Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020

Martin Aveling

The DSWF 'Wildlife Artist of the Year' 2020 exhibition is now live!

This is the twelfth time I have made it to the finals. In the midst of the Covid19 pandemic, the exhibition was moved online this year. The awards ceremony took place yesterday evening, hosted by DSWF CEO, Peanut Lamb and Community Ambassador, Laura Wright. 

I didn't win, and you can watch me philosophising about that with Amy above, but I was delighted to receive another Highly Commended for my elephant drawing, 'Kichwa Tembo', and to have sold my concept piece, 'Koala in Pastel Pencil'.

I was particularly pleased that my koala was selected for the shortlist this year. In recent years I have been submitting works that aren't so traditional in nature, but rather speak to wildlife artivism. Through art we have the opportunity to tell stories, and the overarching narrative for much of our planet's wildlife is quite bleak. 

By burning the original, which took about 10 hours to complete, I wanted to first of all show that I am willing to make sacrifices if the cause is great enough. Destroying the artwork shifts focus away from the value of the actual drawing, allowing us to grieve for nature and re-evaluate our priorities when it comes to thinking about what we attribute value to. The drawing took considerably less time to destroy than it did to create, and I felt that was a powerful metaphor for inaction on the climate crisis.

If this piece moved you, then please consider voting for it in the 'People's Choice Award' (voting closes on Sunday 28th June):


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