DISCOVERING THE ARTISTIC WORLD OF BEATRICE FORSHALL
Art has the remarkable ability to transcend boundaries and speak to the soul. In the case of Beatrice Forshall, our October Artist of the Month, her captivating artwork goes beyond aesthetics; it carries a profound message of conservation and appreciation for the Earth's magnificent creatures. Born in South West France, Beatrice's journey through life has been intertwined with art, wildlife, and a commitment to safeguarding our planet.
Beatrice's dedication to her craft first began at Falmouth University, where she pursued a degree in illustration. She graduated with first-class honours, specialising in drypoint engraving. Her time at Falmouth allowed her to refine her artistic skills and deepen her connection to the natural world.
A Wildlife Enthusiast
Beatrice's artistic portfolio is a testament to her deep love for wildlife and her commitment to conservation. Her work has consistently revolved around animals and themes central to conservation. From intricate engravings of elusive creatures to vibrant illustrations that capture the essence of life in the wild, her creations mirror the beauty and fragility of the natural world.
A Year of Conservation
In 2018, Beatrice served as an artist in residence with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a collaborative effort involving researchers, policymakers, and conservation practitioners. Her work has also taken her into collaboration with prominent conservation organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), TRAFFIC, BirdLife International, and Flora and Fauna International. Through these partnerships, Beatrice has channelled her art into a force for good, raising awareness and funds for critical conservation projects.
The Book of Vanishing Species: A Masterpiece of Art and Conservation
One of Beatrice Forshall's most remarkable achievements is her book, "The Book of Vanishing Species" published in October 2022. This book is a captivating homage to the Earth's most enigmatic and endangered creatures and plants. It beautifully weaves together the stories of these remarkable species.
'This wonderful book, with Beatrice Forshall's superb engravings, serves to remind us of the wonder and beauty of some of the species that may disappear forever unless we take action to save them - now and before it is too late' - Dr Jane Goodall
Each engraving in the book starts out as a drawing on a large sheet of zinc. With a sharp tool, she scratches into the metal, then applies the ink; where there are incisions, the ink catches. After laying a sheet of dampened paper on top, she rolls it through the press and creates a series of about ten editions, each hand-painted with different colours.
The book is a testament to Beatrice's artistic prowess, with each species brought to life through exquisite illustrations that convey both their beauty and vulnerability. As you turn the pages, you embark on a journey through the intricate tapestry of life on Earth, a network of existence that stretches across the planet.
“As humans, we need facts and figures – but I think stories are what move people,” says Beatrice in her interview with Chloe Ashby. “My hope is that they enter readers’ hearts and minds, because you have to love something to be able to save it.” During the 18 months it took her to research the book, 107 species were declared extinct.
'Forshall might not have a scientific background, but her poetic, human perspective and unique artistry are incredibly moving... The Book of Vanishing Species is both a celebration of our world and an urgent call to action' - BBC Wildlife Magazine
Beatrice Forshall's "The Book of Vanishing Species" is more than a work of art; it is a plea for the preservation of Earth's biodiversity. Through her artistry, she inspires us to cherish and protect the wondrous life that surrounds us. This October, let us celebrate Beatrice Forshall as our Artist of the Month and join her in the crucial mission of conservation, for our planet's sake.