Meet Our Team
Born in Edinburgh, Artist Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations and designs products. Her work explores the theme of loss generated by human destruction and is representational of both life's beauty and brutal reality. Her meticulous drawings take several months to research and make, and incorporate complex and symbolic drawing layers. Jane's passion for film gives her drawings a cinematic quality. Her work provokes consideration of loss and destruction, creating memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life and environments lost through war or environmental destruction, communicating individual loss beyond statistics.
Graduating with a BA(Hons) in Graphic Design from Humberside University, Jane has worked as a full time artist since 2006 and exhibited nationally and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions, including her solo installation The Woodcutter’s Cottage at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate. She has been a Wolf & Badger UK designer since 2016 with her products stocked at their flagship store in SoHo, New York. Her work was displayed in the major exhibition Making Paradise 2021 at the Aga Khan Centre Gallery, London. Since 2012 as part of her art practice she has delivered drawing workshops to thousands of people across the globe.
In 2014 she founded Drawing for Endangered Species (2014-2019) and in 2019 Where Did All the Animals Go? (WDATAG? 2019 -) art and environmental education projects in partnership with Born Free international wildlife charity. Jane created Chimpanzee Community 2020 artwork exhibited at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Jane's Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021 artwork featuring drawings by 700 children from across the globe of 400 species as well as her two large format prints of her drawings are now on permanent display at the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne. Following the installation of the mural, Jane founded Drawing for the Planet. She lives in Northumberland, England with her husband Rob and Caspar their Romanian rescue dog.
Jane passionately believes that art and education are key components to reversing the bio-diversity crisis. In her workshops she presents species information, discusses why species are threatened, their right to live their life according to their needs, like humans, why they are important to their ecosystems and how to take positive action to protect them. Creating drawings of wildlife provides project participants with the opportunity to develop emotional connections with subjects, which can lead to a compassionate response towards their vulnerability. She encourages participants to contemplate what the subjects eyes have seen, and that they often represent a species facing extinction. In turn, her exhibitions of children's drawings,
“My heart breaks daily at the destruction of the natural world, yet I cannot begin to imagine the emotional roller-coaster those working on the frontline of wildlife conservation experience. By taking positive action to help support frontline conservation organisations protecting vulnerable species, we create hope for wildlife and ecosystems. Through my drawing, environmental education and exhibition projects and providing the opportunity of self-expression to all participants, it is my hope to further generate individual compassion towards animals and the environment while encouraging collective responsibility to cherish and conserve the planet’s remaining wildlife for future generations: if we care we want to conserve."
DR. KIRSTEN ROGERS
Kirsten is a dentist from Scotland now living in California with her family. She trained at the University of Glasgow and studied as a postgraduate at The Eastman, University College London, practicing dentistry in the UK and Australia. Unable to use her UK Dental license in the US, Kirsten found her niche in volunteer dentistry with the US military’s humanitarian and diplomatic missions onboard the Hospital Ships USNS Comfort and Mercy visiting South America and Indonesia. This fulfilled her passion for practicing dentistry and travelling the globe. These humanitarian missions gave Kirsten first-hand experience of the value of being able to pass on educational material to communities who want to learn and teach. They also taught Kirsten the importance of supporting 'boots on the ground’ organizations that provide sustainable change.
"I am passionate about connecting people to amplify their talents, and fully committed to supporting Jane in expanding her reach to children and communities across the globe and further help people and their efforts to conserve their precious wildlife through education, art and financial support.”
Rob graduated with a degree in Sociology from Newcastle University. Five years ago he set up his own successful vintage and antique collectables store with his father Dave Lee. Rob brings expertise in business and retail and also provides assistance and feedback on the day-to-day administration of Drawing for the Planet. He is looking forward to his role as advisor for Drawing for the Planet's forthcoming online shop selling products to raise funds for our projects. Rob is passionate about wildlife, history, culture and film and as Jane's husband, over the last decade has dedicated his time to support her projects.
Amy is a world traveler and global citizen who has lived and worked in New York and London. She has a degree in English from Hobart and William Smith College. Amy worked as an advertising executive at BBDO New York before leaving to start her own digital advertising recruitment agency. Amy has been passionate about protecting animals and wildlife since she was a child. She began volunteering at her local animal rescue center when she was five years old and has been an animal lover and environmentalist ever since. Amy believes strongly in bringing awareness through education.
“After taking part in one of Jane’s workshops, I knew immediately that I wanted to join the Drawing for the Planet team to help with their mission.”
Laura Gosset BSc (Hons) MSc is Head of Education at Born Free. With a Master’s Degree in Environmental Conservation Management Laura joined the Born Free team in 2012 working in various roles within the Campaigns Team before taking on the role as Head of Education in 2017. Within this role Laura is responsible for the strategic development, planning and delivery of Born Free’s global education programme across Born Free’s country offices (in Kenya, Ethiopia, UK and South Africa) as well as through partner organisations. This programme aims to deliver both direct conservation and animal welfare education as well as holistic community projects aimed at addressing some of the most significant environmental challenges facing both people and wildlife.
Charlie has always loved wildlife and joined the Born Free Education Team in 2020 as Education Officer. Prior to this she worked in as a primary school teacher with Qualified Teacher Status for over four years, before moving into the charity sector in 2018, focussing on animal welfare. Alongside Born Free’s Head of Education, Charlie works to deliver and develop the UK Education Programme. The programme aims to encourage children and young people to consider their global impact, take action to conserve vital species and habitats and to instil a love of wildlife.
Education and Conservation Advisor
Phoebe is Education Programmes Leader, Born Free Kenya. Together with her team of two Education Officers, Phoebe aims to enhance the knowledge, attitudes and livelihoods of schools and communities who live closest to wildlife. By working with these communities we can hope to help them see the benefits of the wildlife they share their lives with, through the right conservation information and support for sustainable economic activities.
Education and Art Advisor
Christine Egan-Fowler is an artist and teacher with a history of innovative collaborations that encourage participation, across subjects and with galleries. Christine has over 25 years of teaching experience in various schools across the region; Kenton School, Newcastle upon Tyne and St Mary’s School, Longbenton, and is currently teaching Art at The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne. She is committed to her job, her own creative development and to enhancing the learning of others. In 2013 Christine graduated with Distinction from the MA Fine Art and Education, delivered by Northumbria University in partnership with BALTIC. Christine was awarded the BALTIC Artist Teacher Award 2012/13, selected by Director, Godfrey Worsdale.
Christine’s work is about memory. She creates and renews connections with forgotten aspects of her past; painting using materials which have a particular significance for her, such as washing powder, bleach and beeswax mixed with pigment. The materials she uses often have a resonant smell that helps instant recall. Christine is interested in how performance can encourage participation, as a way of involving audiences in building collective memories. Her award winning exhibition at BALTIC in Jan 2013, ‘Memory Folds’, was a participatory show where performances by students from Royal Grammar School, joined members of the public. 80 students performed over a period of a month and the resulting ‘Memory Fold’ works numbered into the hundreds. The exhibition attracted many different age groups of people and they each shared their stories and memories. Many were moved by being able to share and participate. The work was later presented at Momentum, Frieze Art Fair in 2013 and ISADA conference at Sidcot School in 2014.
In 2015 Christine took part in ArtWorks Connecting the Conversation at BALTIC where she discussed her participatory practice in a conversation with artist Selina Thompson chaired by Ilana Mitchell, Artistic Director of Wunderbar. Documentation from this event is accessible on BALTIC+. balticplus.uk/artworks-connecting-the-conversation-part-1-christine-egan-fowler-c26654/ Christine won an ArtWorks Fellowship funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, supported by Barbican London and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead. The ArtWorks Fellowship resulted in her subsequent exhibition at BALTIC; Playing the Waiting Game The ArtWorks Fellowship – The Organisational Perspective 5th -27th Sept 2016 'An exploration of the connections between remembering and the senses, performance and painting, live and the archived.' Christine has been involved with TALE, Tracking Arts Engagement and Learning - a three year research project investigating arts education in high schools in England, running from 2016 - 2018. She took part in the launch at the House of Lords in November 2018 of 'Time to Listen', a call for commitment to the Arts and culture; 'Every young person deserves to learn in an arts and culture rich school.'
Christine took part the recent BALTIC 39 conference 'In Need of Education’ as a teacher and a longstanding contributor to the MA in Fine Art and Education/ Artist Teacher Scheme, Northumbria University and BALTIC. In 2018 Christine alongside Linda Peacock, Arts Co-ordinator at Jarrow Cross CE Primary School, approached Jane with the idea or organising an exhibition of children's drawings created in her workshops. This culminated in Jane founding Where Did All the Animals Go? project. As an artist, Christine, like Jane, brings intense experience of materials, methods of connecting visual ideas and different perspectives to the school community. They are cultural and environmental brokers; encouraging the children and teacher to think globally and connect their real experiences, narratives and their own memories with what is shown in galleries and museums.
"Jane is at the centre of the project 'Where Did All The Animals Go?’ bringing extraordinary drawing workshops to schools and communities. The workshops are based around simple materials and compelling contextual information that encourage reflective thinking and challenge ideas about animals and their capacity to thrive. Her charismatic patience and knowledge of subject connects with both children and teachers in an extraordinary 'deep dive' of learning."
Linda Peacock, Cultural Lead, Jarrow Cross CE Primary School, UK, worked as a glass artist before becoming a teacher. She is currently Early Years Lead at Jarrow Cross C E Primary School and also holds the position of Cutural Lead co-ordinating Expressive Arts and Design within the school. As Arts Award Adviser, over the years she has supported many children to achieve their Arts Award and certification at Discover and Explore levels.
"I endeavour to provide a rich and inspirational arts curriculum and support the children at Jarrow Cross to develop their cultural capital and reach their full creative potential."
MAYOR WANEKA ARRINDELL
Mrs. Waneka Odetta Arrindell, Linden Mayor and Town Council, was born on January 24, 1979 to Desrie and Westwell Peters. She was raised in the Wisroc Community, Wismar and resides at M 28 Green Valley, Wismar, Linden, with her husband and three children. From humble beginnings, Mrs. Waneka Odetta Arrindell attended the Wisroc Nursery School, Wismar Hill Primary School and completed her Secondary education at the New Silver City Secondary School where she wrote and was successful at the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and graduated in 1998.
Mrs. Arrindell, went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Guyana, in hopes of giving back to her hometown. She also obtained a certificate in Theology which, she later realized would be extremely beneficial. Upon completion, she returned to Linden and began her first Job at the Linden Television Station where she worked as a reporter for approximately six months.
She then moved to work with Linden Care Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization, where she worked as a Project Coordinator with children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, this she did, for approximately six years. She later volunteered at the Christianburg Wismar and Wisburg Secondary Schools, all the while working with slow learners at the One Mile Primary School. Mrs. Arrindell has always been a part of the Christian community, one which, to her is not only a religion but a way of life. She spent a number of years, working within the Sunday School and Missionette Department as a teacher. She was the Secretary and President of the Sectional Youth Ministry in Linden for over ten years, managing projects and activities of the youths from approximately 18 churches within the community and region as a whole. This allowed for the sharing of information to many other faith-based organizations.
Through this leadership and projects conducted, she was able to bring awareness and education about HIV and AIDS to various churches in Linden. In 2016, Mrs. Arrindell, was elected the Deputy Mayor of Linden, a position she held for two years. In 2018, she was elected Mayor of Linden, a prestigious position which now allows her to use most of her attributes, skills and training to serve her community. Today, Mrs. Arrindell, is making major strides in the development of her hometown, she believes that a community can only grow, if we work to build each other up. She is truly, a modern-day philanthropist. Her motto is:
"If better can be had, then good is not good enough..."
DR. RAQUEL THOMAS
Dr Raquel Thomas, is a tropical forest ecologist and Director and Resource Management and Training at the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development (IIC), Guyana, an international partnership between the Government of Guyana and the Commonwealth. The IIC manages a one million acre rain forest reserve in the centre of Guyana and this is one of five Protected Areas in Guyana. With over 25 years of experience in natural resource management in particular related to the forest, Raquel works with several areas including forest research, forestry business development, Tourism, project management, community development, training to name a few.
While she appreciates wildlife after studying a large seed dispersing rodent called the Agouti for her PhD work many years ago, her passion is for plants of which she has taught many over the years, forest botany in particular. Wildlife cannot live without plants and plants need wildlife- everything interacts and are all important. The rivers, the soils, the standing forests, the open savannahs all connect and at the centre of this is People. Iwokrama uses a people-centred approach to conservation as if peoples livelihoods are not intact they will not protect the environment they live in.
Iwokrama also has a co-management partnership with 20 Indigenous communities in and around the Iwokrama Forest She also is active in a volunteer capacity in several environmental NGOs including the Guyana Marine Conservation Society and International Society for Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield. She also has great concern for human rights issues and co-founded Guyana Citizens Initiative for Flood Relief in 2005 and also Citizens Against Rape in 2012. She was the Chair of the Board of the governmental Protected Areas Commission from 2017 to March 2020. Raquel also loves the creative arts:
"I feel that it must be a great part of STEM ... STEAM as it is creativity that is also needed for innovation."
Art Ambassador & Conservation Advisor
Arianne-Elise Harris is Guyanese biologist at Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development (IIC) and an artist. She grew up in a household of artists and comedians so expressing herself always came easy. In High school, she did traditional art and graphics but went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Guyana. Despite choosing a career in science, she always kept art close to her, growing her skill set as she gained traction in her Biology career. She chose to do Fundamentals of Drawings as her elective at University and thus began to adapt her art to capture and interpret wildlife outside the perspective of a “scientist”. Arianne's bio image shows her standing beside her painting of a squirrel monkey on display at the Amerindian Heritage Exhibition, Castellani House in 2019. Currently, Arianne is enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Guyana. Outside of art, she studies Biodiversity response to logging activities with a primary focus on their population ecology.
"Combining my love for art and conservation has allowed me to understand wildlife and even appreciate it on another level."