They Know … We Know!
By Oliver Klink
My first visit to Africa was in 1986. The purpose of the trip was to share and exchange idea with university students in Abidjan (the capital of Ivory Coast), understand their living conditions, and listen to their views of the future. Ivory Coast was booming, their president Hufuet Buani was one of the richest men on earth, the country was one of the largest consumers of champagne in the world. Bargaining power could get you any luxury goods, handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, and even ivory. I was very naïve and traded my Swiss watch for a carved ivory statuette. The craftsmanship was amazing; the story told mesmerizing; I basically fell in love with the beauty of the masterpiece. What I didn’t know at that point was where the material came from. Beauty blinded me from the harsh reality that animals’ lives could have been taken.
Twenty years later, I returned to Africa to witness the beauty of wildlife. I took over 20,000 images of lions, zebras, giraffes, the great migration, elephants, and more. I was “gunning” to get the best shot in the best light, the actions, sometimes gruesome, which depict the harsh reality of the circle of life in Africa. But the image that stood out was a baby elephant (about 2 months old), which was led towards my jeep under his mom’s watchful eye. Once again, I was blinded by the beauty of a masterpiece, but this time live animals were at the center stage.
For my latest project, “Portrait of an Elephant”, my goal is to nurture beauty to get the viewer to a deeper understanding of their life, their whereabouts, their struggles. I was very fortunate to witness the birth of an elephant in the wild. To my big surprise the entire herd left the pregnant mom behind at the mercy of the predators. She fought for the life of her young, chasing away hyenas; jackals, eagles and she prevailed (for the visual story, check out the aurasma video tagged to “Shadow Me!”). That memorable episode wasn’t about beauty it was truly about the deeper understanding of elephant lives.
The herd knew that the newborn would survive. I knew that I had gotten a masterpiece with the baby elephant in 2006. So what about the ivory statuette in 1986? Deep inside I felt that it was too good of a deal to get a masterpiece carved ivory. So I knew that something was odd … and the good news the material was plaster!
Here more from Oliver about his love of Elephants at the Wildlife Beyond Borders Reception on April 16th at Keeble and Shuchat Gallery, 290 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Register at this link for the 1:00 PM VIP Event and Reception.
Meet Wildlife Beyond Borders Local Artist and Photographer
(Her Journey From Lawyer To A “Craniac”)
Susan Carnahan, a former managing attorney at Hewlett-Packard, has been photographing for over thirty years. Her award-winning photographs have been exhibited in California, Washington, New York, Vermont, and several venues in Russia.
Upon her retirement in 2002, Susan began to study digital photography at Foothill College. However, she did not abandon her film camera for a serious digital camera until a chance trip to Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, in 2007. There, her love of Asian art and in particular, the Red-crowned crane, transformed Susan’s art when she saw and photographed these cranes for the first time.
“ I was amazed at the grace and beauty of these birds; I watched them rise at dawn from their river roost, dance in the snow, and fly in together at nightfall. I was disheartened to discover that ten of the fifteen crane species are endangered. I soon became a “craniac”, passionate about helping the cranes. I also learned about the herculean conservation efforts of the International Crane Foundation and vowed to photograph all fifteen crane species.”
“Cranes are ambassador or umbrella species. Protecting the cranes’ habitats will protect all of the other species residing in the wetlands and marshes where the cranes breed and roost.”
“My goal is to evoke wonder at the spirit and elegance of the cranes and raise awareness that these birds, celebrated in art and revered as sacred, are now at risk. They depend on us for their continued survival.”
Susan has photographed the Sandhill crane in the California Delta, New Mexico, and Nebraska and traveled twice to the intercoastal waterways of Texas to photograph the rare Whooping crane. She has accompanied the International Crane Foundation to China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea to photograph the Red-crowned, Siberian and White-nape cranes. Susan will be photographing Demoiselle and White-naped cranes with ICF this summer, in Mongolia.
Learn more about Susan and her art from her personally at the Wildlife Beyond Reception at Keeble and Shuchat Gallery on Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 2:00 PM to 5.00 PM.
The Wildlife Beyond Borders show runs from April 13 to May 11, 2016, at Keeble and Shuchat, 290 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
Participating Artists: Mary Aiu, Susan Carnahan, Wendy Hannum, Oliver Klink, Diana Rebman, and Bruce Finocchio
Check out this video from the Wildlife Beyond Borders Artists!
Going Beyond Beauty to A Deeper Understanding!
Previously at Photo Central Gallery and Now coming to Keeble and Shuchat Camera store in Palo Alto beginning April 13, 2016, to May 11, 2016, with a reception on Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved”. — Jane Goodall
Animal Lives Matter!
I believe animals should be respected as citizens of this earth. They should have the right to their own freedom, their own families, and their own life. — John Feldmann
Animals should not require our permission to live on earth. Animals were given the right to be here long before we arrived. – Anthony Douglas Williams
Not only do artists of Wildlife Beyond Borders love wildlife. We know that wildlife lives matter, because we share so much of own lives with them, observing them, and learning from them.
How can you not have your heart touched by a two young gorillas in the arms of their mother? Feel for a young helpless snowy white harp seal pup alone on the ice waiting for its mother and her milk? In the field, to see and feel their lives is to see and feel a connection with your own.
As the threatened polar bear struggles to survive with less and less winter sea ice, and as other endangered species come closer to the brink of extinction. In Africa as ninety-six elephants are killed each and every day; we inherently know that their loss of life is our loss and that individual animals do matter.
Animals and man are bound together on earth, mere strands in the web of life, on this incredible blue planet whirling through the great infinity of space. Our place isn’t to dominate; it is not to be lords of the planet. It is to live in harmony with animals, respecting all life, with a revenant attitude, a set of ethics, and a belief in equality.
In essence, our lives and their lives are entwined; the future of life on earth depends on this mutual respect. Without them, there is no hope for a joyful future for our children, our children’s children, and all those who come after us.
Don’t miss Wildlife Beyond Borders exhibit at Keeble & Shuchat Gallery (April 13 – May 11). You’ll discover how six photographers are going beyond beauty, to artistically capturing the mysterious expressions of life.
Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved. — Jane Goodall
Wildlife Beyond Borders Exhibition Is Traveling
From the East Bay to Mid-Peninsula—From Photo Central to Keeble & Shuchat!
’The glue that binds these artists exhibiting in Wildlife Beyond Borders lies in an evolution of thought and practice. Each has answered the question of what matters, what is important and what is worth doing by looking outside the human condition. One was a lawyer, one a doctor, another one was once a cattle ranch manager, and one was even a hunter – they now share a common goal, concern and love for wildlife.”
New location: Keeble and Shuchat. 290 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Dates: From April 13, 2016, to May 11, 2016
Reception: April 16, 2016, 2:00 to 5:00 PM (Free Event)
Artists: Oliver Klink, Wendy Hannum, Diana Rebman, Mary Aiu, Susan Carnahan, and Bruce Finocchio
Come to the April 16 reception and meet the artists personally and hear their stories of inspiration, share their passion for wildlife, and learn more about their creative processes.
Meet Artist and Photographer: Mary Aiu
Recently artist Mary Aiu gave an interview to Rfotofolio.org. Full text of Mary’s Interview “Into the Woods with Mary Aiu” can be found at http://rfotofolio.org/2016/01/10/in-the-woods-with-mary-aiu/
Here is an excerpt:
Would you tell us about yourself?
I am a California native and live on a ranch in a beautiful part of Northern California with an array of animal friends. My life was greatly influenced by my father, a second-generation cattle rancher, so I grew up around ranching, horses, and the love of the land. After high school, I pursued my dreams of artistic visions and attended the California College of the Arts, receiving a BFA with a concentration in Photography and Ceramics.
Fast forward through the next 20+ years: career, mother, wife, and later, helping manage my father’s cattle ranch, were responsibilities that took precedence over my need to create. Despite my background in the arts, I never felt comfortable being called an artist, as I felt there was a great deal of grunt work yet to do, to master the materials and the connection of the medium with my inner self. So without the luxury of time to devote to refining craft, I just dabbled. However, in the back of my mind, I felt that someday, my time would come – which it did.
What draws you to working with horses?
I have always felt that if you’re passionate about your subject matter, it will show through in your work. A few years ago, I made a decision to choose a subject that would lend itself to becoming a body of work. Having great admiration for the horse and being an owner of a couple of them myself, the subject choice was an easy one. From photographing partnerships and interactions we have with the horse under-saddle, to finding beauty or story within a portrait, this journey has led me to an even deeper understanding and love for the horse. But what really pulls on my heart strings is to be able to witness through my camera the unbridled beauty of the horse in motion. It’s as if I were watching a dance, with each horse displaying their own unique flair of power or grace. It is so pure, watching a horse be a horse!
More of Mary’s artwork can be found on her website at http://maryaiu.com/
- The exhibit is enabled with a technology called “Augmented Reality” to enhance the user experience. When the viewer points their smart device at an image, behind the scene stories created by the artist starts playing. The viewer gets to know the artist, listen to relevant messages related to conservation, and discover what it takes to be a wildlife photographer. The technology is free of charge and doesn’t require any setups.
Text of Mary Aiu’s rfotofolio.org interview printed here with permission, copyrighted and all rights reserved by Mary Aiu and rfotofolio.com