September 24, 2021

Are We Beautiful Now?

Caroline Erolin

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Lino printLeopard slugs, 202138 x 26.5 cm

I studied fine art and illustration in the 1990’s with dreams of becoming a wildlife artist. However, my desire to depict the natural world simply for its own beauty wasn’t deemed enough by my tutors and after three years of arguments I left feeling there was no value to my endeavours. In my final year I discovered medical illustration and after completing an MPhil went on to work as a medical illustrator and eventually to teach this wonderful subject. I love that I have found a career that values accurate and realistic depiction and does some good for society. However, the urge to depict the natural world never left. Suddenly, around two years ago (now in my forties), something snapped, and I carved a toad into lino, simply because I like toads – I realised I needed no further justification. Since then, I’ve dived headfirst into printmaking, with my subject matter of nature at the fore. And while I don’t need meaning to justify my art, I’ve come to realise it was there all along. With worsening climate change and threats of an ‘insect apocalypse’ humanity desperately needs to wake up to the beauty that is all around.