Taronga Zoo today unwrapped 35 life-size adult Black Rhinoceros sculptures that will soon be sighted throughout Sydney and western regions to Dubbo.
Taronga General Manager for Marketing, Paul Davies, said: “We’re calling on artists, designers, creative people in the community and students to decorate these sculptures before they’re installed around Sydney and along the road to Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo creating a rhino conservation trail.”
“We want these blank sculptures to inspire everyone to help us in our efforts to stop the poaching of rhinoceros globally.”
“After they’re displayed from February to April next year, many will be auctioned to raise funds for Taronga’s conservation work, including the Zoos’ efforts for rhinoceros which are being slaughtered by poachers who sell their horns for use in traditional medicines.
Already organisations like Kennards are sponsoring the adult rhinos and 60 NSW schools will also take delivery of a calf sculpture to get creative with. Destination NSW are also supporting the exciting public sculpture trail.”
Artist and designers already involved include Ken Done, Luca Ionescu who recently worked on the Great Gatsby film, street artist, Numskull, Archibald Prize winner Kevin Connor and finalists Gillie and Marc and Beastman, one of the most distinctive and prolific emerging artists in Australia.
The rhinos will be stored by Kennards at their St Leonards warehouse where many artists and designers also will come to produce the finished sculptures.
Mr Davies said: “The particular focus for us will be our funding of TRAFFIC, an organisation which monitors the illegal trade in wildlife. If we don’t act to help stop the slaughter, experts believe by 2015 the number of rhinos poached will exceed the birth rate, tipping this amazing species towards extinction in a few years’ time.”
“Since rhino horn is made of keratin, the same material that as our fingernails, no logical person could accept claims it has any medicinal value such as curing cancer or impotence.”
Anyone can get involved in supporting this and enjoying the creative approaches to decorating rhinos, find out more below.