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Debenham/Ipswich: African animals roam on Suffolk island

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 April 2014

Colin Archibald's photographs of his Ghost Island. This one shows two zebras by a mill

Colin Archibald's photographs of his Ghost Island. This one shows two zebras by a mill

Archant

Animals more at home on the African savanna have escaped from a Jurassic Park-style Suffolk island – but there is no need to call the RSPCA.

Cheetahs, zebras and giraffes can be seen roaming “Ghost Island” off Orford Ness in a photographer’s new exhibition.

The work, by Colin Archibald, 60, from Debenham, is being displayed at Ipswich’s Town Hall this week until Saturday. He is in his final year at the Open College of Arts, studying photography.

He said: “The idea behind this series of pictures is to place wild animals photographed in Africa into some Suffolk scenes in the way that George Logan did in Scotland with his Translocation series.

“I wanted the pictures to have an abandoned feel to them, so I looked for boarded up pubs and buildings around the UK and photographed them.

“The other point that I would like to make by creating these pictures/exhibition is that it would be extremely difficult for people in the UK to share their countryside with wild animals. It seems that a lot of people living in Europe do not understand why African and Indian people cannot get on with the endangered animals in their country.”

In his exhibition, Ghost Island was used for genetic research on animals after the end of the Second World War. A lot of the animals were held in fields surrounded by electric fences, but the power was knocked out following the storm of 1987 causing falling trees to flatten the fences.

The research station was abandoned, but a small community still lives on the island with the animals that escaped.

The exhibition is at Gallery Three every day between 10am and 4pm until Saturday.

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