Gladiator, Dinokeng, South Africa

Archival Pigment Photograph

Signed, dated, and numbered from edition of 12 on recto. Signed, titled, dated, and editioned on certificate of authenticity.

This picture now flashes up every hour in Times Square, NYC. It is the size of a giant billboard and its presence in the heart of Manhattan is an affirming moment on my photographic journey. I started taking pictures 34 years ago, so perhaps it was about time that I had this kind of exposure. What is certain, is that there is no going back now. I will do this for the rest of my life and my desire to excel and get better has never been firmer.


The lion is not just an adored and iconic animal, it is an animal which needs human support to survive – if anyone had reason to question this, the killing of Cecil – the lion in Zimbabwe and the storm that followed should hopefully play on their conscious.


I remember vividly the first time my children saw a wild lion – their faces were more excited than when they first saw a stocking at the end of their bed on Christmas Day. It was nature’s gift to them and we must all now make sure that our children have the opportunity to offer this same gift to their children. If they are unable to do this what a shocking legacy of our generation’s rent of this planet. The clock ticks and we’re all accountable.


I am proud of this image – I am not really sure how it could be much better, but I will be even more proud if this and other images I have taken of lions help create awareness of the conservation work of great men like Kevin Richardson in South Africa. – David Yarrow