Louis Masai has been living in London since 2010 and maintains a fairly balanced combination of painting in the studio and painting murals in the public domain. He gets huge enjoyment from both and embraces the influences that both practices have on each other. His subject matter focuses on endangered species, giving the voiceless a greater stature. Masai “focuses on animals but always strives to find a human reference to juxtapose an element that might not be previously obvious.”
Synchronicity Earth first worked with Louis in November 2014, when we ran a street art campaign, This is Now. He brought to life UK species and highlighted the growing threats faced by much-loved species, such as the hedgehog and house sparrow. His campaign was designed to bring awareness of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species home.
Louis painted a series of murals around London which included:
- Common crane – successfully reintroduced after UK Extinction
- Orange spotted emerald (dragonfly) – Extinct
- House sparrow – on the brink of Extinction in the city
- Lynx – possible reintroduction from Extinction
- Gudgeon – invasive species
- American bullfrog – Invasive species
- Scorpion – invasive species
- Hedgehog – on the brink of Extinction nationally
- Stag beetle – Vulnerable but still has strongholds in South East England
- Parakeet – Invasive species
In September 2015 Synchronicity Earth teamed up with Louis again – His Mission: to paint a 60 foot mural on a wall in Shoreditch, London.
Throughout the week, viewers were treated to the sight of an ecosystem coming to life. First came the diverse and abundant corals, and then the fish and mammal species that depend on them.
By the 7th day, the mural was complete.
We worked with production company Bozas International to create a short film of the mural’s creation (Produced and directed by Joanna Crow with cinematography for London shoot by Toby Madden).
The film featured the sights and sounds (courtesy of Bernie Krause – ecological sound recording expert, and musician – Cosmo Sheldrake) of reefs coming to life.