W+K Amsterdam show pays tribute to lost animal species

Lost and Not Found features over 50 artworks based on 12 species that are now extinct, in a bid to raise awareness and protect the creatures we do have left

Inspired by the theme of this year’s Dutch Design Week – ‘If not now, then when?’ – Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam has launched a show dedicated to raising awareness around lost animal species and the impact of human behaviours like pollution and poaching.

Lost and Not Found has been curated by W+K Amsterdam’s in-house Design Studio, and features work by over 50 artists and designers. The artists were asked to focus on a range of 12 species that are now extinct, including the Baiji Dolphin, the Pyrenean Ibex, the West African Black Rhino and the Caspian Tiger.

The artists’ methods vary when it comes to driving home the message. Design studio Smörgåsbord went with an explicit approach by depicting a target emblazoned across an image of a Caribbean Monk Seal, a species officially declared extinct in 2008. Meanwhile, illustrator James Fenwick and creative studio Sucuk und Bratwurst chose to highlight the majesty of these creatures with a quieter yet no less imperative message. Elsewhere, Petra Eriksson’s vivid artwork Looking For A Friend tugs at the heartstrings, and Toby Morris’ Lonesome George makes a profound reference to the last male Pinta Tortoise, which became recognised as a symbol of conservationism.

All of the artworks will be on display at W+K Amsterdam until January and are also available to buy as limited-edition prints – including print versions of the animations – with all proceeds from the artworks going to the Rainforest Trust.

The initiative marks a continued effort from the creative communities to draw attention to wildlife concerns, climate change and environmental issues as a whole, where familiar images are seemingly being traded for a more engaging approach.

Top image: Caspian Tiger by Minji Moon; this image: Looking For a Friend by Petra Eriksson
The Fade Out by Gizem Vural
Gold Toad by Sucuk und Bratwurst
Baiji by Dan Mututina