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Naomi Jenkin featured in Cornwall Live.

Cornwall Live article

Read the full feature below.


I was very excited to be featured in Cornwall Live last week. You see the full article on Cornwall Live, or read it transcribed below.

Cornwall Live feature of Naomi Jenkin Art.

Newquay artist shortlisted for Wildlife Artist of the Year Award after her passion for the natural world inspired a career change

Naomi Jenkin’s orangutan piece joins almost 200 other artworks competing for an internationally renowned wildlife artist award.

A woman in Newquay has been shortlisted for a renowned art competition and exhibition often referred to as the ‘Oscars of international wildlife art.’ Naomi Jenkin’s drawing, ‘Hold Me Closer’, is set to go up against almost 200 other talented artists worldwide for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s (DSWF) Wildlife Artist of the Year Award 2022 in association with BBC Wildlife.

The 36-year-old, who has been drawing pet portraits for clients across the world since 2017, was nominated for the ‘Facing Extinction’ category. Originally working as a sound engineer for film and TV post-production in London, Naomi explained her interest in art and her passion for the natural world spurred her to combine the two and make the permanent career switch.

Naomi said her nomination was an encouraging recognition: “I was pretty overwhelmed to be shortlisted. I didn’t expect it at all. With each piece I do, I’m trying to focus on endangered animals to try and raise a bit more awareness of their struggles, but in a positive way. There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there about climate change, I’m trying to approach it from a positive viewpoint.”

The selected piece features a mother orangutan lovingly cradling her baby and was created using chalk pastels. When talking about her process, Naomi explained: “I wanted to connect the viewer to these precious animals through the most basic raw emotion: love. By displaying a mother’s intense love for her baby, I wanted to tug on the heartstrings, and highlight the orangutan’s vulnerability and plight.”

“The orangutans in particular were quite daunting to draw because of all the different textures it involved and the expression of the mother and baby had to be perfect to get the emotion across. I’m really pleased with how it came out, and absolutely thrilled it’s been shortlisted for Wildlife Artist of the Year.”

According to experts, orangutans face an increasing risk of extinction due to economic crisis combined with natural disasters as well as human abuse of the forest. Since the birth of the awards in 2008, DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year has raised more than £1.2 million for conservation partners across Africa and Asia as 50% of the proceeds from artwork sales goes towards their cause of conserving wildlife.

A judging panel will announce their winners from each category on August 31 and an online gallery of all finalists will be held on the DSWF website throughout September for the BBC Wildlife People’s Choice Award 2022. To stay up to date with Naomi’s journey, you can follow her on Instagram.

Written by Rebecca Waters at Cornwall Live.



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