Ila France Porcher is presenting her original artwork in a new exhibition called Eternity’s Children at Hope Art Gallery in December.
Porcher is a self-taught published ethologist who is known for her wildlife art, and for her discoveries regarding the intelligence and social nature of sharks.
She began her career as a Canadian wildlife artist (under her former name of Ila Maria) and became intrigued by the intelligent action of the wild animals she observed and painted.
When Porcher moved to Tahiti, she investigated the local wildlife and focused on sharks since they were the first wild creatures who came to her instead of fleeing. The blackfin reef shark accepted her as a companion and she was able to document their intelligence and cognitive ability. Part of her studies of the shark was published in the journal Marine Biology.
When the sharks she was studying were slaughtered for the shark fin soup market, Porcher decided to write a book about them called My Sunset Rendezvous: Crisis in Tahiti.
She also pioneered the International Year of the Shark in 2009, using the Internet to generate shark protection globally which is still expanding.
Restaurants across the world, including Vancouver, are now banning shark fin soup.
An artist reception will be held on Saturday Dec. 8 from 2-4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Hope Arts Gallery is located at 349 Fort. St.