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Newsletter no. 17 – January 2019


Within the / dans le cadre du 
« Program without a Program / Programme sans Programme »
Pour le francais, allez en bas de la page

Artist Militant
Artist in the bush
Between 2006-2015, around 111,000 African elephants were lost from the wild, mainly due to poaching, and between 2007-2014 30% of Africa's savannah elephants were lost. The WWF estimate that around 20,000 African elephants are being killed each year for their ivory - that's an average of 55 a day.

Dear all,
First of all I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year.

The new year starts for me with a special project I would like to share with you :
I have accepted an invitation to come and work as an artist within the pristine nature and wildlife of Zimbabwe . I will be staying in the Matabo National Park ( scroll down for more information ).
The invitation comes from two persons:
  1. Untamed Travelling, tour operator company in the Benelux, its’ founding director mr. Jozef verbruggen
  2. African Bushcamps, its’ founding director mr. Beks

I will leave on Jan 21st and will return in March.

By doing so I want to highlight the urge of conservation of this pristine nature threatened by semi military poaching with Asia behind these dark curtains . I will collaborate with African bushcamps foundation to show local communities the interest to protect this nature .

This exceptional invitation joins my childhood’s fascination for nature when I wanted to become a biologist-ethologist, reading the stories of dr. Livingstone and drawing patiently in the natural surroundings of the village where I grew up. That’s where the roots lie of my art.
(c) Untamed Travelling

I will work from a studio within this park and will visit different area’s as to realize the grandness of the surrounding nature.

Once on the spot I will leave all approaches of painting open and hope to come to some very new ways of looking at things. In this I will use local materials, pigments, earth and collaborate, exchange with local communities,

This project comes, once more, from a logic not to follow the beaten paths of contemporary art and ,as usual for me, in opposition to any market-driven approach of art . It also comes from the continuous exchange I have had with different fields outside the art-world.

Upon my return I will organize an encounter with mr. Beks on the topic of conservation of this pristine wildlife . It will be within the Program without a Program at the Ideal Artist House nr. 2 – Paris .To be announced by another Newsletter.

Despite the fact that internet access on the spot seems reduced or inexistent I will try to keep an Instagram/Twitter account.

If anyone knows of someone interested in being involved in a way or another, or knows of a platform who will make a link to this Instagram account, keep me posted !

On the following weekends I organize an open house, you are welcome to stop by for a drink and exchange ideas with me on this topic :

12-13 / 19-20 January 2019 from 3 till 7 p.m.
Series II of Roses & Cauliflowers will be presented. Open studio 2pm-8pm daily

Artist in the bush
Entre 2006-2015 environ 111,000 éléphants ont disparu de la nature , principalement par un braconnage semi-militaire.De 2007-2014 30 % des elephants de la savane ont disparu. Le WWF estime à 20.000 le nombre d’éléphants tués annuellement pour leur ivoire- 55 par jour.

D’abord je vous souhaite à tous une très belle et heureuse année.

La nouvelle année commence pour moi avec un projet spécial , dont je souhaite vous faire partager :
Je suis invité en tant qu’artiste contemporain pour travailler dans la brousse au Zimbabwe, au Matabo National Park. Je pars le 21 janvier jusqu’à début mars.
Cette invitation "Artist in the Bush "  vient de deux partenaires
  1. Untamed Travelling, le nr. 1 des safaris sur mesure en Benelux, son president mr. Jozef Verbruggen
  2. African Bushcamps, par son president mr. Beks

En faisant cela je prends une position de militant pour attirer l’attention sur l’urgence de la conservation de cette nature immaculée mais en danger , le braconnage est organisé de façon semi-militaire.

Mon point de vue est le suivant : le développement de l’écotourisme peut devenir une voie économique pour la population locale et permettre de contrer le braconnage de masse .

Cette invitation est d’autant plus exceptionelle qu’elle rejoint ma fascination depuis mon enfance pour cette faune. C’était le début de mon art avec mes lectures sur les explorations de dr. Livingstone et en dessinant la nature autour de moi .J’avais l’idée de devenir biologiste-éthologue .

Durant ce déplacement au Zimbabwe , je travaillerai dans un atelier au coeur de cette nature immaculée et parmi sa faune. Je me déplacerai à différents endroits pour y étudier le grandeur de la nature.

Ma démarche d’artiste sera de laisser tout ouvert, sans idées prémedités . J'utiliserai au maximum les matières locales (tissus,  piments etc). locaux au maximum en échange avec des communautés locaux.

Ce projet s’inscrit dans ma démarche d'artiste et correspond à ma position par rapport au marché de l’art, toujours à l'antipode de ce qui se fait habituellement.  Cette position vient de ma curiosité envers et des échanges que j’ai avec des domaines en dehors du monde de l’art.
A mon retour une présentation exceptionelle sera faite à Paris dans le cadre du Programme sans Programme de l’Ideal Artist House où Mr. Beks viendra parler de l’enjeu de la lute contre le braconnage au Zimbabwe.

J’aurai très peu accès à une connection internet là où je serai ,mais j’essayerai de tenir un compte Instagram/Twitter. Je suis actuellement à la recherché d’une plateforme qui souhaite suivre cela, soit sur internet, soit par la presse (papier).

Est ce que cela vous interesse d’y participer ou encore, est ce que vous auriez des contacts à qui cela pourrait intéresser ?
Je serai ravi d’échanger avec vous sur ce projet. J’organise un verre à l’atelier, les weekends du 12-13 et du 19-20 janvier 2019 de15h-19h où j’espère vous voir.
Ce moment sera l’occasion pour moi de vous presenter les dernières Roses & Cauliflowers Series II.
For more information;
Ideal Artist House nr. 2 / Rens Lipsius Studio 
159 quai de Valmy
75010 Paris
Metro: M7 - Chateau Landon

Tel. +33 06 08 91 82 13

The website;

And a Facebook-page; Rens Lipsius Studio

Matabo National Park is considered one of the most pristine National Parks in Africa.
The rugged landscape is home to what is thought to be the highest concentration of both leopard and black eagle in the world. Hidden in the caves of the Matabo Hills are over 3,000 registeres rock art sites.

The park also includes an Intensive Protection Zone where a population of Black Rhinoceros are successfully breeding.
This pristine nature is the country’s premiere destination for wildlife-based tourism, but like virtually everywhere on the planet, it is threatened by an multitude of problems, including poaching, rapidly growing human economies, lack of adequate information on wildlife species, and a lack of training, education, and employment opportunities for local people who are ultimately responsible for conserving their wildlife resources. In a time of pressing environmental and social problems, responsible wildlife-based tourism is of paramount importance for the ecosystems, wildlife, and local communities that depend on them.
During the 1970s and 1980s these area’s lost the majority of its elephant population and all of its rhino to poaching. However to date, the elephant population has started increasing, as a result of increased and improved law enforcement. Despite being one of the most wildlife-rich areas remaining in Africa, its natural heritage is under threat from poaching and other illegal activities. To help combat these serious threats to the  wildlife, The African Bushcamp Foundation is a proud supporter of local wildlife organisations that work together on various conservation efforts to address these issues and conserve the wildlife
Our camps seek to promote and influence travel to Africa on a global scale while operating with an environmentally sustainable footprint. We employ an ethos that strives to empower local communities in the areas in which we operate, as well as maintaining a strong focus on conservation.
We have a strong moral and ethical code and work in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, ensuring we have a minimal impact on the ecology and wildlife in the areas in which we operate. Our philosophy is to continually engage with and empower local communities so that they can benefit from tourism. This is achieved through our African Bush Camps Foundation.

By directly linking these benefits to tourism these communities learn to positively value wildlife and nature as resources for improving their well being.

Today far more African lions are lost to conflict with humans and their livestock than from any other cause of mortality. Together with Elefence International, we have now also partnered with the Wildcru Hwange Lion Research Project, supported by the SATIB Trust and which has been running for 15 years, and is aimed at understanding, managing and conserving the lion population of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. As part of this valuable research, the Hwange Lion Research Project focuses on reducing human-animal conflict, which poses a significant risk to the survival of all carnivores in the wild, through a detailed understanding of the ecological and social factors that influence conflict. In the Hwange area, this conflict arises from lion predation on the livestock of rural communities who frequently retaliate by killing the lion as the people are subsistence farmers and the cattle are a vital part of their being able to support their families.
At the African Bush Camps Foundation, we are passionate about working side by side with people to achieve our goals of providing opportunities for communities to sustainably free themselves from poverty whilst protecting their invaluable environmental resources. Introduced by WildCRU‘s Hwange Lion Research Project, Lion Guardians are local people who educate and empower communities to live in harmony with wildlife. They inform and alert about the presence of lions in the area, and form a link between conservationists and communities by monitoring the location and effects of predators, relaying information and encouraging cooperation –is an important initiative which has proved very successful. Far fewer livestock lost and far fewer lions killed amounts to a win-win scenario for lions, researchers, wildlife authorities and local people, through a shared sense of ‘ownership’ of both the problem and its solution.

Lion conflict cases around Hwange National Park (HNP) in Zimbabwe have declined by a half to three-quarters of their previous levels since the relatively recent introduction of the ‘Longshields Lion Guardian Programme’ in 2012. Long Shields Lion Guardians are local people who form a link between conservationists and their communities, providing information and encouraging cooperation – is an important initiative which has proved very successful. Far fewer livestock lost and far fewer lions killed amounts to a win-win scenario for lions, researchers, wildlife authorities and local people, through a shared sense of ‘ownership’ of both the problem and its solution.

Thus not only is livestock far better protected but also the lion is spared. Previously it would have been killed by local people or baited and shot by safari hunters or the wildlife authorities, often just for being in proximity to people. In time, if communities are not being impacted by lions, they realise the greater value of live lions (most of whom now have names given by HLR) which indirectly provide them with vital employment opportunities via the park’s tourism industry.
Copyright © 2019 Rens Lipsius Studio, All rights reserved.

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