The Ik-stingkt exhibition aims to raise awareness and funds for the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative through a partnership between the Wilderness Foundation and the Ron Belling Art Gallery, proudly sponsored by Coca-Cola Sabco and Investec.
The exhibition will take place in two parts. The first is as a fringe event to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival where work from primary school youth will be showcased. The second phase will take place in September with the gallery’s Spring School of Art for high-school learners, culminating in the Ik-stingkt exhibition showing in November.
Dr Ian Player, iconic environmentalist and founder of the Wilderness Foundation was at the launch of the first phase of the exhibition, on 4 June, 2013. “This artwork shows how we can oppose the evil of poaching through the good of our children. We all need to stand together to overcome this scourge.”
Throughout history, nature has permeated the creative arts. It inspired Stone Age hunters to immortalise their expeditions on rock. Ancient Egyptians built elaborate temples to animal-headed gods. In the middle ages, mythical beasts adorned valuable manuscripts. In the 17th century, paintings were dominated by hunting scenes, while 18th century artists revelled in the beauty of natural habitats.
Recognising the impact of nature on every aspect of the art world, Ik-stingkt is a conscious collaboration between Conservation and Creativity in an effort to help save one of our country’s most symbolic natural heritage icons – the rhino.
According to world renowned conservationist Dr Ian Player, this “remnant of the dinosaur age” will be wiped out within the next decade if the poaching crisis is not addressed through a collaborative, national and international rescue campaign. Dr Player also pointed out that if it weren’t for the drive to preserve rhinos in the 1950?s, there wouldn’t be any national parks in South Africa. “It is because of the white rhino that we have our national parks where tourists can learn about the soul of Africa. Nature is in our souls.”
Through an educational outreach initiative, Ik-stingkt has helped to showcase the voice of the youth on the poaching crisis. Artwork produced by students at local government schools is displayed at the Ik-stingkt exhibition together with pieces by acclaimed Cape Town artist, Nix Davies.
Scholars throughout Nelson Mandela Bay have been invited to take part in this unique collaborative exhibition merging Conservation and Creativity, and to take a stand against a crisis that could see the disappearance of this iconic African species.
The first phase of the exhibition is registered as a fringe event on the Grahamstown National Arts Festival calendar, and will run from June 27-July 07, 2013.