These Screen Prints Beautifully Embody the Plight of Endangered Animals

Under the Skin and Lonely Whale shine a light on ecological disaster

If you're looking to support efforts toward cleaner oceans and improvements in marine life, Under the Skin and Lonely Whale have a unique art piece for sale that contain more than meets the eye.

Under the Skin, co-founded by brothers Ed and James Harrison, creates hand-crafted, interactive prints that call attention to the beauty and vulnerability of the world's most endangered animals. The company has partnered with environmental group Lonely Whale to produce a limited edition of 120 screen prints of the humpback whale. Under UV light, the animal's skeleton appears, indicating all that remains when a species falls into the darkness of extinction. 

"This art showcases the beauty of humpbacks, while at the same time, illustrates the challenge marine species face as the ocean warms," says Dune Ives, CEO of Lonely Whale.

Twenty percent of each purchase is donated to the Ocean Heroes Network, a program co-founded by Lonely Whale and Captain Planet Foundation that gives agency to young people ages 11-18 to take action against plastic pollution in their communities around the world.

"In a way, these prints speak to the resiliency of our young Ocean Heroes, who are taking action every day in their communities around the world against single-use plastics," says Ives.

Each print is carefully handcrafted using sustainable and recyclable materials meant to last for generations. "The difficulty of their process is time-consuming and impressive," Ives says of Ed and James Harrison's work. 

Click to see a gallery of images:

The Harrison brothers launched Under the Skin in 2015. The goal has been to create prints to help fund organizations and foundations that protect endangered species like the great hammerhead shark or the yellow crested cockatoo.

Buyers receive the phosphorescent print, along with a UV light to reveal the anatomically correct skeleton of the whale. The package also includes a framing guide, a makers booklet explaining the process of making the print, ocean postcards, and a leaflet of the partner charity Lonely Whale. 

"We're giving the customer as much information as possible on the species they are protecting and where that money is going because we feel transparency is really important," said James Harrison.

Ed Harrison has expressed that Lonely Whale's inclusivity and empowerment with its audiences brings a fresh approach to their campaigns. "An awareness is the first step," he says.

James has described the project as a success story, shedding light on how awareness and action can decrease ocean plastics and save species like the humpback whale. 

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Shantel Risher
Shantel Risher is former digital operations associate at the Clio Awards.

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