Just as I head off to Italy (today!) for vacation #2, I finished my first piece based on our trip to South Africa last month.
I made the linoleum blocks based on my quick sketches in the back of the open “safari-mobile” in which we traversed the bushvelt, on the lookout for the “Big 5.” This is a term widely used in Africa. It’s origin was in hunting. The “Big 5” were the hardest and most dangerous animals to hunt: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Cape Buffalo. Now their images grace the South African currency (with Nelson Mandela on the obverse.) And seeing them is a benchmark of success for your photo safari.
We didn’t get to see a Leopard. They are the one animal which has the ability to cross in and out of the huge, fenced reserve. Nor the Cape Buffalo. It is nocturnal, and our brief 3 day visit did not include night time drives.
The Rhino here is a White Rhinoceros. They feed on grass, and their heads are always down. The Black Rhino feeds on leaves of trees, and their heads are up. They are more dangerous, as they can charge any time for virtually no reason. Both are endangered. They are killed for their horn which is mistakenly said to have aphrodisiac powers.
This little piece will be a donation to the “Spotlight” Auction which is an annual tradition at the SAQA (Studio Art Quilts Associates) conference. This year it is in Lincoln, NE, and I will be attending.