Stan Hunter, Natural Habitat, 1999, pastel on paper
The viewer’s attention is drawn to the tiger in the foreground striking a defensive pose. The representation of the paw splashing in the water gives the work dimension and movement. In the background, there is another tiger, perhaps its mate or cub that is being protected. The tiger’s reaction is a response—a tool to cope and stay safe. Being in a natural habitat may still be difficult and prevent the tiger from letting its guard down or alternatively it might offer protection and cover in a dangerous world. This directly relates to the reintegration of formerly incarcerated people back into society. Acceptance and trust must be gained from both society and the person to fully reach a point where everyone’s guard is down.