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Sophie Chatz is an illustrator and brand strategist who runs nature-centric marketing collective Earthly.
In The Tropics is a magical view through lush jungle vegetation against an inky night sky. Its central monkey character caught midway through eating a banana was originally photographed on a trip through India (though, admittedly, he didn't have wings then). We were in Hampi, soon to be a UNESCO world heritage site, a place so strewn with temples you could barely walk a few metres without tripping over an ancient stone.
As someone who cares deeply about the natural world and the damage we are doing to it, I try to find novel ways to remind the viewer how precious our world is. In my opinion, mass mindset change will only happen through positive visions of the future, rather than dwelling in depressingly gargantuan issues. Instead of making little incremental changes like recycling, we should be imagining better ways of being, and then innovating, changing whole systems, and designing waste out of our lives completely.
I often abstract and re-imagine botanical forms to bring in a sense of magic and wonder for a natural world that we may sometimes take for granted. Sometimes when we see things with fresh eyes, they make us feel something new. Richard Mosse's Africa State of Mind exhibition used this approach with infrared videos and photography of human violence and war in the Congo - with the pink tones giving us fresh eyes on what we have become desensitised to in the news. I've carried that idea with me ever since.
I love the jewel colours of the rainforest and my palettes are often blue-green and dusky pink.
In the Tropics: fresh eyes on nature