Art for good: Raising pangolin awareness with a powerful exhibition

A new kid on the block, Robbie Rorich collaborates with The Good machine, transcending art lovers into the wild.

Following a successful Cape Town debut, sculptor Robbie Rorich – in collaboration with the social impact agency, The Good machine – is set to impress Joburg’s art lovers with a powerful new art exhibition that will transcend you into the wilderness; a place where we connect with the human spirit and where our souls are reawakened.

Rorich's rhino sculpture
Rorich’s rhino sculpture. Image: Supplied

His previous exhibition was an ocean-inspired collection which made almost R1 million in Cape Town and a large portion of that has been donated to the Sea Change Project in aid of promoting and protecting the Great African sea forest.

One of the key features of the exhibition was his life-like octopus creation, which was inspired by the Oscar-winning Netflix documentary, My Octopus Teacher.

The film’s director, James Cameron even purchased one of Rorich’s octopus sculptures for his home recently.

The talented young sculptor’s new Gauteng-based art exhibition, which will run at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg from 6 – 8 May, and at Irene Country Estate in Pretoria from 13 – 15 May will have the pangolin at its pinnacle.

The pangolin is the most trafficked animal in the world and according to the WWF, all eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws.

Two are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Rorich says: “Spending time with the pangolin and other animals has brought perspective and clarity to our mission – to create a platform where art can speak for, and bring consciousness to the wild in and around us.”

Giraffe by Robbie Rorich
Giraffe sculpture by Robbie Rorich. Image: Supplied

The Good Machine’s Gita Carroll says: “[It] is about curating a collective connection; an experience to deeply re-wild and unleash our hearts, in our way. Our human tendency to try and make sense of everything often blocks us from fully feeling, speaking, and hearing from the heart.”

For the new art exhibition, 33 life-size pangolins will be cast – of which a significant portion of the proceeds from each pangolin sold will go towards pangolin protection. Pangolin Shepherd at Zululand Conservation Trust, Donald Davis says: “When we were approved as a release site for secure pangolins, we jumped at the opportunity to help the most trafficked mammal on the planet, and we were thrilled that we can help make a difference. We did not realise that this would be the most challenging and costly, yet most rewarding conservation project that we have taken on to date.”

Robbie Rorich’s sea otter will also be on display and available to purchase at the art exhibition.  

Robbie Rorich sea otter
Robbie Rorich sea otter. Image: Supplied

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