Raquel Ferreira tells us about her inspiration and techniques for her winning piece "Amazonia Monarch" in the Stephanie Correia Prize for Open Visual Art, The Guyana Annual 2019.
This piece is one that I planned for extensively- I did a bit of research and looked up techniques and reference photos before starting the actual piece, even going so far as to practice the patterns on the animals (I wanted it to be perfect).
I consider myself to be an animal lover, so it is no surprise that my inspiration came from animals. Usually, when persons hear the phrase “King of the Jungle” or “King of Beasts,” the first animal that comes to mind is the lion.
Now, here in the Amazon, one of the closest things you will find to this big cat is the jaguar. I, however, wanted to do a piece done on the elusive anaconda as I have been fascinated by this animal for some time.
It is capable of going head-to-head with a fully-grown jaguar and is the epitome of an apex predator. Not to mention the fact that it currently holds the title of the largest snake in the world. The striking patterns only served to increase the appeal of creating a piece inspired by this snake. In the background I did line designs of some of the animals that the snake could potentially hunt and eat. Hence, the reason I used the colour red.
My intention for using this style (line design) was to give the animals a transcendental air. I used the colour red on the fallen logs as well to show the inter connectivity of all the elements in nature; the markings on the logs were supposed to represent the lifelines of all the animals in the jungle.
My main aim in this piece was to show my appreciation of wildlife in Guyana; it is my belief that we do not do enough to ensure the well being of our animals here in this country, especially the anaconda which strikes fear in the hearts of many.
The materials that I used to produce this piece are pencils, illustration pens (specifically 0.05 mm and 0.2 mm in thickness), alcohol-based markers, and white cardboard (also known as poster board).