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Superb art collection to benefit Wildlands Conservation Trust

A collection of superb art from some of South Africa's top contemporary artists will be auctioned to benefit the Wildlands Conservation Trust.

Taking place in Johannesburg on March 27th, this very special auction arises out of a partnership between Strauss & Co Fine Art Auctioneers and the Wildlands Conservation Trust, and is aimed at raising much-needed funds for conservation and community development efforts within South Africa. In particular, the Wildlands Conservation Trust is recognised for its multiple community-based projects that work towards fulfilling its vision of creating a "sustainable future for all".

Curated by Barbara Freemantle, the auction features works by artists including Willem Boshoff, Wim Botha, Joni Brenner, Norman Catherine, Marco Cianfanelli, Kudzanai Chiurai, David Goldblatt, Robert Hodgins, William Kentridge, Dylan Lewis, Judith Mason, Sam Nhlengethwa, Walter Oltmann, Claudette Schreuders, Mikhael Subotzky, Diane Victor and Sandile Zulu.

It is a vote of confidence in the work of the Wildlands Conservation Trust that the artists, suppliers and gallerists approached during 2013 responded with enthusiasm to the call for works to be part of the charity auction. A number of artists, Diane Victor, Minnette Vari and Karin Preller among them, also made work especially for the auction, in spite of difficult circumstances.

"These are all top class artists and their generosity reflects their love and enthusiasm for South Africa and its people and natural resources," says Ruarc Peffers, Senior Paintings Specialist, at Strauss & Co. "There was no curatorial direction but most artists responded to the rhino as well as the eco theme more broadly."

The Strauss & Co Fine Art Auctioneers and Wildlands Conservation Trust auction presents an exciting opportunity for collectors to purchase important artworks, whilst contributing to a non-profit environmental organisation with a proven track record.

Each of the 30 artists (at times in conjunction with their gallery) will donate all, or a portion, of the funds raised from the sale of the 30 artworks to the Wildlands Conservation Trust.

"We see a South Africa that is able to celebrate and cherish the natural world; that uses this incredible legacy to underwrite the sustainable development of all South Africans," says Wildlands CEO Dr Andrew Venter.

"Central to our work is a focus on unlocking the potential of the poor; they have an incredible contribution to make, if they're only allowed to do so."

Over the past decade, Wildlands has progressively developed and implemented a number of exciting projects including Trees for Life, which teaches community members (called Tree-preneurs) in poverty stricken areas how to grow indigenous trees which they can then barter with Wildlands in exchange for livelihood support items such as - food, clothing, school fees, bicycles, Jojo tanks or building supplies. The young trees bartered with Wildlands are then planted into areas in desperate need of restoration or greening.

Another focus for Wildlands is Rhino Conservation through three complementary projects - Project Rhino Tracker, Project Rhino Aerial Support and Project Rhino Investigations & Prosecutions. The Trust's rhino conservation work is continually being done in partnership with local communities, thereby instilling a sense of local ownership and ensuring sustainability.

"We realise that the environmental crisis is too big for any organisation to address by itself," says Dr Venter. "Wildlands prides itself in growing relationships with government, the corporate community and civil society, and in light of this would also like to use this opportunity to thank everyone that is contributing to this event to make it a success."

Article Courtesy:  SA Good News