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Paula Wiegmink

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for June, 2015

Having grown up in the African bush, it was natural for Paula to develop a deep love and respect for my environment. From a very early age she had a keen interest in drawing and spent many hours up in the rafters of the animal enclosures on her farm, observing and sketching them. 

"Many years passed before I was in a position to fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a full time artist. Now for the first time in my life I feel I am exactly where I am meant to be, doing the one thing that I am most passionate about. As I embarked on a fulltime career in 2009, I made a conscious decision. I wanted my art in some way to make a difference. With this I decided to mesh my love of the natural environment with my creative energy and inner passion. Wildlife has and will always be an integral part of my life. I hope that through my art I am able to highlight the wonders of the incredible creatures that share this earth with us." 

Contributing to the conservation and preservation of wildlife continues to be a driving force for Paula. Since 2010 she has donated my artworks to various foundations and conservation projects. She has focused on three species in particular - the Rhinoceros, Elephant, and African Wilddog are fighting huge battles and all three face imminent extinction if we do not prevent it. 

In 2010 she was invited by the Zimbabwe Wildlife Foundation - Perth, Western Australia as guest speaker to speak about her recent trip back to Zimbabwe and the 2009 publication of her book 'Footsteps in Time'. She donated several paintings and a book for their auction. Her medium sized painting Titled 'Big Boy', fetched $880, the highest price for a painting that evening. 

In 2012 she was invited to South Africa by the developer of 'The Rhino Pages' website. She was commissioned to paint a large scale rhino on 'World Rhino Day' on the 22nd September 2012, hoping to raise awareness of the plight of these animals. The painting 'Freedom of the rhino' was donated to raise funds for the cause. 

In conjunction with the 'Save African Rhino Foundation', Perth, Western Australia, Paula hosted an African Art Safari to Zimbabwe. Donating her time as artist in residence, Paula's tour raised $6000. The Foundation invited her to host another tour which she hopes to launch in 2016.

In 2013 Paula was approached by RAGES a proposed Australian Rotarian action group who asked for permission to use the image 'Tears of the Rhino - Hear My Voice' for their logo. The image was also used for the cover of a book for a South African Rotary Group to gather signatures for the cause at the 'Rotary World Congress' in Lisbon. In 2015 'Rages', now a fully registered Rotarian Action Group, asked for permission to use the painting for an international poster campaign - 'Rages one fight unite, say no' (https://www.facebook.com/rages.one.fight.unite). The poster has already been signed by Dr Jane Goodall, Sir David Attenborough, Seal and Virginia Mckenna, among others. This campaign is in collaboration with Besureis who have joined the fight. 

"I realise that what I am doing towards conservation is but a drop in the ocean. However, for every drop there is a ripple effect. I hope this ripple gathers momentum weaving its way on a journey that will in time cause a flood. Then maybe, just maybe, we can stop this madness."

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(October, 2017)
(September, 2017)
(August, 2017)
(July, 2017)
(June, 2017)
(May, 2017)
(April, 2017)
(March, 2017)
(February, 2017)
(January, 2017)
(December, 2016)
(November, 2016)
(October, 2016)
(September, 2016)
(August, 2016)
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