‘War + Peace’ Book Update

'War + Peace', Selected Biro Drawings 2008 - 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken, Front Cover

‘War + Peace’, Selected Biro Drawings 2008 – 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken, Front Cover

This October book No.1/50 of ‘War + Peace’ was auctioned at the Savoy, London and raised £400 for Save Wild Tigers, an organisation dedicated to saving the last 3,200 wild tigers.

There is still time to order a copy before Christmas!  ‘War + Peace’ is a limited edition publication of 50 books worldwide, signed and numbered with an original gold tiger drawing made on the back page of each copy.

Here are some page images of ‘War + Peace’:

War plus Peace Page 6 and 7

‘War + Peace’, ‘Kaboom! Where did all the Animals Go?’, 2010 ”TV Screen III – Where East Meets West, Forests’ Memories’, 2010

 

'TV Screen II - Where Wolves and Bears Dare', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘War + Peace’, ‘TV Screen II – Where Wolves and Bears Dare’, 2011

War plus Peace Page 18 and 19

‘War + Peace’, ‘Butterfly Lover’ 2014

'War + Peace', Selected Biro Drawings 2008 - 2014, by Jane Lee McCracken, 'American Dream' 2014

‘War + Peace’, ‘American Dream’ 2014

About:

“War + Peace’, brings together a selection of my Biro drawings from several bodies of work produced between 2008 – 2014 including ‘Tales from the East’, ‘The Woodcutter’s Cottage’, ‘In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia’ and recent artwork for conservation projects. Inspired by my passion for childhood memoirs, fairy tales, travel, forests and animals and continuing exploration of the themes of ‘war’ and ‘loss’, these multiplex, layered drawings in colour or black Biro are often used as inspiration to create objects and installations. Taking photographs of films and documentaries, my muse Lily, people, animals and found objects as the foundation for my work and building layers of drawn images in Biro, my aim is to make art that represents the beauty and brutal reality of life thus creating ‘memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life lost’.”

To order a copy or for more information please visit my shop.

Original Gold Tiger drawing on back page of each copy.

Original Gold Tiger drawing on back page of each copy.

Biro Colour Palette and New Work in Progress…

Detail of colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

Detail photograph of colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

The following photographic images detail small fragments of a new colour Biro drawing in progress.  The drawing is part of a new body of work exploring the meaning of the word ‘War’.  This particular piece has been months in the making.

Detail of white horse, new colour Biro drawing

Detail of white horse, new colour Biro drawing

The colours in my drawings are mixed one on top of the other using 8 – 10 different colour Biro’s from a pack of 20 pens, in order to create the exact colours required. When painting in the past I would create a spectrum of colours using Red, Yellow, Cobalt, White, Paynes Grey and Yellow Ochre but with the pack of colour Biros I use this is impossible as the colours are geared towards children and include fluorescent hues.  You have to be inventive when mixing the colours within the drawing!  However Biro ink is a beautiful gelatinous ink which when applied to a surface achieves a vibrancy and volume rather like print pigments – one of the reasons I love Biro!

Detail of Roxy, colour Biro drawing

Detail of Roxy, colour Biro drawing

When painting, colours can be ready mixed on the palette so they can be reused within the canvas.  When using colour Biro each colour has to be created or recreated within the drawing by layering different colour pens on top of one another.   It takes a day to achieve 1/2 – 1 inch of a colour composition because you are often quadrupling the amount of pen layers as opposed to the fewer layers required to create the shades of a one colour drawing.

'Pilgrim', small detail of colour Biro drawing

‘Pilgrim’, small detail of colour Biro drawing

Within my work I like to use images of people, animals and objects that play a part in my life and this particular drawing memorialises a yearling and a mare who belonged to friends and sadly are no longer with us.

Still some way to go…

Lakshmi … Work in Progress on Tiger Sculpture Tattoo

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‘Lakshmi’ blue Biro drawing on Tiger Sculpture, Jane Lee McCracken

Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Vishnu’s wife, embodiment of beauty… this week’s work in progress on ‘Blue Tiger’ Sculpture Tattoo.

Side view of Lakshmi drawing  depicting how her shoulder and arm follow the curves of the tiger sculpture's right shoulder

Side view of Lakshmi drawing depicting how her shoulder and arm follow the curves of the tiger sculpture’s right shoulder

This blue Biro drawing is inspired by a vintage painting of Lakshmi and an image of a beautiful Italian film star!

Detail Lakshmi's face

Detail Lakshmi’s face

Lakshmi’s curves are enhanced by drawing her body over the muscular shoulder of the tiger.Her head is positioned at 90 degrees to Vishnu’s head drawn on the tiger’s back.

Vishnu and Lakshmi blue Biro tattoos on Tiger Sculpture

Vishnu and Lakshmi blue Biro tattoos on Tiger Sculpture

Symbolism plays a large part in the work I make forming an intricate web of analogies. Using objects as I find them for making art is also an important part of the process; imperfections tell their own story and if you look closely there are scratches on the surface of the sculpture that have been deliberately retained.

'King of India' blue Biro drawing part of Tiger Sculpture Tattoo

‘King of India’ blue Biro drawing part of Tiger Sculpture Tattoo

Last weeks tattoo drawing ‘King of India’ was drawn over the tiger sculpture’s back leg.  Vishnu’s hand is layered through the Bengal tiger’s face.

This work in progress highlights the familiarity of tigers iconic beauty and their symbolic importance to humanity.

Iggy Pop’s Staff Taxi Passenger

Experimental TV photo montage inspired by staff taxi journey's, 2005

Experimental TV photo montage inspired by staff taxi journey’s, 2005

St Mark’s Church, Oval 3am 1990’s –

In pools of amber light the graveyard paving stones age worn and large were ideal for a wake up game of ‘lines and squares’.  Waiting for staff taxis by a slumbering Oval Station, the surrounding streets were often tumbleweed silent. Sirens from the Metropolitan Police Brixton Grand Prix would suddenly blow the silence out of the city. London Underground jacket sleepily off the shoulder in summer, zipped to the chin in winter, my uniform issue hold-all always tossed to the ground, its contents – emergency railway lamp, manuals, hi-vi and Sartre’s ‘Nausea’, in disarray.

Jack Straw, a near neighbour passed by now and again in a chauffeur driven government Jaguar, tailed by grim faced bodyguards, his bespectacled eyes focused on white papers.  Passing cogs in the wheel of night working.  The feelings of vulnerability ‘taxi waiting’ on ‘earlies’ and ‘lates’ never depleted. Those friend or foe senses proved right time and again when a stranger appeared in the ghost town and you knew they weren’t going to just walk on by. The rarity of being female train crew in the 1990’s came with its own target board.

When the Hackney Carriage charger arrived conversation usually followed, intriguing and diverse; London cab drivers are notorious fountains of knowledge. Sometimes other train and station staff were picked up at stations like Borough or Bank, adding to the vibrant exchange as the cab juddered north along the route of the Northern Line. But sometimes the journey was silent and London by night could be appreciated. Art has accompanied me 24/7 since my first memory. Those moments of solace were all too brief and swiftly disappeared in the blinding yellow lights of the depot station. Vision eventually focused upon the bleary, bloodhound eyes of the duty manager booking on train crews and profanely sending us on our way to the grimy depot and the retrieval our trains.

Iggy Pop and David Bowie, Berlin 1977

Iggy Pop and David Bowie, Berlin 1977

Memories of those journeys and moments of freedom impacted and were expressed through several photo montage experimental pieces in the mid 2000’s layering film stills and photographs from that era. This experimentation led to the layering of images I use in my artwork to date.

The ingenius Iggy Pop’s  ‘The Passenger’ was the soundtrack of those consoling moments.

‘The Passenger’, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, 1977 You Tube

And everything was made for you and me – the firefly glow of St Paul’s dome, the blanched trace of fluttering wings on the backs of pigeons flying off London Bridge, polka dot flashes of halogen, red, green and amber illuminating the blank faces of sporadic night people, a car pumping out Drum and Bass, the beats swept away along the heavy breath of Old Father Thames.  And all of it is yours and mine.

‘War’ – New Multi-media Project

Photo image of new colour Biro drawing in progress

Photo image of new colour Biro drawing in progress

After a year making art for conservation, a new body of work on the subject of war is in progress!

This multi-media project inspired by found images, objects and films will explore the impact of ‘war’ on humans and animals in a series of pieces examining the emotional and physical implications of war, eternally memorializing the subjects featured.

With an ongoing theme aiming to view victims as individuals not statistics, ‘War’ will consider in-depth the equality of suffering between both animals and humans as well as analyzing the word ‘war’ in other contexts.

Keep up to date with project progress at:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/news

‘Coyote’ – For the Song Dogs of North America

‘Coyote’, 2015 black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

On 23rd May 2015 at Niagara on the Lake, Coyote Watch Canada will be holding ‘A Song Dog Celebration’, their first fundraising Gala event.  Coyote’s are known as ‘Song Dogs’ for their haunting vocal artistry and are one of the most adaptable and charming animals on the planet.

“Coyote” which was made exclusively for CWC’s ‘A Song Dog Celebration’ reflects on the harmony that once existed between coyotes and man, the destruction of that relationship, and the hope for a return to understanding and co-existence.

At the left of the piece are three images of coyotes. Coyotes form tight family bonds, one of the traits they share with humans. Like coyotes, First Nations people and Native Americans have suffered at the hands of ignorance and greed. While celebrating the harmony between native peoples and coyotes, “Coyote” also memorializes the loss experienced by both.

Reigning over the drawing is an image of Mother Nature as a native princess. The background is derived from Edward S. Curtis’s beautiful portrait of Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache (1899). Overlaid is an image of Audrey Hepburn’s face. Hepburn played Rachel Zachery in John Huston’s The Unforgiven (1960). The film, while flawed, attempted to explore the issue of racism towards Native Americans.

At the heart of the drawing is a coyote’s face layered through an image of the Rocky Mountains, suggesting the majesty of nature. A fifth coyote flashes through the piece, running towards the future. In Native American mythology, the coyote was seen as the Creator and sometimes took the form of man. Thus, layered through the coyote’s body is a representation of a native man, symbolizing the morphing of man and coyote into one being, forever entwined through mythology and history.

Finally, migrating monarch butterflies are projected on the coyote’s fur, representing hope and joy. They symbolize celebration of the work of Coyote Watch Canada in its quest for compassionate co-existence with coyotes and other wildlife.

This piece is for North America’s Song Dogs.

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‘Coyote’ original drawing will be auctioned at ‘A Song Dog Celebration’

 A Limited edition run of 50 A3 signed and numbered prints of ‘Coyote’ are available now with all profits going directly to Coyote Watch Canada:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/shop/conservation art prints

A special thank you to wildlife advocate David Shellenberger for his kind introduction to CWC and for his help and advice towards ‘Coyote’.

Christmas Presents from Malaysia!

Porcupine Family Camera Trap Image. Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Porcupine Family’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

Being privileged to work on an up and coming project for WCS-Malaysia Program has also brought about receipt of touching gifts – camera trap images all the way from the beautiful Malaysian jungle, capturing the unique and extraordinary wildlife of the Malay Peninsula. The stellar team at WCS-Malaysia Program, part of global conservation organisation the Wildlife Conservation Society, are working tirelessly to secure the future of Malaysian flora and fauna.  “A picture is worth a thousand words” and the following heartening images bring a message of joy and hope this Christmas, of thriving youngsters and WCS-Malaysia Program’s successes in the field.  Thank you to Melvin Gumal Ph.D., Director of WCS-Malaysia Program for these inspirational images.  For more information about their exceptional work visit www.wcsmalaysia.org.  Enjoy!

'Asian Elephants, Mother and Calf' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Asian Elephants, Mother and Calf’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Mother and Young Gibbon' Photo Credit:  WCS -Malaysia Program

‘Mother and Young Gibbon’ Photo Credit: WCS -Malaysia Program

 

'Young Organutans' Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Project

‘Young Organutans’ Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Project

 

'Bearded Pig and Young' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Bearded Pig and Young’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Malayan Tapir and Calf' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Malayan Tapir and Calf’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Trio of Pheasants',

‘Trio of Pheasants’, Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

 

'Sambar Deer and Fawn' Camera Trap Image.  Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

‘Sambar Deer and Fawn’ Camera Trap Image. Photo Credit: WCS-Malaysia Program

A very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015!

Slàinte Mhath!

‘Rhino 2014’

'Rhino 2014', In Homage to 'Africa', black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Rhino 2014’, In Homage to ‘Africa’, black Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

Revealed, ‘Rhino 2014’, for Mark Thorpe of Sea Wild Earth and Chengeta Wildlife!  An artwork dedicated to threatened wildlife across the globe.

“Inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s iconic drawing Rhinoceros’,1515 , ‘Rhino 2014’ by artist Jane Lee McCracken symbolises man’s curiosity and relationship with the natural world, from Dürer’s epochal representation, to the state of our environment to date. Within 500 years of Dürer’s creative legacy, rhinoceros species teeter on the brink of extinction alongside tigers, pangolin, sharks and other keystone species. Lions, elephants and manta ray have also reached threatened status. Where once rhinoceros roamed in vast numbers, treading a 50 million year old evolutionary path, from the 1600s onwards, rhino numbers have plummeted by 90%. Hunting, habitat loss and poaching for their horns to use in traditional Chinese medicine, factor amongst the reasons for their more recent and rapid decline. From a 16th century artist who executed man’s inquisitive propensity to study species never seen before in the west, Jane’s drawing underlines our vast 21st century intellect of wildlife and the threats that face life on earth. Ultimately this piece accentuates the cynosural qualities of the depicted species and the spirit of Emmy Award winning underwater cameraman, Mark Thorpe’s enlightening quote, “extinction in an age of awareness is simply inexcusable”.

Paying homage to the BBC documentary series ‘Africa’, 2013, Jane uses this as the pivotal inspiration for her Biro drawing as the majority of species represented in this artwork are from the African continent. A monumental wildlife series, presented by David Attenborough ‘Africa’ reveals the breathtaking beauty and fragility of Africa and the species inhabiting its lands. Jane photographed 1000’s of images of ‘Africa’ as it played onscreen to give a sense of cinematic transience to her drawing. There is also an evanescent quality to the piece, symbolising that species are disappearing at a rate beyond that of their natural cycle. By portraying specific animals that feature in ‘Africa’, she presents the individualism of each animal, both aesthetically and characteristically; thus emphasising the fact that each animal is unique and precious to the survival of its species. Selecting some of the most poignant scenes from the documentary, including perhaps the most touching of all, the death from drought enforced starvation of an elephant calf and the “little chat” between David Attenborough and a blind rhino calf, Jane confronts the threats these species face both naturally and at the hands of man.”

“Like it or not this generation is responsible for handing on the world’s wildlife to the next. No one knows what the future holds for this little creature [blind rhino calf], nor indeed what changes will take place on the great continent in which he lives … but one thing is certain, what happens here is more important than it has ever been and that the relationship of the rest of the world to this great continent and the creatures that live in it is more important than ever before. On whichever part of the planet we live we all have a part to play in what sort of future this wild continent has.” David Attenborough, ‘Africa’ epilogue.   

'Rhinoceros', Albrecht Durer, 15

‘Rhinoceros’, Albrecht Durer, 1515

Drawing Layers

'Rhino 2014', detail of elephants

‘Rhino 2014’, detail of elephants

Elephant Calf (Rhino back) – depicting one of the most moving sequences from ‘Africa’ this detail portrays the moment a starving elephant calf, too weak to hold up its head, collapses into the drought-ridden grass. This drawing symbolises that elephants endure natural adversities as well as poaching for their tusks.

Mother Elephant – layered above the dying calf is a drawing of its mother weeping over the death of her calf. Having stood vigil and tried to revive the calf, she accepts its death. Elephants are the only known species apart from humans to practice ritual behaviour when confronting death, including grief and have been known to show the same emotions when encountering human death.

Dead Elephant Calf and Mother Elephant – a tiny drawing through the centre of the piece shows the body of the dead calf lying in the dust and the moment the mother elephant senses she has to leave her calf and return to the herd.  Left behind to tend to her sick calf, the herd has continued its quest to find water and avoid further death.  As she turns and walks away on her journey a faded image of another adult elephant beyond her indicates that she eventually returns to the herd.

Adult Elephant – layered through the dying calf is an image of a triumphant adult elephant drinking from a water hole, celebrating the monumental greatness of the largest land mammal on earth, surrounded by the slight stature of gazelle and zebra.

 

'Rhino 2014', Starlit Rhino detail

‘Rhino 2014’, Starlit Rhino detail

Starlit Rhino – the main face and body of ‘Rhino 2014’ is inspired from a sequence in ‘Africa’ capturing newly uncovered rhino behaviour. Deemed unsociable, film evidence reveals that rhinos actually gather to socialise at a secret watering hole under the stars.

Blind Rhino Calf (drawing on main Rhino face) – one of the stars of ‘Africa’, a blind rhino calf’s every move is guided by rangers.   This drawing symbolises that each individual animal including this calf is precious and holds a key to the future security of its species.

Prehistoric Rhino Etching (drawing on main Rhino face) – prehistoric rock engraving of a rhino found in the Sahara becomes a layered drawing as if tattooed on the rhino’s skin and plays as a reminder as to how long rhinos have existed on earth.

'Rhino 2014', lions detail

‘Rhino 2014’, lions detail

Young Lion – portrait of a noble young lion suggests the majesty of ‘the king of the jungle’, but its eyes betray a reflective demeanour expressing that hunting and habitat loss have seen wild lion numbers plummet from 200,000 a century ago to fewer than 30, 000. The lion gazes up towards an uncertain future.

Lion Cub (under main lion) – portrait of a bright eyed lion cub personifies hope for the future of its species.

Dancing Manta Rays (throughout artwork) – inspired by a film entitled ‘Dancing Manta Rays’ by Mark Thorpe, drawings of manta rays appear throughout this piece and include a group of dancing manta rays layered through the central elephant’s ear. Hunted for their gill rakers to use in Chinese medicine the future of manta rays remains uncertain.

Pangolin (front leg of rhino) – the armoured body of a pangolin clings on to the walking rhino’s leg, suggesting the precarious status of pangolin species, racing towards extinction, caught for food and used in Chinese medicine. Tens of thousands of pangolin are traded every year.

South China Tigers, Mother, cubs & Male (back & front Rhino legs) when Jane began drawing ‘Rhino 2014’ in early summer the official number of wild tigers was less than 3500. By August the official number emerged as less than 3000 wild tigers. There are more tigers in captivity than in the wild. The small tiger cubs represent the future of tigers padding towards extinction, but ‘hope’ that it is possible not only to save wild tigers but all the species depicted in ‘Rhino 2014’.

Great White Sharks (layered through rhino body) – illustrates the grace of an enigmatic animal that has inhabited the earth for 500 million years. Sunlight flickering through the water, dances on the shark’s body, encouraging appreciation of the beauty and necessity of sharks in a bid to dispel their negative populist image. Shark finning for shark fin soup is rapidly depleting shark species populations; eleven species are endangered.”

'Rhino 2014', manta rays, tigers, pangolin and great white sharks details

‘Rhino 2014’, manta rays, tigers, pangolin and great white sharks details

Rhino 2014 will be used to raise funds for the inspirational Chengeta Wildlife working on the frontline to deter the trade of illegal wildlife products, protecting rhinos and elephants.

For further information about Mark Thorpe’s stellar film-making please visit Sea Wild Earth

'Pangolin' detail from 'Rhino 2014' by Jane Lee McCracken

‘Pangolin’ detail from ‘Rhino 2014’ by Jane Lee McCracken

‘War + Peace’, Selected Biro Drawings 2008 – 2014

'War + Peace', Selected Biro Drawings 2008 - 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken, Front Cover

‘War + Peace’, Selected Biro Drawings 2008 – 2014 Limited Edition Hardback Book by Jane Lee McCracken, 2014, Cover

Published today, I am delighted to say that 50 limited edition copies of my new book are now available.  Here is some information about ‘War + Peace’ and a look inside!

” ‘War + Peace’, by multimedia Artist Jane Lee McCracken brings together a selection of her intricate Biro drawings. This beautifully produced hardback book replicates every detail of Jane’s black and colour Biro drawings from several bodies of work spanning 6 years, including, ‘Tales from the East’, ‘The Woodcutter’s Cottage’, ‘In Homage to the Last Carnivores of Eurasia’ and her recent artwork for conservation projects. Inspired by her passion for childhood memoirs, fairy tales, travel, forests and animals and her continuing exploration of the themes of ‘war’ and ‘loss’, multimedia artist Jane makes multiplex, layered drawings in colour or black Biro, using her drawings as inspiration to create objects and installations.  Taking photographs of films and documentaries, her muse lily, people, animals and found objects as the foundation of her work, she builds complex layers of drawn images in Biro as if film still projections, resulting in monotone or colour abstracted pieces with an ethereal, cinematic quality.  Her aim is to make art that represents the beauty and brutal reality of life thus creating “memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life lost”. Evoking consideration of loss whether through war or disaster, her work draws upon empathy for the emotional or physical scars experienced by humans, animals or the environment.”

EDITION:

Limited Edition of 50 Hardback Books

Signed and numbered in gold with personal dedication option included

Original Gold Tiger Drawing produced in each copy

To purchase or for further information:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/shop/artbook

 Here is a taster of what’s inside! 

'War + Peace', Selected Biro Drawings 2008 - 2014, by Jane Lee McCracken, 'American Dream' 2014

‘American Dream’, ‘War + Peace’ 2014

 

'Our Forefathers' & 'Mummy Bear and Baby Bear', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘Our Forefathers’ & ‘Mummy Bear and Baby Bear’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'Butterfly Lover', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘Butterfly Lover’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'The Cupboard' & 'Sindy and the Troika', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘The Cupboard’ & ‘Sindy and the Troika’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'TV Screen II - Where Wolves and Bears Dare', 'War + Peace', 2014

‘TV Screen II – Where Wolves and Bears Dare’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014

'Shh, it's a Tiger!', 'War + Peace', 2014, Back Cover

‘Shh, it’s a Tiger!’, ‘War + Peace’, 2014, Back Cover

Original Gold Tiger Drawing in each book.

Original Gold Tiger Drawing in each book.

‘American Dream’ Limited Edition Prints Released!

'American Dream', colour Biro drawing, 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken

‘American Dream’, Luxury Limited Edition Archival Pigment Print of original colour Biro drawing, 2014 by Jane Lee McCracken

Dream the ‘American Dream’ with a luxury limited edition archival pigment print of of my original colour Biro drawing, celebrating the Wolf Conservation Center’s Ambassador wolves, Zephyr, Atka, Alawa and Nikai.

EDITIONS

20 A2 (same size as the original drawing) limited edition signed and numbered archival pigment prints

50 A3 limited edition signed and numbered archival pigment prints

are now available:

www.janeleemccracken.co.uk/shop/conservation art prints

All profits from each print sale go directly to WCC for their vital work conserving wolves.

 

For further information about this artwork please visit:

www.picturesoflilyblog.com/’American Dream’

Howls from WCC Wolves,

Jane

Photo Credit:  WCC

Photo Credit: WCC