Roa at Healesville Sanctuary

Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys parvus)

Roa left Melbourne a couple of days ago. What an amazing month or so it has been. After arriving in Melbourne from Puerto Rico, one of the first things he did was visit Healesville SanctuaryHealesville Sanctuary is a not-for-profit conservation organisation dedicated to fighting wildlife extinction through breeding and recovery programs for threatened species and by working with visitors and supporters to reduce threats facing endangered wildlife. The Sanctuary is a very important part of Roa’s whole visit to Melbourne, a major part of his show at Backwoods Gallery, Carrion, which I will go into more detail about in my next post.

Wombat (Vombatus Ursinus)

The first day was all about Roa meeting the animals. He got the royal treatment from the Sanctuary and all the keepers, getting to go behind the scenes and really meet the animals, touch, feel and hold most of them.

The next few days were a combination of painting some of the animals he met, and preparing for the show. He painted three pieces while at the Sanctuary, the most exciting would have to have been the Platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinus) on the water tower (featured in the video). I was lucky enough to be there with Roa and experience the breathtaking views, hip hop, pizza and beer. A perfect afternoon 🙂

I was going describe in detail how inspiring and important this place and experience was for ROA, but I decided not to after watching this video the Sanctuary had made. I couldn’t have said it better that ROA does.

ROA at Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne, Australia from Matt Harding on Vimeo.

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinus) close up
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinus) on the Healesville Sanctuary water tower
ROA sketching a Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys Parvus)
Work in progress on the Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys Parvus)

A massive thank you to CIA and Theo for the Sanctuary hook ups, thank you to Judy and all the staff and keepers at Healesville Sanctuary for the amazing hospitality. Thanks to Think for the photos. Thanks to Matt Harding for the video.

Photos by Think