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Saturday, September 26, 2009


Gala evening for conservation on October 9.

Thanks to the generosity of Bonitas Medical Fund, KwaZulu Natal artists and art lovers will again be treated to a gala art event comprising the annual Art for Conservation exhibition and auction and a celebratory black tie dinner at Sibaya Casino on October 9.

This year, the theme of the prestigious evening is Go Wild with the banquet room decorated accordingly and guests invited to “go wild” when dressing for the black tie event. Funds raised from the auction will go towards the Wildlands Conservation Trust’s Indigenous Trees For Life project as well as critical conservation research initiatives including leopard, wild dog and elephant monitoring projects.

“Guests will be treated to a feast of images on canvas, in sculpture and through physical movement. As in previous years, a number of caring artists have supported Wildlands and have either donated artworks or allowed a significant percentage of their sales at the exhibition to be donated to the trust,” said Wildlands’ Communication Manager Simone Dale.

The exhibition will feature about 200 original artworks from 70 artists. These will include sculptures by Llewellyn Davies and Sarah Richards, paintings (from landscapes to portraits), ceramics from Ardmore and Trayci Tompkins and even some leather rugs and ottomans by Klaus Manock.

This year’s donating artists include Anne Cleveland, Bob McKenzie, Everett Duarte, Chris Reabow, Ian van Zyl, Ilona Petzer, Julia Forman, Mat Louwrens, Maureen Edgecumbe, Mike Nel, Sharleen Boaden, Wim Rautenbach, Keith Calder, Jean Arundel, Philip Briel and Yvonne Ankerman.

The actual exhibition in the room next to the main Imbizo room at Sibaya Casino takes a gruelling three days to hang. All will be in place for the Wildlands Conservation Trust’s AGM on October 8 and both artists and the public are invited to drop in for a look. Curator of Wildlands Art for Conservation 2009, Lindsay Sommer and her team will be on hand throughout to answer questions and wrap and dispatch sold pieces.

Sommer said she had been privileged to be part of this event for the past three years. “The Wildlands Conservation Trust is involved in essential well-managed projects and that is why many artists give so generously. Over the years, fully donated works have come from top South African artists like Dylan Lewis, Keith Joubert, Luke Vink and Walter Voigt. However we also offer a place to some very exciting younger artists who have their work viewed by an appreciative audience. Selling their work at this event is a thrill for us all. At the end of the day, the art produced by the artists and the work done by the Wildlands Trust all contributes to the richness of the South African heritage.”

Sommer says they have tried to move away from the strictly African wildlife theme and provide artists with a far broader outline - “Africa, its landscapes and creatures” - which they are free to interpret in relation to their own work. The sale of donated pieces will also take place slightly differently this year. A larger number than usual will be auctioned on the evening, while at least seven beautiful pieces will be sold as part of the exhibition at fixed prices. These will be displayed in a separate area.

The actual “Go Wild” banquet begins at around 17h30 on October 9 when the 350 to 400 guests arrive to view the art on display. During the dinner, Ellis Pearson and his partner S’Dumo Mtshali will entertain guests with a dramatic representation of the Wildlands Indigenous Trees for Life project that has been funded by the eThekwini Municipality’s Environmental Management Department. The auction follows, during which each artwork coming under the hammer is featured on large screens while the actual painting is displayed on the stage.

More information from Lindsay Sommer on 031 201 6635 or visit