Monday, April 02, 2007


Why do apes fascinate humans so much? Do we see ourselves in them, or they in us? I remember years ago being at a zoo and watching a big male orangutan who was watching me as well. We held eye contact for a good 5 minutes with about two ape arm lengths between us in a fairly open zoo.

I continued to photograph him and watch him when he stretched his arm as far as he could out between the bars of his enclosure to pick a dandelion from the grass, then he held it out to me. I so wanted to take the flower he was offering, but couldn't. It was one of those moments in life when you feel as if you can read the animal's mind. Or so I believe. Now taking that flower may well have meant, he'd rip my arm off, but it felt safe somehow with him.

These chimpanzee sketches were the start of a WDE at WetCanvas that never quite got finished. I'd like to go back and doing a painting or coloured pencil drawing of a primate. They do have a fascination to me and perhaps I to them.

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