"The African wild dog (Lycaon Pictus) ' the most successful predator in the Eastern and Southern African bush ' has been our favourite subject for the past 13 years. Lithe, graceful and elegant apex killers, they are the perfect pack hunter and display caring, highly intelligent family behaviour and a curious tolerance of man.
Over the years we have been both absorbed and obsessed with depicting their form and in pursuit of this aim we have made over twenty safaris to Kenya and Tanzania, working alongside a special captive breeding program courtesy of renowned conservationist Tony Fitzjohn OBE in his camp in Mkomazi reserve, and in the wild in Moremi in Botswana.
These drawings, paintings and photographs have been made over our three recent safaris to Mkomazi, in extremely close proximity to the wild dogs for extended periods as well as during their first re-release into Mkomazi and Tsavo ecosystems this summer. It has been our objective to interact with these magnificent predators to help us understand their nature and truth, with a view to sharing the wonder and predicament of these highly endangered canids."
Olly & Suzi, October 2007
Since meeting as students at Central St Martins School of Art in London twenty years ago, Olly & Suzi have worked together in some of the most remote and less domesticated habitats on earth. They have developed as a unique artistic entity, collaborating so closely on their drawings and paintings that their contributions are indistinguishable. At the core of their art is their desire to record from life their experiences of Nature. Their works function like snapshots of the artists' encounters with the wild, the fluid lines of their paintings encapsulating the fleetingness of these exceptional moments.
After numerous expeditions all over the globe, painting anacondas in the marshes of Venezuela or great whites in South Africa, Olly & Suzi have now chosen to focus on African wild dogs. In their works these endangered predators reach the status of symbols epitomizing all species in danger of extinction. They remind us of the fragility of the planet's eco-system and point at our responsibility to preserve its bio-diversity.
Olly & Suzi have exhibited extensively throughout the world and their work is in a number of public collections including the Hospitalhof Museum in Stuttgart, the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and the Natural History Museum in London where they had a solo exhibition in 2001 / 2002.