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Animal Dream Lands

Loss of habitat is occurring at a staggering rate – impacting animal species worldwide bringing them to the brink of extinction. Concentrating on the positive, Vanessa's work seeks to bring awareness to this issue by exploring dreams as a simple means of escaping to the places we love. In these idyllic places we can roam, swing, climb, jump, fly, swim, play, hunt, laugh, happily doing as we please!

These paintings explore how dreams can transport sick children and endangered animals to their favourite places even when the reality can be very different.

The style for this group of paintings has come from Vanessa's love of experimental mark making, minimal colour palette’s and the chalky softness of gouache on paper. Each composition has been roughly divided into 1/3 animal and 2/3’s bold abstracted landscapes linking style and composition throughout the works.

During this project, Vanessa has also collaborated with creative writer Katie Manekshaw, who has brought the plight of these endangered animals to life with her poetic verse. Katie has written a short poem to accompany each painting and is working with Vanessa to create a children’s book.

“I have written a collection of fun poems that are informative and light-hearted on the surface. But subtly deliver a poignant message about the uncertain environments in which these magnificent species struggle to survive” – Katie Manekshaw.


Artworks are available to purchase, with a portion of each sale contributing to the fundraising efforts of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.

To see the full exhibition, click here.

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