A Celebration
Tamara Venn

A Celebration

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Part of the "A Land in Flux" Collection - 2023

Limited edition of 150 prints, signed and numbered: 74cm x 53cm.

Printed on HP Matte Litho Paper, 180gsm

Sold unframed. 

This painting celebrates not only Wildlife Alliance and ACCB who released the incredible Great and Wreathed Hornbills into the Angkor park but also our Siem Reap river (which is more brown than blue but for the purposes of the painting I used my artistic license) and the colourful moments we have all experienced during the many holidays and festivities that take place along it’s riverbanks.

The pairs of Hornbills released have been breeding and can be seen flying up and down the river most days as they head out towards the Tonle Sap lake. They return around golden hour, just before sunset, (hence the pink sun and peachy sky) and are a joy to watch. They are large, native, old world birds that hang out in a group. I love when their huge shadows cross my path as they silently swoop from treetop to treetop.

Other species of animals have been released into the Angkor complex including Pileated Gibbons, Silvered Langurs, Leopard cats and otters. It’s a safe haven for so many wild animals that need that extra help and protection to prosper in a human made world. This is a thank you to Wildlife Alliance and ACCB for all that they do.

A Land in Flux: 

"This collection of paintings was created within a span of a year, since the end of my first show, Kaleidoscope, in 2022. This new exhibition is called A Land in Flux since these paintings were conceived, planned, and painted during a time of change in Cambodia.

I wanted to capture the beauty as well as the peril of the collision of nature and humans and the subsequent threat to Cambodia’s ecosystems. I also wanted to document the work of conservation groups that I was fortunate enough to witness. My visits in early 2023 to the island of Koh Ach Seh in Kep Province and later to the Phnom Tnout Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear Province provided me with the inspiration to paint Come Full Circle and The Protectors.

Animals are almost always the focus of my work and I try to portray them accurately and with attention to detail. I also give space to the imagined by setting the wildlife subjects in lush, often-fantastical botanical settings with flora becoming almost abstract. It is a tricky proposition to balance the real and the romantic. Moreover, colour is at the centre of each of my paintings. I compose them so that colour is as important as the subject matter. I draw much inspiration from artists who are masters in these aspects, such as Henri Rosseau, David Hockney and Helen Frankenthaler.

Finally, I also tried to capture the everyday interactions of humans and animals in Cambodian towns and cities. These scenes may soon be quaint remnants of a bygone era. I can foresee a more developed, faster-paced society leaving no room for these kinds of interactions in the future. I tried to preserve this in the paintings Best Friends and Slow Living.

Cambodia in 2023—these paintings are my way of preserving on canvas a particular place and time. These are visual documents, in a way, of fleeting places and ways of life. While change may be a constant, I believe that we must reflect on how we can—and must—preserve the riches of our natural heritage before we are left with only painted representations and memories".

Tamara Venn is best known for her large scale botanical murals and her contrasting miniature pen and ink illustrations of flora. Originally from London, UK and having studied painting at Central St Martin’s College of Art & Design her work can be seen dotted around Cambodia and the UK. Nature, its brilliance and its fragility in such an increasingly developing world is the subject that runs throughout her work. Each piece celebrates the beauty of the natural world – her mission statement , ‘if we take care of nature now we won’t only be left with painted reminders of what was once here before’.