Artist Erases Her Drawings of Endangered Species Over Four Years for Extinction Studies Project

For the past four years, Tasmanian artist Lucienne Rickard has spent her days in a museum foyer in full public view drawing detailed pictures of animals.

She jokes that she’s the only exhibit that talks back.

The floor is covered in pencil shavings and has turned black from a thick layer of graphite.

Some of her drawings have taken three months to draw in painstaking detail, but as her project Extinction Studies comes to an end she will have nothing to show for it.

“Someone got me to calculate the dollar value on how many drawings I’ve erased and it’s over $100,000 now, if I sold them,” Dr Rickard said.

Each drawing of an extinct or endangered species gets erased as soon as it’s finished, symbolising the fragility of so many species and the finality of extinction.

“I’ll talk to people about whatever I’m drawing,” she said.

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