Art for Conservation
‘Art for Conservation’ is the birth child of Juliet Shenton; collaborating with local artists to sell their imagery, donating 20% of the proceeds to the Conservation or Community project of our guests’ choice. We’ve been fortunate enough to meet several different artists over the years and are using our gift shop at Kaingo as a base to start off this initiative.
Born in Paris, Francois d’Elbee has lived and travelled throughout Africa since he was nineteen. Seeking the adventure of youth he first served time in the army in Chad and stayed on to follow the tracks of the old adventurers and hunters in the bush of Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, Cameroon, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia. His photographic artwork embodies many aspects of his life, from wildlife to people as subjects.
Vic Guhrs is an artist and writer who takes his inspiration from the natural world, the mysteries of wilderness, and the uncharted no man’s land of the soul where man and animals meet. Born in Germany, he came to Africa at the age of twenty-two in search of a life in remote places among wild animals.
After completing his art studies in Johannesburg, he moved to Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, where he spent the next twenty years observing, sketching and painting, and learning the ways of the wild. Since leaving his camp he divides his time between Lusaka and Cape Town, but the lessons learnt there still infuse his work with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all life and the healing power of wilderness.
Photography for their Future
In 2016, Anna Tolan, Chipembele’s Executive Director, asked Julie and Adam Bates whether they would run a photography workshop for some of Chipembele’s conservation students. Adam and Julie returned to Mfuwe to run that first workshop for 15 students in August 2016, using 15 different point and shoot cameras which had been very kindly donated.
The students were thrown into the deep end. A number of them hadn’t used a camera of any description before and of course they were all excited to find they could take selfies. However, we were there to teach them about focus, composition, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. They had a few eyes glaze over but Julie and Adam persevered! By November 2016 they had started a monthly camera club for the students. The students would go to Chipembele to get their photography assignment, use one of the donated cameras for 90 minutes or so and Chipembele would then DropBox the tiny photo files over to us in the UK to review. Julie and Adam would send feedback to the students ahead of their next camera club meeting.
Since then, Adam and Julie have been going back to Chipembele’s classrooms twice each year to run additional workshops and they also managed to upgrade the cameras so the students are now sharing some pretty decent gear. As always, some students are better photographers than others but every one of them, regardless of ability, enjoys their new found creativity. It is rare for anyone to miss the camera club! Part of the enjoyment is striving to get a good shot, part of it is learning new vocabulary and new skills and part of it is just getting closer to Nature and noticing the details in their surroundings. The advanced students have had a Photoshop workshop and are now able to use a computer at Chipembele to download, select and edit their photos. The club has grown to 27 students which feels a bit full as Julie and Adam are limited by gear and they have a growing number of female students embracing the technology as well. Indeed, our first female club member finished Year 12 in January and is now working for a catering business in Kitwe and becoming adept at producing food images.