Fiona Francois - Devil's Advocate

Fiona Francois
Devil's Advocate
digital print of original drawing
40 x 40cm
Edition of 25

Fiona Francois - Artist's Statement

The Tasmanian Devil is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae. It is endemic to Tasmania, however it has been recently introduced to NSW with a small breeding population in an effort to preserve the species. The Devil is classified as endangered with populations across most of the state declining 80% since 1996 mostly due to a contagious facial tumour disease (DFTD). Other serious threats have been roadkill, habitat destruction and climate change. Sadly, as this is the Devils’ last stand, I have chosen to show this female Devil standing on the top of a felled tree in a cleared forest. The dramatic root system of the tree creates an infinity shape through which you can see the post-apocolyptic-style destruction of the forest. The reference material used for the Devil is from a real-life animal in captivity at Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary. The black & white bleak drama of the charcoal landscape is punctuated by the colour pencil features of the Devil, drawing attention to the urgency of saving this living species before it’s too late.

his work was submitted by the artist as part of Wild Island's Threatened Species Project 2023. One third of the proceeds will go to Tasmanian Orchid Conservation & Research Program and the Swift Parrot Surveying & Monitoring Program (in conjunction with BBF, TWS and GRANT) and will continue to support Friends of The Orford Bird Sancturary.

In 2022 Threatened Species Project proceeds went to Friends of The Orford Bird Sanctuary and the Miena Cider Gum Recovery Program.

Threatened Species Project, 3rd October - 5th November 2023

There are 683 species of plants and animals, including insects and other invertebrates, on Tasmania's Threatened Species List. Yes, there are the iconic ones so many people know about, but there are numerous species that are tiny, little known or ‘less attractive’, which are no less important to our rich and varied eco-system. This new exhibition will expand our understanding of the range & diversity of threatened species and educate of their plight. It also aims to raise much needed funds to go towards their support.

It’s a small thing we can do during an age of climate change, mass species decline and habitat loss.


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