Jonesy – Western Lowland Gorilla
Western Lowland Gorilla Otherwise known as: Gorilla gorilla
Status: Critically Endangered
Estimated number: 95,000
Population trend: Decreasing
Location: Cameroon, Central African Republic, mainland Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Cabinda and possibly in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why are they under threat?
The hunting and killing of gorillas is illegal but still the animals are killed for bushmeat or during the capture of baby gorillas for pets. In Northeast Congo, about 5% of western lowland gorillas in that region are killed each year. Timber and other companies have opened areas of once remote forest, facilitating poaching and the bushmeat trade. Central Africa is home to not only gorillas, but also the deadly Ebola virus. Ebola has caused a number of massive gorilla and chimpanzee die-offs in the remote forests at the heart of the primates’ ranges.
What can you do?
Interview with Jonesy
I marvel how you leave your works of bronze on the streets. The costs must of production must be exhausting. Can you tell us why you do it?
The cost for me is not as high as normal as I cast all the work myself. I work as a metal finisher and freelance artist in a fine art foundry in the east end of London, that keeps the costs to just my materials and as you may know my work is small on the street.
All costs aside, what would be a dream street installation?
MY dream street installation, wow. I have some work that I would just like to make bigger, not that I would like to make all the small ones I have done bigger as I like some of them almost only to be seen if you are looking. I have made some Earth shrine lanterns in bronze with stained glass, I would like to make some new ones with solar panels and lights. They could be fitted to top of polls and made to come on when it gets dark.
Do you think art in the public domain has a voice that competes with all the other visual noise? How might we defeat the dominators?
Don’t wait until the battle is won before you join the fight. I do street art as I see it as one of the only places that an artist can have a voice. We live in a democracy but money is doing all the taking and no more so than in the art world. I have as interest in science and know that there is a lot of disinformation so I am fighting back with my art. The point in making them in bronze and on the street is so that maybe one or two may last a long time into the future. I hope people will see the things we’re doing and that some try to stop it. For me the main issue is global warming and we are losing badly, I fell it’s a fight I have to fight as artists and I am lucky to have a voice. So I have to use it for all the next generations, or it feels wasted. Even if I am just one more voice in a losing battle I am a voice as are we all if we chose.