WINDHOEK, April 15 — A Namibian artist depicted environmental and wildlife protection at an art exhibition that opened in the capital Windhoek on Wednesday evening.
The exhibition, “The Environment of Namibia,” displaying over 100 artworks by renowned visual artist Elia Shiwoohamba, runs until April 30 at the Omba Gallery. The linocut artistry presents a unique edition featuring Namibia’s cultural fundamentals, nature, and wildlife species such as rhinos and pangolins at risk of extinction.
Shiwoohamba, who has been an artist for more than 17 years, said he started carving images of his subjects into a block of linoleum, after which he rolled ink into an uncut surface for printmaking.
“The central aim is to capture and bring forth biodiversity as art can also be a sanctuary. I captured them to demonstrate their value to the ecosystem,” Shiwoohamba said.
For the exhibition, Shiwoohamba also integrated theory to zoom into other elements of tradition and modernity to showcase its impact on the southern African nation’s fauna and flora.
Namibia is still losing many wild animals to poaching, particularly of the highly valued species such as rhinos, elephants, and pangolins. A total of 87 rhinos were reported poached in 2022, 45 in 2021 compared to 43 in 2020, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.
“The focus is nature, which presents an opportunity for the potential influence art can make in environmental protection,” he said.
Meanwhile, the artist hoped to maximize art to shift notions about nature. “The exhibition is another reminder for the nation to reassess its conduct toward the environment and to draw new insights for all to safeguard the biodiversity by displaying its beauty.”
Moreover, the exhibition stood up for humanity and the economic benefits of Namibia’s natural environment. “It has the potential to transform and address problems such as poverty,” he added. (Xinhua)