What do Elephant Translocation and Snare Wire Art have in common?! A lot, if you are an artist in Zimbabwe with a profound vision of the natural world and if you use that vision to create a life size African elephant from trash objects and repurposed snare wire!!!
Working from his home in Chitungwiza, Harare, and specializing in Found Objects Art, master artist Johnson Zuze laboured many months in creating this mammoth sculpture, (with frequent deliveries of snare wire from me- wire we collect during anti-poaching operations at Senuko Ranch in the Save Valley Conservancy)
The Elephant in the room was how to move and use this mammoth created from a fascinating array of found objects- treasure from trash!!…
The translocation first phase was a flat bed truck to winch and move the behemoth from the tight dusty streets of Chitungwiza to the potholed but leafy streets of Emerald Hill suburb – Daryl Nero’s old house -where the gentle giant stood for the opening of our exhibition, Memories and Musings…
The jewelled tusks of this mighty mammoth are a joy, but also a statement- the desirability of tusks in the illegal wildlife trade is ongoing-
Translocation second phase was another trek across H-town to the next even more leafy but still potholed suburb of Kambanje – into the well treed grounds of Amanzi Lodge!
And yet another translocation is due to take place in July 2022…!!
This time the translocation will be of real live elephants from the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) to the Sapi Safari Area – watch this space for more on that as it rolls out over the next weeks.
SVC currently has many elephants after successful and groundbreaking translocations into Save Valley of a few elephant families from Gonarezhou during drought years in 1992 and 1993 – that success story has become a challenge as our elephants thrive and we need more space for them. So hopefully Sapi will be a wonderful new home for them to find that space…
Great Plains Conservation have a lease with Zimbabwe National Parks to manage the Sapi area- and we all look forward to a positive future for communities and conservation in Zimbabwe!
The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues.
This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil.
Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation.
Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas.
Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
Gracious me…that is some elephant. Well done to him. An amazing piece.
It is indeed!