Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur / Unbound Project
Member of the Art of Compassion Project
Art and a connection to animals have been constants throughout my life, but fifteen years ago while bedridden and sick from chemotherapy I was compelled to bring them to the forefront. I co-founded a small animal advocacy organization, stumbled into the ugly world of animal agriculture, and immediately began conducting investigations to understand what I was seeing.
I've served as the Canadian Head of Investigations for international animal advocacy organization Animals' Angels, Canadian-based organizations Canadians for Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals and the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition, and most recently as the Director of Investigations for Mercy For Animals Canada where, together with a small team of investigators, we completed and released seven undercover investigations.
While the investigative footage received a surprising amount of exposure in the national media, I realized that the very people who would empathize with the animals' suffering and take action were often turning away from the graphic evidence before absorbing the message. I wondered if art, with its ability to be softer but equally as effective, could be the way to reach a larger audience. I tentatively began releasing my paintings in 2015 and the response has been heartening.
All of my work—investigative and artistic—seeks to challenge our basic beliefs about farmed animals and foster a sense of justice for all animals.