Lio Verdonck has carte blanche

Welcome to our “Carte Blanche” corner, where volunteers, supporters and collaborators can say what they want about their experience with Wild Lab Projects.

September 9, 2023

Belgian artist LIO VERDONCK inaugurates this room, welcome to her!

Stewards of the North. ©Lio Verdonck

“I must say, it warms my heart, to be able to connect with Wild Lab Projects. Tromsø only became more popular as a travel destination in the past years. So many tour operators compete in finding the best spots for seeing the northern lights. Whale watching tours boomed as well, all leaving a huge impact on these animals, and their habitats.

Wild Lab Projects tries to inspire as many people as possible, to be aware of our impact on our surroundings. They introduce people to nature conservation, citizen science, and regenerative traveling. One single person can do so much harm to our planet, but that same person can also have a very positive impact on nature. Imagine a world where tourism has a positive impact on nature. It should be possible, shouldn’t it?”

That’s me !

“I grew up in an urban environment. But already as a child, I felt an enormous urge, to head out and explore our natural world. When we went hiking as a family, I always gathered as many shells and fossils that I could carry. I was so fascinated by all creatures I saw along the way, even the smallest insect, couldn’t escape my eye. In my free time, I was constantly drawing, and, while growing up, nature slowly made its way into my artistic work. It might not be surprising, that I felt very sad, when I saw people who didn’t respect these places and creatures.”

Siamese. ©Lio Verdonck

“Right now, the main focus in my artistic practice, Is the connection between humans and nature, even though, we actually are nature, many people feel estranged from it. Nature can be so strong and overwhelming, but there’s a vulnerability too, and, we have to be aware of it.”

Watercolor on pencil and paper. ©Lio Verdonck

“In my opinion, art and nature conservation go hand in hand, they can lift each other up. Art is a language that can speak to everyone, and, its message can cut quite deeply. When people first heard the recordings of whale songs, back in the 70s, they were stunned. Suddenly, these giant creatures, had a voice. If we feel connected to something, it’s so much more likely, that we will do our best to protect it. Humanizing humpback whales, by recording their songs, helped to protect them as a species.”

Singing whale ©Lio Verdonck

“As an artist, I would love to achieve something similar one day. I want to bring people closer to nature, they need to feel the connection between us. I believe we all have to look at our surroundings, as a part of our own backyard.We all are a part of nature, but quite often, we tend to forget this.”

Lio Verdonck. September 8, 2023.

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