Home News Elephants Out of Africa: The Art of Survival on Location – Part One

Out of Africa: The Art of Survival on Location – Part One

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

We’re delighted that our Wildlife Artist of the Year’ Art of Survival’ winners, Martin Aveling and Detlef Tibax, could visit our frontline conservation team in Zambia and see the work on the ground first-hand. 

This fantastic experience was included as part of the prize, and both Martin and Detlef were worthy winners. And being able to witness how art plays a vital role in protecting endangered species has only inspired them to do more and encourage other artists to take part. 

‘Winning the inaugural David Shepherd Art of Survival Award has meant the world to me, as it pertains to one’s overall contribution to wildlife conservation through art. Supporting conservation is at the very core of my business and being, and in recent years, I have sought to explore ways in which art can contribute to the overall narrative of wildlife conservation, beyond simply being a means of raising funds.’ – Martin  

‘The David Shepherd Art of Survival Award is the quintessence of empowering artists to evoke change. It celebrates and acknowledges creatives who go above and beyond in supporting conservation and inspiring others to act. Receiving this award and following in David Shepherd’s footsteps is a privilege and absolute highlight in my artistic career.’ – Detlef  

We couldn’t be more delighted with our first two winners of the ‘Art of Survival’ award, both impeccable examples of artists who go above and beyond with their work to celebrate and promote positive change, challenge alternative views, and take on difficult topics.   

After a month of being back home, both wildlife artists are recuperated from their trip and eagerly await illuminating us on their adventures…  

‘A priceless experience was doing this trip with Mart, a like-minded wildlife artivist with whom I’ve had a wonderful time brainstorming ideas. Creating art in the field has had a tremendous effect on my artistic growth. Breathing in the Zambian air, listening to the sounds of the bush, and seeing all the colours around me is what creates unrivalled character and personality in my work.’ – Detlef  

‘Meeting GRI’s elephant carers and community outreach people and getting insights into their daily duties was an absolute treat. I will never forget their pride and dedication to what they do. It’s had an incredibly infectious effect on me!’ – Detlef  

Mart explains how the award has provided him with a level of vindication for his decision to shift away from a commercial model and use his experience visiting Zambia to tell the truth.  

‘Using a creative licence to attempt to better communicate the threats faced by wildlife is, I believe, helping to paint a more honest picture, which highlights the urgency in a time where many people are becoming increasingly more disconnected from nature.’ – Martin  

We believe Martin and Detlef’s enthusiasm is a wonderful homage to David Shepherd and our ‘Art of Survival’ legacy; we can’t wait to share more insights from both artists in the lead-up to Wildlife Artist of the Year 2023 Exhibition. 

In the next update, we’ll hear about camping in Kafue National Park and the inspiring work of the DSWF funded anti-poaching rangers.  

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Andrew White
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

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