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'Hermaphrodite Polar Bear' , Gary Hume

Illustration of a polar bear

The glossy candy-sweet colours of this painting have a comic edge, but its real message is to expose the tragic fate of polar bears in the Arctic region.

The bears are being polluted by toxic waste. Chemicals used to reduce the flammability of household furnishings drift in from Europe and North America through wind and ocean currents.

The waste builds up in the tissues of polar bears, causing severe hormonal disruptions in adults. As a result, more and more young are born with genital deformities. These deformities can make it impossible for them to reproduce.