By Cecily Grace Morgan
A few weeks ago, artist Emmie Edwards tagged us in an awe-inspiring painting of orangutans on Instagram. We loved seeing such gorgeous orangutan artwork and were so proud to see that Emmie had worn a pair of our socks whilst painting it!
It turns out that Emmie loves orangutans just as much as we do. After watching David Attenborough’s Seven Worlds One Planet documentary in 2019 and witnessing the devastating effects of deforestation on Borneo orangutans, she wanted to make a difference. Searching the internet for ways to help, she came across our website and ordered her first pair of Critically Endangered Socks that very day (before asking for another pair for her birthday the following month!). She commented that she, “loved the brand, the products and the core values”.
With a clear mutual interest in orangutan conservation, we wanted to find out more about Emmie and her painting, so we had a little chat with her…
The painting is an entry for Nova Fine Art Gallery’s “Nova Artist of the Year” competition, an annual event which aims to discover and develop new artists. Each year’s competition has a theme and 2021’s is “strength”. Emmie explained that it didn’t take her long to decide that orangutans encapsulate this theme perfectly because they, “exhibit strength in their very existence”.
She also hopes that this painting will inspire humans to use their strength to fight for orangutans and reflect on ways they can help these beautiful apes.
She told us that she wanted to, “remind people of what beautiful creatures we are blessed with on this planet that we have a duty of caring for. I would love it if my painting could help raise awareness or encourage thoughts or research into how an individual could make a difference in helping to protect the orangutans.”
We couldn’t agree more. The plight of Borneo orangutans inspired the very creation of Critically Endangered Socks, just like it inspired Emmie’s painting, and we’ve included them in every range we’ve ever released. We admire Emmie hugely for using her amazing talent to raise awareness of the problems they face and how important it is to protect them.
However, orangutans aren’t the only lucky recipients of Emmie’s paintbrush as she loves painting all animals. She said, “I think that animals are nature's artwork. From the tiniest insects to the largest mammals, their skins, furs, feathers, eyes are so striking and beautiful...there is nothing more I enjoy painting.”
She also loves learning about animals, and makes sure that she really understands them before bringing them to life on her canvas. She told us that, “I really enjoy researching and learning about the animals that I paint. I try to suggest emotion...to convey a feeling or emotion for that animal in each piece. I hope that this gives my paintings story and depth.”
Inspired by her late uncle Michael, Emmie’s been painting since she was little and describes her artwork as “vibrant, textured, high-contrast, contemporary, and emotive”. We’ve fallen in love with it and feel so proud to have played a small role in the creation of her orangutans piece.
Fortunately, Emmie feels the same about Critically Endangered socks, stating that, “the products themselves are brilliantly bold & bright. The product quality is so good I have had my socks for years and they are just like brand new. My Critically Endangered Socks are still a great reminder to me when I wear them about the choices and decisions I make that can help protect endangered species and they motivate me to raise awareness and inspire others.”