRP, to learn about chimpanzees and why they are threatened. Children also participate in Biro (ballpoint pen) drawing workshops delivered by artist, and Drawing for the Planet (DftP) Founder and CEO, Jane Lee McCracken to create drawings of LCRP's orphan chimpanzees.
Following completion of the workshops, a curated selection of drawings by children from all 3 countries will feature in the Chimpanzee Community 2 artwork designed by Jane for public display in Liberia. DftP is also raising funds to instal replica murals in California and the UK. An exhibition of children's chimpanzee drawings will open at the Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Hexham on 10 February - 26 April 2024.
As part of the project Jane is also creating a drawing to highlight the importance of chimpanzee's as a keystone species and the many Liberian species that depend on their critical role maintaining rainforests. DftP has also developed a subsidiary workshop, Liberian Wildlife which focuses on vulnerable forest-dwelling species. View this gallery here:
Detail of Jane's Biro drawing in progressThis online gallery is evolving as the project develops and at completion will include Jane's mural design and chimpanzee drawings by every participating child.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Chimpanzee Community 2020 Jane Lee McCracken, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
In 2020 Jane was commissioned by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead to create a new artwork inspired by BALTIC’s Animalesque 2019/20 exhibition for BALTIC Learning Lounge. The creation of this artwork entailed delivering drawing workshops and featuring drawings created by children from Gateshead schools. The artwork was part of Jane’s Where Did All the Animals Go? art and environmental education project in partnership with Born Free.
Chimpanzee Community mural was created in response to Marcus Coates Degreecoordinates, Shared Traits of the Hominini (Humans, Bonobos and Chimpanzees) and Mary Beth Edelson Untitled 1972 – 2011 collage-drawings artworks featured in Animalesque. The artwork was also inspired by LCRP's a rescue centre and sanctuary founded by Jenny and Jimmy Desmond.
The aim of the artwork was twofold: firstly, to highlight the fact that chimpanzees and bonobos are our closest living relatives, sharing 99% of our DNA symbolising that all hominini species share similar behaviour traits and secondly, to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees and the work of LCRP.
Following the installation of Chimpanzee Community mural in BALTIC, in 2021 Jane founded DftP and partnered with BFF and LCRP to create Chimpanzee Community 2 project. Read more about the BALTIC project:
EL MORRO AND TOP OF THE WORLD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, CALIFORNIA
Images: El Morro and Top of the World children © Drawing for the Planet
In November 2022, 30 children from El Morro and Top of the World Elementaries, Laguna Beach, California participated in BFF's Amazing Chimps workshop with Laura Gosset. Amazing Chimps featured a video of Jenny Desmond with orphan chimpanzee, Mary Beauty.
El Morro and Top of the World children with Jane and Kirsten, DftP Team © Drawing for the Planet
The children then created drawings of LCRP's orphan chimpanzees in Jane's Biro drawing workshop.The DftP team worked with Laguna Beach Unified Schools District (LBUSD), Arts Co-ordinator, Sarah Wolsey.
Image courtesy: LBUSD
Following the workshop children attended an LBUSD recognition ceremony where they were presented with DftP's project participation certificates.
Hori 2022 colour Biro drawing, Hale El Morro Elementary
"Hori lost his eye when his mother was shot, and pellets hit him too. He is a very brave boy and is one of the most loving chimpanzees to new babies coming in to LCRP." Jenny Desmond
BELSAY SCHOOL, NORTHUMBERLAND
Images: Belsay School children © Drawing for the Planet
In December 2022, 43 Years 3-6 children from Mr Harvey and Miss Cruz's classes, Belsay School participated in CC2 workshops with BBF's Laura Gosset and Jane. LCRP's Jenny Desmond joined Amazing Chimps workshop virtually from Liberia and children were delighted to have the opportunity to ask Jenny insightful questions about LCRP's orphan chimpanzees. Thomas asked Jenny if chimpanzees wash their hair - answer: chimpanzees don't wash!
Love 2022 colour Biro drawing, Emily Y5 Belsay School
"Love has just arrived at LCRP and was very sick but is doing much better." Jenny Desmond
PONTELAND PRIMARY, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Images: Ponteland Primary children © Drawing for the Planet
On 6 March, 54 Year 3 children from Mrs Allan and Miss Forbes classes, Ponteland Primary participated in the final UK chimpanzee workshops. DftP Volunteer, Veterinary Nurse, Sue Etherington assisted Jane for both the Belsay and Ponteland Primaries workshops. Year 3 teacher Mrs. Allan said:
" [The children] learned about different species of chimps, how they communicate, why they are endangered and what they can do to help. It also helped us recap our knowledge of the rainforest."
Tom 2023 colour Biro drawing, H Y3 Ponteland Primary
“I am about to jump into your arms!” Jenny Desmond
JAMESON MANOR, PONTELAND
On 2 December 2022, Jane ran a drawing workshop for local children where residents helped raise funds for the project through their children's participation.
Beckley 2022 colour Biro drawing, Jacob age 5, Ponteland
“I am still new and still sad, but it seems like these humans are nice and give me sweet pineapple.” Jenny Desmond
Upon project completion Born Free will make Amazing Chimps environmental education workshop available on its website as a downloadable resource. A link will also be available here.
ABOUT LIBERIA CHIMPANZEE RESCUE AND PROTECTION
Gloria, image courtesy of Jenny Desmond
LCRP’s Sanctuary and Conservation Center is dedicated to improving the lives of chimpanzees, both wild and orphaned, through rescue, rehabilitation, protection and conservation.
LCRP - rescuing chimpanzees in need, keeping wild chimps wild:
ABOUT BORN FREE
"We work tirelessly to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. As a leading wildlife charity, we oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild. We promote Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. We seek to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world.":
ABOUT DRAWING FOR THE PLANET
We are a global art and environmental education charity with drawing, one of the oldest forms of communication, at its core. Founded by Artist, Jane Lee McCracken, to share her passions for drawing and wildlife, we partner with international wildlife charity Born Free, conservationists, artists, educators and cultural institutions. Through our art, education, exhibition and conservation fundraising projects we give children, communities and wildlife a voice. Watch our video and visit us at: www.drawingfortheplanet.org
Support our global projects, help protect wildlife and give the gift of art and wildlife by donating or becoming a member here:
ABOUT JANE LEE MCCRACKEN
Shh it's a Tiger! 2013 Biro drawing © Jane Lee McCracken
Artist Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations and designs products. Her work explores loss to both humans and animals generated by human destruction and is representational of both life's beauty and brutal reality. She is also the Founder and CEO of Drawing for the Planet global art, environmental education and conservation charity.
Over the last decade, through her art she has raised funds for conservation organisations and delivered drawing and environmental education workshops to 1000's of people across the world. In 2019 she founded Where Did All the Animals Go? Project in partnership with Born Free and in 2021 founded Drawing for the Planet. Explore Jane's art:
Drawing for the Planet would like to thank all participating children, staff and communities.