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You may have caught sight of some unusual animals on the prowl in Byron Bay this week, but be sure to take a second look – there’s much more to Byron-based artist, Christian Palmer’s, series of animal portraits than a brush of paint: each one represents a story, each one asks you to stop and think.

His painting of an elephant, for example, highlights efforts to stop the ivory trade in Singapore; proceeds from the horse portrait go to support an animal sanctuary in Tasmania; the jersey cow offers a critique of the live-export trade. But the connection isn’t always as obvious: Christian’s series of camels speaks to the experience of “boat people” and the issue of refugees.

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