The name Endcount refers to the current total population of a species that is close to extinction. A number tending towards zero. Humans have had a dramatic impact to planet Earth. Our population has grown from 2 billion in 1927 to 7 billion today. Our rapidly growing demand for food, shelter, material goods and individual wealth comes at a huge cost to the environment and the creatures that share our planet with us. We have impacted some species so much that they now number fewer than 35 individuals left in the wild. Over 4000 species are classed as critically endangered and almost 6000 species are endangered.
To bring attention to the human impact on the cohabitants of our planet by putting the message in a context that raises awareness and provokes conversation. Our first project is focused on key species threatened with extinction across the globe. We want to create beautiful and thought provoking art that changes the way people think about these problems. At the same time we want to raise the profile of charities working to save these species and to assist with fundraising for them.
Endcount is a collaboration between Aurelie Perthuis (Lily) and Joe Bramwell-Smith. We met whilst working at News.com.au where we were telling news stories in innovative ways through multimedia interactive content. In 2010 we started collaborating on an idea of Lily’s for an art project documenting threatened species and data. Lily wanted to create artworks using the numbers found on IUCN Redlist and other sources, She then approached Joe who was at that time a multimedia developer, to create an application. After discovering a mutual interest in the subject matter and compatible skills we sat down to work out how we could best get the message out there and Endcount was born.
Our first initiative was a series of artworks that aim to highlight the declining numbers of certain endangered species through a mixture of fine art and data visualisation. Each piece is a mix of code, print, canvas and paint that captures the extreme fragility of these creatures. Each artwork is a representation of the total number of remaining members of a given species ranging from a few hundred to a number of thousand.
We started by building an app that we can use to create the base of the artwork. The app allows us to dynamically generate the current number of creatures in the wild. We then start by sketching the species to be reproduced in vector. Once the digital version is generated and then finished in Illustrator it is sent to the printer to come back as a paint-ready physical canvas which is then painted over to provide depth. The process combines research, fine art, code, digital art, printing and painting to create a totally unique representation of the species at risk.
Painter, Digital artist
Lily Perthuis is a french born artist / designer living in Australia since 2004. She now works part time as an editorial designer for one of the largest publishing companies in Australia and is pursuing her dream as an artist. She has been commissioned in various art projects including an exhibition in Melbourne and Sydney. Lily’s work was also featured in the 2010 Semi-Permanent book, a few magazines, the TOP design TV shows and various blogs. Lily has a passion for art, technology and storytelling and maintains a strong link between her digital design work and physical art. “As a figurative painter, I mainly depict the human-animal interaction in our modern society through the making of art. Our fast-paced modern world doesn’t always allow us to experience an intimate connection with the natural world we are hoping to save.” Lily Perthuis www.lilyartist.com
Engineer, Product Manager, Digital Artist
Joe Bramwell-Smith is an English born digital strategist and product manager who has lived in Australia since 2003. His skills include: software development, web design, digital art, product management, digital strategy and marketing. Joe’s working life has involved some of the largest technology and publishing companies in the world as well as advertising, digital agencies and technology startups. “I am struck by the complacency that many feel towards the world we live in. By creating this work and promoting it I hope to encourage people to think about the impact that they are having, change their behaviour and actively participate in the conservation of our planet.” Joe Bramwell-Smith.