At the end of October the annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists, The Natural Eye, will be returning to Mall Galleries. We spoke to Jill Moger SWLA about her private commissions.

Sculptor and lover of reptiles and amphibians, self-taught artist Jill Moger SWLA creates ceramic artworks depicting a variety of cold-blooded wildlife. She was commissioned by a collector in her hometown, who requested a rather unusual and amusing piece.

The playful sculpture she created shows a baby crocodile sitting snugly inside a crocodile-skin handbag. The style is typical of Jill’s work, with an earthy colour scheme and intricate, lustred scales on both crocodile and bag. A second similar piece was commissioned by someone in London.

Jill Moger SWLA, Crocodile Bag

With this particular commissioned artwork, a serious point about animal conservation underpins the concept behind Crocodile Bag: the live animal is so much better to see live in the wild than any fashion accessory made with its skin.

The people who approach Jill for commissions range from reptile experts to wildlife enthusiasts or anyone who simply likes the look of her work. She says she was particularly thrilled when her sculpture of the rare Tuatara lizard was bought by a professor working at the Natural History Museum, after falling in love with it at an exhibition.

For her source of inspiration, Jill visits numerous zoos, sanctuaries and private collections of reptiles, and owns an extensive book collection of photographic reference on such wildlife. With sculptures of iguanas being the most popular commission request, Jill’s subject matter largely comprises of reptiles. However, she does not limit herself to this sole group of species and has also created sculptures of coral reefs and insects. Jill is passionate for the protection of all these species, some of which are endangered due to the destruction of their habitat and illegal poaching. 

Jill Moger SWLA, Crocodile Bag

Interviewed by Jessica Baxter

An artwork commission is a personalised experience that is different for everyone, at Mall Galleries we employ Commission Consultants to guide you through the process of commissioning an artwork from choosing an artist to choosing an artwork that is suitable for your home or business.

If you would like to find out more information regarding commissioning an artwork or book a private consultation, click here.