Critical Critters

When Ralph and Ceri Levy looked back at their previous books, Extinct Boids and Nextinction, they could not see what else they could give back to the world of birds. And then it hit them. why not bring their tale telling, both tall and truthful, to all the other endangered creatures out there? From lions, tigers and bears to whales, beetles, bees and snakes, there were sadly a whole host of stories to uncover and once more humans were at the heart of the problem. Ralph and Ceri decided to champion the challenged creatures of the world. They would stick up for the Critical Critters!

A selection of the Critters were featured in a 2019 collection of shoes, decks and t-shirts by global, urban fashion brand, Vans. We were honoured to partner with WildAid, the conservation charity who work all over the world trying to save some of the most endangered species from complete annihilation.

Scroll down for more information on individual critters.

The Dirty Water Technique

One night when Ralph was locking up the studio for the night, he knocked over a cleaning brush pot of his inky, dirty water onto a sheet of paper lying on the studio floor. "Blast it" he exclaimed but then stopped short as a blu-ish inky filthy mess spread across the white page. "That looks interesting! Let's see how it dries."

The next morning it had dried out very well and upon showing it to Ceri it was decided that a fish could be seen emerging from within the accidental filth. Ralph went away and conjured up the Critically Endangered Humphead Wrasse. A method had been discovered which would breed over 100 critical critters from almostevery branch of the evolutionary tree of life - the dirty water technique was born and out of this primordial like ooze, so were the critters.

So water would be thrown down like an artistic gauntlet, the challenge - to find the critter amongst the blots, arising like pheonix's from the flames. The critters explode from the page, challenging the viewer to help, to defend, to save them from annihilation.

 

Blot from Critical Critters that became Indri by Ralph Steadman

Indri in Tri Blot

Blot that became the White Antelope in Critical Critters by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy

White Antelope Blot

Elephant Shrew blot from Critical Critters by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy

Elephant Shrew Blot

Indri in Tri

White Antelope from Critical Critters by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy

White Antelope

Elephant Shrew from Critical Critters by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy

Elephant Shrew

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