Dieter Braun unveils his latest book ‘Wild Animals of the South’

Together with Flying Eye Books Dieter Braun returns, bringing us Wild Animals of the South, the luscious follow up to his hugely successful Wild Animals of the North.

Traversing the five continents of the Southern Hemisphere, in his immediately recognisable style Braun brings together a stunning collection of illustrations of animals from across every imaginable habitat; from the jungle of South America, the freezing winds of Antarctica, to the scorched plains of Africa.

Cheetahs are the perfect sprinters. They have a long-legged and elegant body structure similar to a greyhound. Their paws have thick soles and their semi-retractable claws work like spikes - with the aid of these they can run up to 110 kilometres an hour.

Cheetahs are the perfect sprinters. They have a long-legged and elegant body structure similar to a greyhound. Their paws have thick soles and their semi-retractable claws work like spikes – with the aid of these they can run up to 110 kilometres an hour.

His exquisite use of geometric shape structures and textures imparts a genuine, almost visceral physicality to every animal he portrays. Though their habitats are second to the mammals, birds, fish and insects themselves, Braun’s often gestural, highly minimalist environments provide just enough context to give intense focus to each animals character; sensitively observed, capturing an incisive degree of behavioural understanding, despite their often refined aesthetic; whether that be the predatory gaze in the Tiger’s eyes, the muscular, hard knuckled pose of the Common Chimpanzee, or the deftness of a Hummingbirds wing.

Braun’s often gestural, highly minimalist environments provide just enough context to give intense focus to each animals character

Adam Clarke

“Humankind could exist without tigers, tapirs, or ocelots, but it would be wrong to assume that we are the most important creature on Earth.”

Adam Clarke

As demonstrated in it’s predeccessor Wild Animals of the North Braun provides insightful often playful descriptions and facts to accompany each wonderful illustration.

Two Toed Sloth’s have fur neatly parted on their bellies to allow rain water to run off them more easily; the beak of the Toco Toucan is a kind of air conditioner, releasing heat and regulating its body temperature.

Two Toed Sloth’s have fur neatly parted on their bellies to allow rain water to run off them more easily; the beak of the Toco Toucan is a kind of air conditioner, releasing heat and regulating its body temperature.

The collection is a joy to indulge in; though understandably, the more savage aspects of the natural world do not feature. After all, it’s hard to ignore that nature is not all beauty, poise, and elegance; while turning the pages I wonder just how Braun would convey the death roll of a crocodile clinging to the body of a buffalo, or a malnourished baby elephant craving water during a drought. Yet perhaps this is where the greatest strength of Dieter Braun’s work shines through? Without having to illustrate nature’s brutality, his work provokes us into thinking deeply about each animal; encourages us to contemplate and be mindful of the impressiveness of nature’s beauty, but above all else, mindful of what might be lost if humans fail to appreciate, protect and nurture that which we often so recklessly take for granted.

Braun encourages us to contemplate and be mindful of the impressiveness of nature’s beauty, but above all else, mindful of what might be lost if humans fail to appreciate, protect and nurture that which we often so recklessly take for granted.

Adam Clarke

Wild Animals of the South is available to buy now from Flying Eye Books (£20 excl. p&p).

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Posted on May 12th, 17 by | Twitter: @inkygoodness

Adam joined Inkygoodness in 2016 and is now a director of the company, working closely alongside founder and creative director Lisa Hassell. He is one of the main contributors to the site, and as editor-in-chief, the first point of contact for artist submissions.

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