In 1990 l watched a moving documentary about the plight of indigenous people living in the Raubfirest of the world and how their lives were drastically changed by deforestation.
At first it showed these gentle tribes living in a spirit of peace and harmony, in tune with nature their home the Rainforest. It showed children laughing and playing as their mother played on a simple bamboo instrument enchanting dream like melodies, sunbeams filtering through the trees it looked like a family of elves in a magical fairy-tale. But then beyond the natural sounds of the forest could be heard the disturbing distant echoes of chainsaws getting closer and louder eventually you saw great ancient trees crashing down bulldozers dragging chains clearing everything in their path, fires burnt and animals fled then it shows these people with great fear and confusion in the eyes being forced to live in corrugated huts on the edge of their once pristine home all around was absolute desolation.
I painted this picture in 1990 in response to the sadness and tragedy l felt for these people caused by the greed and demands of the so called civilised world.
Most of the faces in the painting are taken from the documentary and l still wonder to this day every time l look at it what happened to these people I know there is a lot more awareness in the world today but sadly deforestation is still happening at a frightening rate and to me this painting still holds the same message today if not more so as when l painted it.
In my own small way l hope it brings out a sense of responsibility to try to protect Rainforest and all natural environments on this beautiful amazing planet we call home for all of us and the future generations to come.
ONLY WHEN THE LAST TREE HAS BEEN CUT DOWN AND WHEN THE LAST RIVER HAS BEEN POISONED AND THE LAST FISH HAS BEEN CAUGHT WILL WE REALISE THAT WE CANNOT EAT MONEY
( A Cree Native American Prophecy)