I decided to paint this after a friend at university sent me a photograph of the strange bird. The kakapo’s latin name “Strigops habroptilus” means “owl-like” and many people have mistaken this image for an owl. I wanted to capture the flightless bird’s comical, clumsy nature as well as its lush green habitat of New Zealand.
This painting was something of an experiment. How do I fracture the image of an animal in water? The way light is refracted in swirling seawater is broken enough, without trying to distort the image in reference to screens and the internet. The species is Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, another animal on the IUCN Red List and classified as critically endangered through over-fishing.