Gorilla - WILL YOU MISS ME WHEN I'M GONE? lays bare a simple question that is a metaphor for all life on this planet. In our busy modern lives where news cycles come and go as fast as the clouds and people argue and fight with each other over the issues of the day both large and small, will we even miss an animal that goes extinct, even if we caused it? The Mountain Gorilla is the largest primate on Earth and solely because of us, is on the verge of extinction. Poaching, habitat loss, encroaching populations and civil wars have all had a massive impact on the species. Today, they are only left in two regions of Africa, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, and in the Virungas Mountains of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are intensive efforts to save the Mountain Gorilla, but there is a long road ahead. For many, the needs of people come first regardless of the impact it has on other species. Furthermore, the 20+ years of successful conservation efforts to bring the Mountain Gorilla back are now threatened by political and civil unrest that has marred the area since the 1990’s.
Perhaps we can take a lesson from our close relatives. They are large and powerful and yet they are affectionate, gentle vegetarians that live peaceful lives. Food for thought.
Look into those eyes. Can you imagine a world without them?
Artist: Rob Whitehair
Digital mixed media: Pencil on Procreate, Photoshop, Acrylic