Working on this artwork has been a challenging and very enjoyable learning experience – and once I settled into the idea of producing what felt like a ‘commission piece’ (i.e. a work with expectations attached to it rather than springing forth from my usual spontaneous creative approach), I was able to relax and have fun, and the spontaneity happened anyway!
I’ve incorporated a number of Bolivian elements into the piece: the frog itself is like a living Bolivian mascot to me, decked out in the colours of the Bolivian flag and winding its way steadily through the wilderness, free and unfettered, just as it should be. I detest seeing beautiful creatures such as this in captivity: even the most cursory glance at the caged cousins of this splendid, vibrant creature will illustrate how sad and limited their lives are by comparison. So for me, this artwork celebrates the magic and wonder of freedom in nature…
In many ways this also seems to me to tie in with the fate of the Ayore and other indigenous peoples, as the World encroaches upon their freedoms and seeks to take away their rights to live freely upon and move freely through the landbase into which they were born – rights that we here in the ‘western world’ lost long, long ago…
In no particular order, you may or may not spot:
Ayore basket-weaving patterns, a rare Chiquitano orchid, the colours of the Bolivian flag (and the frog!), Quecha folk-art figurines, a Diablada mask (you may have to work quite hard to find that one!), lots of dots and stripes…oh, and one very special but also thoroughly ordinary Bolivian Monkey Tree Frog!
(All frogs in this area of Bolivia are known to the locals simply as ‘Rana’ – the Spanish word for frog. ‘Cocoi’ is the Ayoreo word for frog, the Ayore being the indigenous people with whom Jason works…)
Original art by Jay Taylor.
Acrylics, acrylic inks, UniPin fineliner pens and collaged objects on 10″ × 12″ canvas-covered board