Jhonny Alexander Salas works as a Help Desk team leader at Coin Street Community Builders. He has recently completed a BSc Environmental Management degree at Birkbeck University of London.
I’ve been passioned about wildlife and nature conservation since my early years growing up in Venezuela’s countryside. I remember for a while looking after my grandmother’s large bird collection; although, these days I can’t bear the idea of a bird in a cage.
Through my love for nature I became a photographer when I felt the need to learn more about urban wildlife and I wanted to be able to share stories of fauna thriving in urban cities, in particular London. Photography also allows me to connect with nature, to become a silence observer, this is the best mindfulness therapy you could ever practice. Over the years I have photographed many birds and mammals including my favourite urban foxes; I feel that to connect with nature is easier than anyone can think. I tend to name my most frequent wild friends, like the Canada gosling once I called Billy, the only survivor from three hatchlings in my local nature reserve pond. I followed Billy’s mum and dad (Mary and Igor) since they both decided to settle in the local pond. Through my volunteering work with the park manage, I was able to organise and positioned a floating wooden island in a safe part of the pond so the couple could settle easily. It was great to see them nesting and coming to me every morning for bird food. I learned that Canada geese have to ensure they settle in a safe place over summer, not only to nest but also to molt all their wind feather, a process that takes place over weeks and the bird become stranded without being able to fly.
My photography is mostly inspired by wildlife I encounter in the city, in my garden and the local park; we don’t need to travel far to enjoy birds sighting or to spot an urban mammal. I think all living things have intrinsic value, we are all part of one multicolour planet and we all should look out for nature and wildlife. I’m hoping through my photography to tell a positive story about wildlife.
I’m also a keen gardener and I believes that gardens and green spaces in London should allow wildlife to thrive, nothing is more satisfying than a green space well maintained to support a wide range of insects, invertebrates, birds and mammals.
Oh yes, the fox is called Angel 😊
As part of Pride Month 2020, Crossbeam and Waterloo Festival are presenting a blog, featuring LGBTQIA+ artists and those who hold LGBTQIA+ art dear to them.
Josh Mock, curating the series, writes:
"It is my hope that by sharing the stories of diverse artists, we can appreciate and celebrate all those who strive to use art as a vehicle for LGBTQIA+ inclusion, activism, and advocacy."