Overworked and overburdened.
In developing countries, donkeys are used as draught and pack animals. They are the workhorses of the poor and a great help to their owners. Unfortunately, these hard-working donkeys often suffer under the ignorance or indifference of their owners. They are regularly beaten, forced to carry heavy loads, have open wounds because they are improperly harnessed and they sometimes have to chew on a barbed wire bit. Their lives can be short, and filled with agony. They work day in, day out in extreme temperatures, often with inadequate materials, little food and without veterinary care when they are ill or injured. Many of these donkeys are in constant pain.
Luckily, there are good shelters, like the Donkey Sanctuary and the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (Spana), both located in Great Britain. They provide aid worldwide to improve the conditions of working donkeys and mules in the world’s poorest communities. I was moved by their mission, as I couldn’t do much more than paint a portrait of Hope the donkey with my brush and oil paints. Hope is a symbol for all working donkeys after they have received proper care. That’s why the harness says Save the working donkeys.
To everyone reading this, I want to recommend visiting a local donkey shelter to get to know these amazingly sweet animals and to hear their less fortunate life stories. The volunteers at the shelter will tell you about them, since there is also suffering going on closer to home. Hope the donkey in the painting is one of the lucky donkeys with a good life.
Hope the Donkey and other farm animals on show:
Solo exhibition, Alexandra Klimas – Farm Animals
Opening: 13 Jun 2019, 18.00 – 20.00
13 jun 2019 – 9 Jul 2019
Event times Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm
By appointment only Cost of entry: Free
Plus One Gallery, Piper Building, Peterborough Road, London