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ART FOR CONSERVATION (article first published : 2004-02-28)

The generosity of a number of the countryís top conservation-inspired artists has raised more than R120,000 for conservation at a special art auction at the International Convention Centre Durban (ICC) on February 20.

Presented by The Conservation Trust, the high-profile event turned one of the ICCís giant venues into a sophisticated art gallery and a banquet room for the 300 guests, which included some of KZNís best-known faces.

The biggest bid of the evening went to the special Art for Conservation table; the brainchild of the curator of Art for Conservation, Bren Brophy. Fully set for eight, it included a ceramic dinner service exquisitely decorated with drawings of the Provinceís dragon-flies, beetles, and other "goggas and noonoos" by entomological artist Tanza Crouch, glassware hand-engraved by Nicole de Bruyn, pewter serving spoons, knives and other flatware provided by Nina Flavelin and cutlery by the famous Cape designer, Carrol Boyes, which was bought for R23,000.

The other donated artworks came from a variety of the countryís most talented artists like Carol Beckx, Roy Brookes, Gill Condy, Tessa Dean, the Flora Publications Trust, Donald Greig, Wendy Knights, Grahame Macquet, Elsa Pooley, Graeme Quinn, Lawrie Raubenheimer, Brenda Richardson, John Rushton, Julia Sursock, Ian van Zyl, Ingrid Wiesebye, and Lou Zonneveld.

The money raised by the auction, conducted the irrepressible Mark Banks and auctioneer Rob Thunder, will go straight into The Conservation Trustís Capital Fund to be used for major conservation projects in KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition, there will be a further substantial injection of tens of thousands of Rands on top of the Capital Fund from the sale of artworks which were sold in the especially-created gallery and from which the artists donated part of their sales- money to the Trust.

"The evening was a huge success from every point of view" says the organiser, Rob Cross, "and there will certainly be another Art for Conservation event next year along similar lines - just bigger and better!

"It was wonderful to see our audience having so much fun, enjoying the fabulous meal created by the ICCís executive chef, Gunther Beissel for the banquet; the music by the Tekwini String Quartet and SoundScapes; the amazing flowers by the Provinceís top floral art personalities... and so much more."

Anyone wanting further information about next yearís event, should contact Rob Cross on 031 201 6454 or e-mail: robcross@mnet.co.za




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