On the wall of a residential street in Charlton, south London, Louis Masai puts the finishing touches to a striking large-scale mural of an orangutan.
The British artist, known for his signature patchwork style, travels around the United Kingdom to paint colourful murals of animal species in decline or on the brink of extinction, to issue a warning about the devastating effects of climate change and biodiversity collapse.
According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) there are currently 23,250 species listed as threatened. This means: critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. Adding extinct and extinct in the wild species the figure is 24,153.
It’s widely predicted that as many as two-thirds of all species could be near extinction by the end of this century. But, some are now rising in population due to increasing concern about the extinction crisis. Co-ordinated conservation efforts include the protection of natural habitats and prevention of destructive practices such as illegal hunting.
Louis Masai is a painter, sculptor, illustrator and street artist perhaps best known for his murals of endangered animals.
A graduate of Falmouth School of Art, he strives to find a human reference to animals juxtaposing an element that might not be previously obvious.