The Lions Are Coming - Summer 2021
An art trail to raise funds for Tusk’s work supporting conservation and local communities across Africa impacted by Covid-19.
In partnership with the Tusk Organization & the African Community & Conservation Foundation
For more than three decades, Tusk has supported innovative conservation action in Africa. Under the Royal Patronage of HRH The Duke of Cambridge, the charity has raised and invested over $100m into conservation and community livelihoods programmes spanning the continent.
Following the huge success of the Tusk Rhino Trail which raised over $1million for conservation in 2018, the Charity is now launching a global Lion sculpture trail supported by an invited list of internationally acclaimed artists & designers, who are each being asked to uniquely design/paint a lion sculpture for public display this summer.
In the US, we are delighted to be partnering with ACCF, a like-minded community and conservation organisation with which Tusk is proud to co-fund projects such as The Malilangwe Trust in Zimbabwe. Our aim is to support the livelihoods of poor communities living alongside wildlife, mitigating the huge economic impact of Covid-19 on their jobs and security whilst also using the art to highlight the threat to the African lion’s survival from habitat loss, human wildlife conflict, and the growing illegal trade in lion parts. There are now less 23,000 lions remaining in the wild - a 90% decline of this iconic species in the last century – and yet they remain one of the key attractions that underpins the vital tourism economy.
The sculptures will be displayed to the general public at a selection of iconic sites during August/September 2021. Whereas the 2018 Rhino Trail, which featured pieces by Ronnie Wood, Harland Miller, Adam Dant, Marc Quinn, Zhang Huan, Mauro Peruchetti, focussed solely upon London, this time we shall be looking to include other cities to display our ‘pride’ of colourful lions. With the generous support of Donna Karan we are excited to be inviting a number of high profile American artists and designers to help us create a large pride of lions for show in the Hamptons this August followed by a further exhibition in Manhattan. In the UK the majority of sculptures will be located at iconic sites in London, with a smaller display perhaps in Edinburgh and Bristol. And the ambition does not stop there! We are working on having one or two lions pop up in Cape Town, Nairobi, Sydney, Tokyo and Auckland, where they will each be promoted by high-profile figures and celebrities.
The Lion Trail coincides with what is being described as a ‘super year’ for the environment and conservation. 2021 will see the world gather to set new targets both for protecting biodiversity and climate change, whilst the UK will also chair the G7 with the environment high on the agenda. The presence of lions on the streets combined with the messaging that will accompany them will highlight the vital link between the preservation of species and eco-systems, livelihoods, the ability of protected areas to reduce carbon, and the inherent value of natural capital in the fight against climate change. Participating corporate partners will be able to demonstrate their own commitment towards supporting conservation and livelihoods across Africa as part of their own positive ESG and CSR strategies.
Across the plains of the Serengeti, through the arid deserts of Namibia to the rainforests of the Congo Basin, Tusk works for a future in which people and wildlife can thrive, and where those who safeguard Africa’s natural heritage are valued and celebrated. The devastating economic impact of Covid-19 on jobs and livelihoods within the conservation and tourism sectors across Africa has made Tusk’s work even more urgent. Tusk amplifies the work of 50 pioneering conservation initiatives in more than 20 countries, increasing vital protection for over 70 million hectares of land and more than 40 threatened species. From iconic savanna-wandering elephant and wild dog to elusive forest-dwelling okapi and mountain gorilla, Tusk invests in targeted efforts to bring Africa’s endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The conservation projects we support provide not just protection for Africa’s wildlife, but contribute to the livelihoods and improved wellbeing for hundreds of thousands of people too.
LION TRAIL ARTISTS
Deborra & Oscar Jackman Elizabeth Jordan