(ANIMAL ACTIVISM/ART) Column Five Media, a company that produces creative work that “informs, engages, and inspires,” upholds a tradition every year that involves showing their appreciation to their partners and publishers.
This year, Column Five was inspired by one of their columns entitled “Be Good To Each Other,” to create a set of three limited-edition fine art letterpress prints linked together by their common theme of “yin-and-yang animals.” Each print was impressed on environmentally friendly paper made from 100 percent cotton linters.
The Yin and Yang motif was chosen to reflect the natural difficulties that invade the prospect of “being good.” They wanted to focus on the complexity between the push and pull of our natural relationships with one another, especially the balance between collaboration and conflict.
According to the Column Five team,
“Because we are all ultimately animals, we turned to nature for inspiration, searching for examples of animal kingdom relationship that best represent the spectrum of these relationship dynamics. We delved into research, considering well-known animal relationships (like the age-old conflict between dog and cat) and reading about lesser-known and more unusual pairings that seem almost inconceivable.”
They ultimately decided on three animal relationships—each teaches a valuable lesson about working together.
1. Red Fox & Gray Fox
With this print, Column Five hopes to display the human tendency to often overlook our similarities and instead focus on our differences. Both the red and gray foxes are common to North America, and due to deforestation, they have been forced to compete against each other for food and resources. Despite their similarities and common enemies, they have turned into fierce components and demonstrate a much-needed lesson in the benefits of working together, rather than at odds.
2. Lioness & Baby Antelope
Focusing on the positive human traits of empathy and compassion, this particular print highlights the same qualities in the animal kingdom. The relationship is even more powerful given that it’s between natural-born enemies. This print focuses on a particular lioness in Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve who adopted newborn antelopes and protected them from predators as well as humans—even mourning over their deaths. Column Five emphasizes that “our nature and interactions are what we make of them.”
3. Wolf & Raven
The final print focuses entirely on the strength of human relationships that are forged through a symbiotic nature. A relationship that has long been discussed through folklore and contemporary literature, the wolf and raven have always displayed a tendency to work together for both the species’ benefit. The ravens travel with wolf packs and circle around them to communicate the presence of food, and the wolves in turn invite the ravens to share their kills by opening the carcass to expose meat. The two partake in one of the strongest relationships in all of the animal kingdom.
To learn more about Column Five’s campaign and philosophy, visit their website at columnfivemedia.com.