Which famous faces created wildlife art for a Norwich exhibition?
- Credit: supplied by The Real Africa Trust
Artists and famous faces have joined forces for a special wildlife art exhibition putting the spotlight on threats to iconic animals around the world. Arts correspondent Emma Knights reports
Celebrities and artists have answered the call of a Norfolk charity for wildlife sketches to help raise of awareness of the threats to iconic species around the world including elephants, rhinos and lions.
Sketch for Survival is the idea of The Real Africa Trust, and the charity has been inundated with donations of art created for its touring exhibition which opens at Norwich School on World Rhino Day this Friday.
Among the works is a sketch of a rhino by actor and presenter Stephen Fry, a landscape painting by Dame Judi Dench, and a drawing of an elephant by Fearne Cotton. Other well known names to have sent in work include survival expert Ray Mears, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, chef Galton Blackiston and North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb. Their works will be shown alongside an array of art sent in by wildlife artists around the world.
'We've been overwhelmed by the response from the art community and now have artwork from celebrated artists across a dozen countries,' said Sara White, from The Real Africa Trust.
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'We are also incredibly thankful to have the support of so many celebrities, from Dame Judi Dench who donated a watercolour, to actor Stephen Fry, international cricketer Kevin Pietersen and many explorers, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Colonel John Blashford-Snell and Levison Wood among them. All have generously put pen, paint or pencil to paper this summer to help us raise awareness about species extinction.'
The trust initially asked people to spend just 15 minutes on their art.
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Sara said: '15 was chosen as a significant number. In recent years elephants have been killed for their ivory at a rate as high as one every 15 minutes. That's 100 a day. Of the five species of rhino, three are critically endangered including the African Black Rhino. Lion too face a battle for survival, disappearing from at least 12 African countries. We wanted to highlight these shocking statistics.'
Sketch for Survival is at Norwich School's Crypt Gallery, in Cathedral Close, on Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-4pm. The exhibition will also be touring to London and Bath and the artwork is being sold to raise funds for conservation projects. Sketch for Survival is part of a wider wildlife conservation campaign called Explorers Against Extinction.
Visit www.explorersagainstextinction. co.uk/sketch_for_survival