South African based artist, Sonny, has been travelling the world with his latest wildlife protection campaign “‘To The Bone” which aims to raise funds and awareness for endangered wildlife before it’s too late. His latest mural of a Rhino brings him to the streets of London.
Rhinos once roamed in their millions across large swathes of Asia and Africa. The first period of decline was caused by wholesale Colonial-era hunting and habitat loss as land was increasingly turned to agriculture and urban development.
The UK wall mural features a Rhino and a child and is the first of Sonny’s ‘To The Bone’ paintings to incorporate a human element. The mural can be found on the corner of Fell Road and High Street, 87-89 High Street, Croydon CR0 1QF.
His murals often show the endangered animals’ faces breaking away to reveal the raw skeletons underneath, symbolic of how these beautiful creatures are quickly fading away. Tribal patterns from the animals’ country of origin adorn the exposed bones, driving home the message that in losing them we are losing a part of our heritage too.
“I’m really excited to be bringing my project to London, especially as I have never painted here before despite being born in the UK. In big cities, where wildlife is not usually top of mind, it’s easy to forget about the extinction crisis we’re facing. That’s why I’m bringing my wild animals into the city for all to see.” Sonny
Organised jointly by International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the tour aims to draw attention to the destruction and extinction of rare animals, while raising funds and awareness of animal welfare and conservation.
“IFAW is delighted to be working with Sonny to highlight the critical plight of some of our most endangered wildlife. Sonny’s stunning murals are a great way to make us stop and think about some of our most iconic species and what we can do to protect them.” Philip Mansbridge, IFAW UK Director.
As part of the tour Sonny has already completed stunning and highly acclaimed murals in South Africa (Johannesburg) United States (New York), Canada (Toronto), Russia (Vladivostok) and Ireland (Waterford), and after the London mural, his next planned works will be in India, Mexico and Uganda. A short film about Sonny, his work and the project has already amassed over 700,000 views online.
Read our interview here.