The Tusk Rhino Trail
Around 60,000 years ago in the Palaeolithic period, Rhinoceros freely roamed [what we now know as] London. Conservation charity ‘Tusk’ have bought the herd back to the city with twenty-one decorated and embellished rhino sculptures to raise awareness of their critical endangerment.
The illegal wildlife trade is now the fourth largest criminal industry in the World after drugs, arms and human trafficking. It’s estimated that one rhino is poached every eight hours - that’s three every day - and due to this global poaching crisis three-of-the-five living species of Rhino are listed as critically endangered. The Tusk Rhino Trail will provide vital funds to tackle illegal poaching, contribute to conservation efforts for the black rhino and their fellow African species, as well as the habitats on which they depend.
Supported by a roster of internationally acclaimed artists, including Dave White, Harland Miller, Jonathan Yeo and Marc Quinn the twenty-one sculptures have been installed at iconic London sites including Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Carnaby Street and will culminate with the celebration of World Rhino Day on 22 September 2018. The works will then go up for auction at Christies on 9th October 2018 – the same week world leaders gather in London to attend the International Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.
As an artist who built his career around awareness and protection of animals on endangered species lists, we see Dave Whites artistic offering as a particular highlight. Entitled ‘Fragile’ the piece embodies White’s signature style with expressive mark making and refers back to his 2015 exhibition ‘Critical’. The solo show at Loughran Gallery featured several Rhino paintings that juxtaposed power and fragility to engage the viewer to question the environment and our impact on life’s precarious equilibrium in the natural world. Incorporating this theme into his piece for the Tusk Rhino Trail, White’s sculpture is beautiful and thought-provoking.
Other highlights include Harland Millers ‘Hate’s Outta Date’ which playfully appropriates his Penguin-Book-style slogan to the plight of the rhino, and Jonathan Yeo’s ‘Final Cuts’, which paints a butchers-cut chart across the animal in protest of its slaughter.
Free to view and dotted around the city, these artistic displays and design installations promise to make an impression far beyond the installations two-month tenure...