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AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin filmmaker and photographer is using his talents to help a wildlife organization in Australia on the heels of the tragic wildfires.
Austrialia’s historic wildfires have reportedly scarred more than 20 million acres of land and killed nearly half a billion animals. AccuWeather predicts Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 will fall nearly 1% from a previously forecasted 2.75% growth, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. Australia’s 2018 GDP was $1.42 trillion U.S. dollars (roughly $2.053 trillion Australian dollars) so the estimated falloff in GDP would roughly total $14.2 billion U.S. dollars.
Kristopher Rutherford saw the news about Australia’s wildfire and wanted to do his part to help. He forgot about a project he worked on an animal portrait project in the fall of 2018 until his wife reminded him of the images. The purpose of the animal project, at the time, was to take animals out of their visual context and capture their personality in an artistic way, Rutherford said.
Now, he’s using his kangaroo portraits to benefit a good cause.
“Part of the country is on fire ecosystems are just being destroyed,” said Rutherford. “I think that was kind of the motivating factor, could we just help.”
He and his wife thought it would be a great idea to sell the work from this project and donate 100% of the proceeds to WIRES Wildlife Rescue in Australia. Each print is being sold for $10 apiece.
“WIRES is wildlife information rescue and education service,” Rutherford said. “And basically they take all the donations coming in and they’re working with numerous organizations around the country.”
Holland Imaging, a local print store, made the idea possible by discounting the cost of his prints.
“[Holland Imaging] were the ones who were kind of the backend hero in all this,” Rutherford told KVUE. “Without them, we would be at Walgreens printing it on horrible paper and we wanted people to have a real quality print.”
Rutherford and his wife weren’t expecting how quickly his pieces would sell – a pleasant surprise. They hit their original goal on the first day of selling photos and hit their next goal three days after that.
After seeing the impact made in just a few days, Rutherford wanted to take it up a notch. He wanted a digital option so the sales could potentially go global, and is now selling his work online. Rutherford started selling his work on www.kangarooprints.com to raise money for WIRES. One-hundred percent of the profits made will be donated to the organization to help support the Australia wildfires.
If you’d like to order some of Rutherford’s work, you can submit the form below.
Rutherford told KVUE whether if he sells only one more or 1,000 more, all the hours he’s put into this project have been worth it.
“Whatever small part we as a community can play, I think we should jump on board and play it,” he said.
Rutherford will be taking orders through the end of February before donating the proceeds to WIRES.
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