AboutFollowing his two recent visits to Ulusaba, a private game reserve near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Andrew will be showing forty new oil painitngs, watercolours and sketches of the stunning wildlife he observed daily.
It was Andrew's good fortune that he was invited on a weeklong Virgin Unite Connection Trip to South Africa in October 2013 a trip with a group of exceptional people that proved inspiring and life changing for a wildlife artist ever eager for a new challenge.
The fascination of three days of Johannesburg's extraordinary history and entrepreneurial businesses rapidly faded as the second half of the week was spent at the Ulusaba private game reserve, Sir Richard Branson's spellbinding retreat in the Sabi Sands, neighbouring the Kruger national Park. Dawn and dusk game drives were food and drink for Andrew, who revelled in the rich diversity of mammals, exotic birds, insects and the occasional snake. Meanwhile, a Pride ân Purpose* trip into a local disadvantaged neighbourhood , including the Bhubezi Community Healthcare Centre, (a project built primarily to look after people with Aids, HIV, malaria, TB and other serious diseases and illnesses), proved unbelievably stirring and culminated in a richly rewarding afternoon working with the Starkey hearing Foundation.
Andrew was left stunned by his visit to Ulusaba; the variety and accessibility of the wildlife had been overwhelming and inevitably whetted his artistic appetite. Moreover, the Pride ân Purpose project had moved him to such an extent that he felt that he too could help in some small way. He needed to return and paint the wildlife, then put on an exhibition that would, in turn, support P 'n P.
Supported by Virgin Unite, Andrew travelled back to Ulusaba in March this year and for two weeks he lived with the staff, up and out every morning and evening with the trackers and rangers, sketching and photographing the wildlife at every possible moment. It was an inspirational and exhausting time, gathering as much information as possible. Sketchbooks were filled with scribblings of the big five but so much more, especially the many, often overlooked birds.
Since his visit Andrew has been working on the Ulusaba paintings and drawings for the exhibition in London in December. A percentage of sales from the exhibition will be donated to the Pride ân Purpose Project.
*Working on a non-profit basis, Pride 'n Purpose is Ulusaba's charitable arm committed to helping disadvantaged communities living adjacent to the Sabi Sand Reserve. Pride 'n Purpose's main focus is on sustainable development initiatives and improving access to food, water and health services. It is supported by Virgin Unite, the Virgin group's non-profit foundation.
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