Earth`s ecological crisis is most starkly visible, he says, in sub-Saharan Africa, a setting that, to date, has been featured in many of Jarvi`s most acclaimed paintings.
From jungles around the equator where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees barely endure in scattered pockets, southward to the Serengeti Plain, Kalahari Desert, Okavango Delta, and the velds of South Africa and Zimbabwe, the animals whose very iconic presence pronounces wildness to billions are dwindling at alarming rates.
Consider the roster: black and white rhinoceros, elephant, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah, Cape buffalo, and giraffe. Some are being lost to rampant poaching, others to the effects of war and human poverty, habitat destruction and the onset of climate change. Most, however, are confronting a combination of all of the above.
For many North Americans, awareness of what`s occurring is minimized by the geographic distance between here and there. Jarvi wants to close the gap using art as a bridge.
" What`s happening in Africa is disturbing but it is reflective of problems affecting wildlife around the world," the artist says. "I want to be more than a witness. I want to heighten public awareness so that these awe inspiring wonders of creation still have a fighting chance—that they will still be here for my kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy. I don`t want to preach. It is my hope that art serve as a catalyst for waking people up."
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