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Artist: Helen Donley

Medium: Aquatint & Drypoint

Dimensions: Paper Size 30 x 38cm / Image Size 21.3 x 25cm

Edition: 3/18

Work will be dispatched on completion of the Endless Forms, Most Beautiful exhibition closes on the 13 July.

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  • About this print

    I first came across the axolotl at Tynemouth Aquarium.

    I was fascinated by the fact they reach adulthood without growing out of their juvenile state. They can also re-grow most of their body parts, including parts of the brain.

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is related to the tiger salamander. It is paedomorphic, meaning it retains its juvenile features (such as it’s feathery gills) as an adult. Salamanders are born from eggs and start life under water. They then go through metamorphosis into an adult salamander which mostly lives on land. The axolotl however, lives its whole life under water and whilst it develops lungs, can breathe through its skin and external feathery gills.

    In the wild they are critically endangered. The are known to be found in a few locations in lakes and canals around Mexico City, particularly Lake Xochimilco. There are thought to be 50-1000 left in the wild.

    The axolotl’s natural habitat has been affected by urbanisation, pollution and new fish species such as carp and tilapia being introduced.

    Whilst axolotls live and breed well in captivity, there are conservation projects in Mexico to save the species and restore and regenerate its natural habitat.

  • Endless Forms, Most Beautiful

    A new bestiary and herbarium for at risk species by artists from Northern Print.

    “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support visits, new printmaking and school’s programme for this project.

    Northern Print artists bring together traditional printmaking and the natural world with a series of new prints highlighting the diversity of species that are categorised as ‘at risk’.

    The ‘endless forms’ include marine life; plants; birds; insects and mammals with many familiar and much-loved species as well as less known and intriguing creatures that have captured the imagination and hearts of Northern Print’s artists.

    This exhibition of 45 new prints has been made following a series of visits to our region’s natural history collections and habitats and represents the tiniest tip of the iceberg of our natural world under threat.

    The artwork includes a range of approaches and printmaking processes – including heritage craft skills also deemed at risk including letterpress and mould-made papers

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