08 January, 2018
Artist paints brighter picture for endangered wildcat
One of the many paintings created by the Dumfriesshire artist is a piece featuring a charming Scottish wildcat.
The SWA team were struck by the painting’s personality and colour. Subsequently Ailsa kindly offered to donate a percentage of the sales from her wildcat greeting card packs and prints to support the work of Scottish Wildcat Action.
SWA is partnership involving more than 20 organisations and its five year project aims to save the critically endangered Scottish wildcat from extinction. It is led by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and is working to protect the species in five Wildcat Priority Areas – Northern Strathspey; Morvern; Strathpeffer; Angus Glens, and Strathbogie.
The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Partners include the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland (RZSS); Scottish Natural Heritage; Scottish Wildlife Trust; Forestry Commission Scotland; National Museums Scotland; Cairngorm National Park Authority, and the Scottish Government.
Ailsa commented on her decision to support Scottish Wildcat Action and its aim to save the Scottish wildcat.
She said: “I am delighted to be working with Scottish Wildcat Action to help support our iconic Highland tigers, which teeter on the brink of extinction.
“I have also supported Scottish badgers and have worked in the past with RSPB so nature conservation and wildlife are very close to my heart. If I can help in some small way through my art, to highlight the plight of the Scottish wildcat, then that is fantastic.”
Dr Roo Campbell, the priorities area manager for SWA, said: “When we first saw Ailsa’s painting of the Scottish wildcat we all loved it.
“It is brilliant that Ailsa has offered to support the project by highlighting the perilous position the Scottish wildcat finds itself in and we are so grateful she has decided to go even further and donate to the project through sales from her wildcat cards.”
Ailsa’s work captures the daily comings and goings of village life and regularly features wildlife. It has seen her garner a sizeable following through her social media channels.
According to her website her art ‘embraces the simplest and deepest joys in life, those cherished moments of quiet companionship when the world seems at peace.’
She works from a seaside studio in the tiny Scottish village of Carsethorn in Dumfries and Galloway and trained at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen where she studied Graphic Design and Illustration.
Her website address is www.ailsablack.com and her Scottish wildcat picture is available in a number of formats, including greetings card packs and prints.
- SNH Media
Notes to editors
The Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris) is one of our most endangered mammals and our only remaining native cat. It urgently needs action to save shrinking populations in the wild. Following habitat loss and persecution through the 19th century, the wildcat is now restricted in the UK to the Scottish Highlands north of the central belt. Today the wildcat faces the additional threat of hybridisation with domestic cats, which can also pass on diseases to wildcats.
Other organisations committed to delivering the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan are: Aigas Field Centre; British Association for Shooting and Conservation; Chester Zoo; Highland Council; Highland Foundation for Wildlife; John Muir Trust; Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority; National Farmers Union Scotland; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; Scottish Land and Estates; Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University and Aberdeenshire Council.
Tha Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba na buidheann comhairleachaidh dhan riaghaltas a thaobh nàdair agus seallaidhean-tìre air feadh Alba. ’S e an dleastanas a th’ againn cuideachadh a thoirt do dhaoine gus tuigse, luach agus tlachd fhaighinn bho nàdar na h-Alba, an-dràsta agus san àm ri teachd. Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh, tadhail air www.snh.gov.uk/gaelic no lean sinn air Twitter aig http://twitter.com/SNH_Tweets