Once a year, The Cape Gallery chooses to exhibit a diversity of wild art. Inspired by Ian McCullum and Clive Stokil as notable eco-warriors set to preserve wilderness areas, the gallery set a brief to artists willing to participate in the annual Wildlife Exhibition, now on until 2 September.The invitation was for artists to share their insights into the natural world with the folk visiting an inner city gallery, many of whom may not have had the privilege to visit the game parks. In broad terms, they sought to promote the interaction of ordinary folk and the ecosystems, engender a better understanding of ourselves and nature and provide an opportunity for the tourist to take home a painting – not a trophy! ‘The call of the wild’ is an integral part of the human identity.
We innately recognize some of our traits in animals and we are curious about them, objectively and subjectively. Not often do we acknowledge the primal, instinctual behavioral patterning we share – that which has enabled us to survive over the millennia. Ian McCallum; noted poet, psychologist, medical doctor and naturalist speaks to us in his erudite and fascinating book ‘Ecological Intelligence’: “With the unraveling of the human genome and the subsequent discovery that more than ninety percent of it is shared with every other mammal, the poets and the old shamans have been proved right.
The animals are our soul mates and we are the human animal.” Clive Stokil, wildlife expert, Zimbabwean Professional Guide and recipient of the Prince William award for conservation in Africa, speaking in an interview posted on the site ‘Journey for Earth’ by Annabel Ruffell says of his passion: “I consider it a privilege to have been born in a wild environment. My early childhood was spent close to nature and my parents were an inspiration to me, both had a keen love of the wilderness we lived in. I was fortunate to have spent the first nine years of my life with Xangaan playmates and peers, learning their language and cultures.
This later became a great asset in the work I chose, that of community-based conservation.” “(I have) A love for nature, and the balance of ecosystems. I soon realised that pursuance of pure conservation on a continent where there is a continuing demand for land/space would not succeed. To achieve long term and sustainable conservation, a balance was needed which recognised human needs.” Clive is the founding father of Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge and the senior guide and wildlife expert. Don’t miss out of the exquisite display of talent now on at The Cape Gallery.