In the town of Kirkwall, on the majestic archipelago Orkney, you will find a charming gallery, home to local artist Jane Glue whose vibrant artwork captures the Orkney landscape like no-one else.
Orkney’s impressive profile lures travellers over from the north easternmost tip of the Scottish mainland and into the North Sea.
It’s this location in the North Sea that makes the archipelago so alluring to wildlife. The powerful channel running south side is a vital passage for porpoises, dolphins, orca and minke whales. Its cliffs are living walls of fulmars, great skuas, auks and other seabirds. But it’s the story of the seal, and Sea Shepherds fight to protect them that brought Jane to support us.
“In 1977, in my hometown of Kirkwall, the tourist industry was in its early stages and one of the tourist products being produced were seal skin gifts. Each year our seal population was culled, a 'normal' event that was accepted as a way to control numbers as some people believed that the seals ate lots of fish. But not everyone agreed, and during the summer of 1977, anti-cull demonstrations took place.
Alongside ‘Greenpeace’ were the newly formed 'Sea Shepherd' activists who together were trying to stop the cull. Of course, there was a lot of opposition, many locals didn’t appreciate being told to change something that had been happening throughout many generations. But as the years have gone by most Orcadians have realised what a barbaric thing the cull was and gradually the practice of killing the baby seals stopped.
Tourism has grown into the second biggest industry here and our wildlife, an important part of this industry. Visitors and locals enjoy watching our seal colonies and the idea that they were once culled now seems abhorrent.
A big thank you Sea Shepherd from me and many other people in Orkney for your actions during the seventies and what you continue to still do across the world. It just goes to show that a culture can change and that it is worth doing!”
Today, Jane works to protect marine wildlife by actively supporting Sea Shepherd’s work and is kindly donating 10% of her profit from the sales of her limited edition ‘Silver Darlings’ print, a stunning print!