13 artists take on a 120 metre stretch of railway arches in Tower Hamlets, London
According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) there are currently 23,250 species listed as threatened. This means: critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. Adding extinct, and extinct in the wild, species the figure is 24,153.
It’s widely predicted that as many as two-thirds of all species could be near extinction by the end of this century. But, some are now rising in population due to increasing concern about the extinction crisis. Co-ordinated conservation efforts include the protection of natural habitats and prevention of destructive practices such as illegal hunting.
TO SEE INTERVIEWS WITH THE ARTISTS, MORE ABOUT THE ENDANGERED ANIMALS DEPICTED AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THEM, VISIT
THE HUMAN NATURE SHOW WEBSITE HERE
The project is being made possible with the support of
Montana Cans, The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Kabloom, Handover and Earthborn.
The permanent home of ENDANGERED13 will be on Ackroyd Drive at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, over 30 acres of woodland in the heart of East London. Opened in 1841, The City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery is now a designated park, Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It is run by our project partners, The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Get your hands dirty and join their local conservation work.
ENDANGERED 13 will be completed on Sunday 10th April and available to view ongoing at
This short video needs no introduction from me – our framer’s boy is eloquence itself.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
by Wendell Berry
This beautiful little poem reminds me of what we are now in grave danger of losing, and losing with it our connectedness, our oneness with the living Earth. And why we must shout as loud as we can for our wild places and wild creatures – not just for their own sakes, but for ours as well. For without them the flame of the human spirit will go out.
Blood of the Innocents Herod shed
To rid him of Messiah
He failed Messiah lived And now
Man spills the innocents’ blood
While He still sees and weeps
Last week I was lucky enough to have a few days’ stay with my daughter in Newcastle. We visited the Picture a Poet exhibition on tour at the Sunderland Museum from the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition featured photo portraits of famous British poets. In addition, students from Sunderland University had done a photoshoot of poets from the North East. My daughter was one of the poets!
She had recently been given by another writer friend an anthology of poems entitled Being Human and she showed me this little poem in it, which I found very moving. I hope you will too.
The Mower by Philip Larkin
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
The poet’s secretary and one-time lover, Betty Mackereth recalled his grief over the incident.
She said, “I remember too well Philip telling me of the death of the hedgehog: it was in his office the following morning with tears streaming down his face.”
But Mr Larkin had not always set such a high value on another’s life or grieved its passing. Author Maeve Brennan
recalled a shocking occasion when the poet had driven his car straight at a hedgehog and deliberately killed it.
This little guy really pulled my heartstrings
In our garden I set out for our feathered friends every morning a good hearty breakfast – breadcrumbs rolled in sunflower oil, and ripe pears. And last winter my daily visitors included a small flock of jackdaws who would stage an in-out snatch-and-grab operation. I call them my robber barons, and handsome guys they are.
And everyday, but much later than the rest of the flock, as if like a teenager he couldn’t haul himself out of bed in time, this raggedy juvenile showed up. Looking through the kitchen window, watching as he wandered about in search of leftovers, my heart ached a little for his unheeding innocence and lack of fear.
It will hardly make me a Nobel Laureate, butI wrote this in his honour:
There you are again
My little scruffy mate
Bumbling over the lawn in hope
Of sad specks of yesterday’s feast
Gawky knock-kneed teen
Your kin, svelte-suited
You, pathos in feathers,
I surround in a bubble of love
Photo courtesy of Monedula @Wilimedia Commons