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Australian bush fire: Hythe artist hopes to raise money for appeal with koala print

A Kent artist is hoping to raise money for the on-going wild fire crisis in Australia by selling a limited edition print showing three koalas cuddling.

Since the devastating bush fires started in September they have burnt through an estimated 46 million acres of land, destroyed over 5,900 buildings, including approximately 2,683 homes and killed at least 29 people.

Artist and designer James Marsh is campaigning for the Australian wild fire crisis
Artist and designer James Marsh is campaigning for the Australian wild fire crisis

An estimated one billion animals have also been killed - such as koalas and kangaroos - and as a result some endangered species may be driven to extinction.

The fires have heavily impacted various regions of the state of New South Wales, as well as parts of Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, with a few areas in Tasmania and the ACT being mildly impacted.

Millions of pounds have already been raised to help those affected, including wildlife and the fire crews who are working around the clock to bring the fires to an end.

Firefighters from across the globe, including from New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and the United States, have been sent to help fight the fires.

And a designer from Hythe is now hoping to do his part.

Heart Felt - the limited edition artwork by James Marsh
Heart Felt - the limited edition artwork by James Marsh

James Marsh, 73, has created a limited edition print, titled Heart-Felt, that shows a family of koalas hugging and forming the shape of a heart, set against a sunset background.

The signed artwork is 40x40cm in size and comes on a giclee print, which is produced on heavyweight matt art paper.

Mr Marsh, who moved to Hythe in 2002, said: "It came about after I posted about the crisis on Facebook along with the image and it got such a good response I decided to offer it as a print.

"I do have family in Australia, some cousins from my mum's side - but this is not a personal move.

"This is about a global crisis; Australia is in a state of emergency but in my opinion this is all connected to global warming."

Only 100 of the prints will be produced, with 10 already being sold.

All money raised will go to the Australia Bushfire Emergency fund, organised by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

Prints cost £100, including worldwide postage and packaging, with all profits going to the charity.

To buy one, visit here.

VIP Tattoo Studio, in Maidstone, is also raising money to help animals affected by the devastating fires by offering a selection of themed designs for £50 each, with all earnings being donated to wildlife rescue organisation, WIRES.

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