Madeleine Farley is an award-winning British photographer and director whose previous works include a feature documentary, Trollywood, about the homeless in Los Angeles and also a documentary, Gorilla School, a thirteen part series for Discovery Channel about the plight of Western Lowland Gorillas in Africa. We speak to her to learn more about her upcoming projects.
What are you currently working on?
I just completed a new series of still life photographs inspired by the Dutch floral paintings from the 17th century and am now working on a series of abstract Light Paintings commissioned by a private collector. I’m also about to embark on a new feature length documentary – it’s a bit too early to say what it’s about.
Do you have any forthcoming exhibitions?
I’m launching a series of NFTs soon on OpenSea and other NFT marketplaces. I’m excited by this new medium, as a filmmaker and artist it’s a perfect crossover platform within which to work. For example, “Djalta” I filmed in Gabon, then took his image to NYC and printed with Donald Sheridan, who worked with Warhol for many years. “Djalta” then became a diamond dust silkscreen print and was exhibited in Belgravia’s Maddox Arts. He since toured in group shows with the likes of Peter Blake and Tracey Emin, and for Prince William’s charity Tusk Trust. And now he’s being launched as an NFT. The new digital art series is called “Extinction” and I hope will help bring light to the current crisis.
Can you tell us about the Djalta artwork? What inspired it and how did you become interested in gorillas?
I fell in love with gorillas when I lived with them in the remote jungles of Gabon. I was out there filming a TV series for Discovery Channel and The Aspinall Foundation. The Aspinall Foundation have the world’s largest collection of Western Lowland Gorillas in captivity and where possible they reintroduce them back to the wild. On this occasion, I travelled out with three baby orphan gorillas born in captivity in Howlett’s Wildlife Park in Kent - to film their first year living free. At the time “Djalta” was a 10-year-old blackback who had been repatriated 5 years previously and was head of his troupe. So he was already a success story. I lived in Africa for a whole year I so got to know the gorillas quite well. This is what inspired me to make the series of diamond dust silk screens images of them, I wanted to pay homage to all endangered species.
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