Celebrating 10 years: Est. 2013

Jo Waite’s Newest Series – Taronga Zoo

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  • Kerry-Anne Blanket
  • 16/02/2020

Jo Waite is loved for her realistic paintings portraying iconic Sydney scenes. Popular works featuring Sydney Harbour boats and ferries, the Sydney Opera House and bridge are in high demand making her newest series all the more coveted! In her latest works she has delivered a different view of the Sydney landscape, exploring Sydney’s iconic Taronga Zoo.

The paintings have the same detailed style Jo Waite has become well-known for, but highlight the joy this treasured location offers with scenes of the beautiful animals and curious observing children. Taronga Zoo cares for over 4000 animals from more than 350 species, many of which are threatened or endangered. Jo has painted five favourite animals; the giraffe, elephant, monkeys, penguins and tiger.

The Giraffe is the tallest of all animals, with males sometimes growing up to 5.5m in height and weighing over 1000 kg! But sadly they are facing a silent extinction in the wild with numbers decreasing due to habitat loss and human conflict. Taronga’s successful breeding program is working towards developing a better future for these graceful animals. Jo was excited to paint these magnificent creatures, and found herself in awe of their ability to draw the biggest crowd of onlookers.


Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing nearly 99 percent of our genetic blueprint. Taronga works closely with the Jane Goodall Institute Australia’s “Tchimpounga Reserve” in the Republic of Congo to support orphaned chimps threatened by war, disease and habitat loss. Taronga’s support provides expertise, resources and facilities for the safe-release of chimps back into their natural habitat within a sanctuary. Jo has perfectly captured the magnificent Taronga Zoo chimpanzee environment in this work, with the backs of the children showing their undivided attention directed to the amazing life-like animals. 

Wild tigers are facing a difficult future, but Taronga are constantly fighting to make it brighter. With as few as 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the world, Zoo staff are committed to protecting this wild species and their habitat. Taronga is a key component of a regional conservation management plan for Sumatran Tigers including breeding, research, fundraising and community action to support sustainably produced palm oil. This work captures the inquisitive nature of the majestic animals.

Jo Waite’s recent visit to Taronga Zoo was eye-opening. Not only did she get to see these amazing animals and more, but she also got to learn all about the Zoo’s efforts to bring about these wonderful changes in the lives and habitats of all the breeds in their care. Moved by her experience, Jo set about painting her newest series to highlight the interest, love and respect by Taronga Zoo’s 2 million+ yearly visitors towards the animals, the exhibits and the location itself.

See Jo Waite’s newest series yourself today, only available at KAB Gallery.

Kerry-Anne Blanket, Director & Curator - KAB Gallery
About the author

Kerry-Anne Blanket

Director & Curator - KAB Gallery

KAB Gallery’s Kerry-Anne Blanket holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and two Masters degrees (Hons) from the University of Sydney. With an extensive career in art education along with the management of museums and investment art galleries, Kerry-Anne can offer premier art consulting to her clients and source specially requested works. 

She has a keen eye for detail, comprehensive art market knowledge and a love of all things beautiful. Kerry-Anne works directly with artists and collectors alike to curate interesting and eclectic exhibitions.