A New Year Begins with the ‘Essence of a Leopard’

A New Year Begins with the ‘Essence of a Leopard’
Published: 12 February 2018

It is with great excitement that we introduce you to our recently published 2018 Calendar, which is the legacy of last year’s art competition, and appropriately themed ‘Essence of a Leopard’

We had an amazing influx of artworks last year, and the judges were really put to the test when it came to choosing the winning pieces. The panel of guest judges included Cape Leopard Trust Ambassador and extreme adventurer, Braam Malherbe, Elizabeth Martins, founder of the CLT Environmental Education Programme, and Anele van der Merwe from Bridgestone South Africa. They were ably supported by the Cape Leopard Trust CEO Helen Turnbull as well as the Environmental Education team, Hadley Lyners, Catherine Kühn and Michael Henshall. Even then the process of choosing the most deserving winners was difficult, so high was the standard of art submitted.

Each year, the Cape Leopard Trust runs an Art Competition with a different annual theme. Children from a wide variety of schools, as well as home-schooled children, are invited to create an art piece, which is then entered into our competition. The top fourteen pictures are selected to create a calendar for the following year, and the winning artists are invited to join us for a trip on the leopard bus for a wilderness camp in the Cederberg.

The aim of the competition is to create awareness about the leopard, its prey, its habitat and the natural world. Children are encouraged to hone their artistic skills and put their imagination on paper (or canvas). There is always great excitement around this annual event as the winner’s prize is a trip to the Cape Leopard Trust’s highly sought after wilderness camp in the Cederberg.

It’s inspiring to see children tapping into their own unique creativity, and we have noticed during our wilderness camps that any experiences in the wild or exposure to nature evokes thoughtful, instinctive art from both children and young people alike. Watching the sunset through magnificent rock formations at Stadsaal, listening to the birds or the sounds of the silence naturally nurtures creative expression. We want to enable more young people to access this ability, to transform their experiences from nature into images, as part of a broader process that allows them to connect more deeply with the wild, thereby fostering a greater understanding of the environment, what it means to them, as well as why it should be protected.

Winning artworks are chosen not just according to skill and how aesthetically pleasing the piece is (though this is important), but also how relevant it is to the theme, the message it brings across, as well as the captivating properties of the work. The competition has grown in popularity each year and is a joint initiative with our partner, Bridgestone South Africa.

We would like to thank Bridgestone for their continued support of our projects, helping us to stay safe on the road, and particularly the sponsorship of the Art Competition. Without their help, we would not be able to offer this incredible opportunity, which continues to encourage so many children to rethink their environment and be inspired by nature!

Every year we are overwhelmed by the amazing artistic talent out there, and we are already looking forward to our soon to be announced 2018 competition. Watch this space….

We are thrilled to share the end result of the 2018 calendar! Below is a sneak peak of what’s inside.

Acceptable trapping techniques

icon no trap The Cape Leopard Trust’s position statement on acceptable trapping techniques for carnivore research

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