As an animal artist I have a huge passion and respect for the natural world which has led to an interest in wildlife and environmental conservation.
The impact that humans have had on the natural world has been, at times, pretty devastating. Climate Change is impacting the planet’s weather systems at such a fast rate that many of our earth’s species are struggling to adapt. In addition, deforestation, pollution and aggressive farming techniques mean we have carelessly lost 50% of our planet’s species in the last 40 years and are on track to lose 67% by 2020. Learning this, I like many others, am driven by an urgency to help preserve our remaining wild spaces and the animals that live in them.
This is why I have partnered up with several wonderful charities that I trust, and whose work in conservation is second to none when it comes to protecting and preserving our planet and it’s species. You can find details on my various charity collaborations below. Through these efforts, I hope to not only raise money, but also raise awareness and inspire and encourage others to support conservation projects. I genuinely believe that if we all pull together we can help preserve our planet’s remaining wild spaces and the animals that inhabit them, but we have to act now and we have to act fast. (2014)
Trees For Life
Trees for Life are Scotland’s leading conservation charity whose vision is to restore the ancient Caledonian Forest which used to stretch extensively across the Scottish Highlands and was the UK’s answer to the rainforest. However, it has now sadly been reduced to just a fraction of it’s former range through deforestation and over-grazing. Trees For Life are working to breathe life
back into the Highlands through the planting of trees, providing habitats for wildlife such as Lynx and Wild Boar. In a collaborative project, I donated a painting to Trees for Life and a set of 100 prints were created from it, each sold with a 100% donation to Trees for Life through their ‘Sponsor a Squirrel’ project. This collaboration has resulted in nearly £2,500 being raised for the squirrels. This is an incredible amount and has helped Scotland’s Red Squirrel population get back on it’s feet.
How you can help: There are only a few of these Limited Edition 6×6″ Red Squirrel prints left… if you’d like to purchase a print then you can do so here via Trees For Life’s ‘Sponsor a Squirrel’ project.
As a regular volunteer with Trees For Life, I had the opportunity to visit one of their sites and interview Karen on the Red Squirrel Project, to see where the money raised from the prints has gone:
Rhinos are incredible creatures which I find almost prehistoric looking. But this beautiful animal’s existence is seriously under threat because of the current poaching epidemic.
This is why I began a year long project with the UK registered charity Helping Rhinos, creating one
large A2 painting a month with all profits being donated. The project culminated with an exhibition at Cornflake in London. So far I have managed to raise nearly £3,500 for the charity through sales of my artwork!
How you can help: You can support Helping Rhinos by purchasing any print from the ‘Helping Rhinos’ Collection, as 50% of each sale is donated straight to the charity. All prints are taken from the original artworks created during this year long collaboration. Some of the original artworks are still available, with 100% of profits being donated from the sale. You can browse them here.
In December 2016 I created a set of three paintings, two butterflies and a bumblebee. I donated 50% of the butterfly paintings to the charity Butterfly Co
nservation, and I donated 50% of the Bumblebee painting to Bumblebee Conservation Trust. The Bumblebee was so popular with my Facebook and instagram followers that I decided to create a set of 50 Limited Edition prints with a 50% donation to raise money for the bees. All the prints were sold in December, and including the donation from the original painting, a total of £797.50 was raised for Bumblee Conservation Trust. From the sale of the butterfly artworks, £95 was raised for Butterfly Conservation. This money will go towards creating habitats for bees an butterflies as well as raising awareness of their plight and funding research so we can try understand why we are losing these important pollinators at such an alarming rate.
I am in love with these adorable Orangutan tote bags I’ve designed! They have a 100% donation to the Sumatran Orangutan Society! SOS are working to protect the Leuser ecosystem, an area of forest in Indonesia which is the only place on earth where Tigers, Rhinos, Orangutans and Elephants still roam together in one place. As well as designing a bag, I recently raised £275 in one month for SOS through print sales.
How you can help: These bags are both ethically and ecologically sound, and priced at only £12! So head on over to the SOS website to purchase one, then sit back and bathe in the glow of your good karma!! http://shop.orangutans-sos.org/gifts/98_tote_bag
World Land Trust – Pangolins
I created a set of miniature Pangolin paintings which had a 100% donation to the World Land Trust and was thrilled to raise £320 through the sale of these artworks. It is a great feeling that my little painted Pangolins can help real ones out in the wild. David Attenborough, an ambassador for World Land Trust, describes the Pangolin as one of the ‘most endearing creatures’ he’s ever met. Unfortunately, despite having survived on earth for 80 million years, Pangolin’s are at risk of extinction due to the demand for their meat and scales. They are currently the most trafficked animal on the planet, and do not get nearly half the media exposure they deserve.
How you can help: If you are interested in owning your own Pangolin painting, I will continue to donate 100% of any income from pangolin artwork to the World Land Trust. You can order your own miniature original painting, measuring 12x12cm, for £80 plus p&p by messaging me directly vie email or facebook, you can find my details on the contact page.
Turtle Island Restoration Network
With our oceans under threat from climate change, pollution and overfishing, Turtle Island Restoration Network’s mission is to mobilise people in local communities around the world to help them protect marine wildlife and the oceans and inland watersheds that sustain them.
How you can help: You can support the work that Turtle Island do by purchasing the A3 Turtle Print which has a 50% donation of profits to Turtle Island.
A charity who I have been involved with since the age of 13, World Land Trust work with communities to protect and preserve critically endangered wildlife and rainforests. In the words of their patron, David Attenborough, “The money that is given to the World Land Trust, in my estimation, has more effect on the wild world than almost anything I can think of.”
How you can help: World Land Trust are one of my favourite charities, and so it is that with every Tori Ratcliffe Art print which is sold, £1 is always donated straight to the World Land Trust so you too can help threatened rainforests and endangered animals every time you purchase a piece of art.
Indonesia experienced some of the worst forest fires in it’s history this year (2015), putting a third of Orangutans at risk of being wiped out amongst other species like the Sumatran Tiger and the Clouded Leopard. Sadly, the majority of the fires were man-made and they raged for months on end releasing countless tons of Carbon emissions. However, members of the charity OuTrop were on hand working their socks off to fight the fires. Needing financing for equipment, I decided that my Tiger print would be used to raise funds and so throughout November the Tiger print had a 100% donati0n to OuTrop and in total £250 was raised for the charity which I had the pleasure of passing on. Where would we be without conservation charities!