Bird Fight Painting Earns Spot in Prestigious Wildlife Competition

Locked, by Sarah Soward is a Finalist in DSWF: Wildlife Artist of the Year 2023

Locked, by Sarah Soward image
Locked, by Sarah Soward.  Two kori bustards lock beaks.  All rights reserved.  Sarah Soward. Used Here with Permission..  United States  2023.

Painting of bird fight by Sarah Soward earns spot in a prestigious international art show. Two huge African birds lock beaks in battle in a painting by Sarah Soward. The work, Locked, is a finalist in the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition in London this year. An avid animal lover & conservationist, Soward photographed the kori bustard birds in Kenya.

Each bird appeared out of nowhere on opposite horizons of the Kenyan savanna, running headlong toward each other, wings out, tailfeathers up. They clasped beaks without hesitation and proceeded to swing each other around in circles like children on a playground. In a mastery of centrifugal force, one bird won and stood triumphant while the other put his feathers away and loped back into the distance.

The painting is 30×24 inches, oil on canvas.

DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year is an internationally renowned wildlife art competition and exhibition, which each year attracts entries from some of the most talented artists around the globe, who come together to celebrate the beauty of the natural world. DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year has attracted more than 16,300 entries, and through entry fees, exhibition sales, and sponsorships, has raised more than $2.1 million. 

Each year, the exhibition showcases a breathtaking selection of shortlisted artworks which portray a variety of techniques and mediums, all commended by our expert judging panel. From recycled plastic sculptures to intricate pencil drawings, vast colourful oil paintings and everything in between, you’ll find the world’s best wildlife art on display. With entry income and 50% of the proceeds from all artwork sales supporting DSWF and our frontline conservation partners in Africa and Asia, this exhibition highlights how we can use art to create something powerful and ignite the conversation about conservation. 

Furthermore, we are delighted to announce that after three years away due to the pandemic, the much-loved DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition will be returning to the iconic Mall Galleries, London, for a week-long exhibition. Running from 12 to 16 September 2023, the exhibition will be open to the public for viewings and purchases of the stunning array of works. Alongside this, an online exhibition of all artworks will run from 4 to 16 September in the DSWF gallery and shop. 

About David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation 

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is a results-driven wildlife conservation charity operating across Africa and Asia to end wildlife crime and protect endangered species in their natural habitat. Working from grassroots to the world stage, DSWF adopts a holistic approach to conservation. We put people at the heart of our work and incorporate the vital importance of communities in our fight to protect the world’s most endangered wildlife. 

DSWF operates under three guiding principles: The Art of Survival: Fight. Protect. Engage 

We FIGHT wildlife crime through ranger empowerment, law enforcement programmes and international policy 
We PROTECT endangered species in their natural habitat and key environmental landscapes 
We ENGAGE with local communities and international audiences to educate and raise awareness to end wildlife crime 
Since 1984, DSWF has invested over $15 million directly into wildlife conservation. Harnessing the power of art, in memory of our Founder, the celebrated wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd, we continue to inform, inspire, and motivate people to join our fight to save wildlife. By investing in economically and socially vulnerable communities at the heart of the conservation landscape we fund programmes that tackle the drivers of wildlife crime, thereby securing safe spaces for wildlife to thrive. By supporting law enforcement operations, undercover investigations, education, and strategies to alleviate poverty we have a real impact, on key people and places, as we fight to turn the tide on extinction.