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Friday, November 23, 2012


(The Chad le Clos Rhino decorated by Carla Ziady)

Art meets sport to support wildlife. (Review by Keith Millar)

Rhino Parade is the innovative rhino conservation fundraising initiative by the Wildlands Conservation Trust. Celebrities are asked to endorse magnificent three-quarter size Black Rhino statues. Artists are then commissioned to decorate the statues to depict the achievements and personality of the celebrity.

These marvellous pieces of art are then put on public display – in the case of the four Durban rhinos, in the concourse at King Shaka International Airport – and will ultimately be auctioned off at a gala event in November.

This week it was the turn of Olympic wonder boy Chad Le Clos to unveil his Rhino. In his address prior to the unveiling, he spoke about the passion of the South African people and suggested that the solution to the poaching problem may lie in this passion.

Chad’s rhino was decorated by the talented Carla Ziady who has just completed her Graphic Arts studies at Durban University of Technology. After her success with the Ray Phiri rhino, she jumped at the opportunity of designing for Chad Le Clos.

The sculpture features an image in silhouette of Le Clos swimming, the colours of the South African flag on the hindquarters of the beast, Olympic rings in gold, a stop watch, and Le Clos’s mantra for life “Whatever The Circumstances, Never Give Up”. Le Clos expressed great satisfaction with the result and admiration for Ziady’s efforts.

The rhino sculpture which is used in this initiative was created by Peter Hall. He is recognized for his adherence to the classical disciplines of sculpture, and his sensitivity to his subject matter has resulted in much public acclaim.

Kim Goodwin of the highly respected Goodwin Foundry in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is responsible for casting the sculptures He follows a mould-making process and uses water-based resin.

Even while this function was taking place, news came through of the slaughter of another 12 rhinos on a game farm near Rustenburg. This was a poignant reminder of the seriousness of the problem and added emphasis to the importance of this synergy between art, sport and wildlife. - Keith Millar