Paul Dixon’s heroic cause for desert lions

View ‘Beneath the Namibian Sky’ until 8 October.

14 September 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Paul Dixon; Wildlife artist; “It is for the own wellbeing because they were literally starving to death.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The 2020 Wildlife Artist of the Year, Paul Dixon launched his latest solo exhibition “Beneath the Namibian Sky” at the Fine art Gallery.

The exhibition consists of 50 art pieces and includes 30 paintings and 20 drawings dedicated to the conservation of wildlife.

Dixon has raised over N$100 000 for charities like Desert Lions Human Relation Aid (DeLHRA), by auctioning his unique artworks at special fundraising events in Namibia.

“I’m doing it to raise funds for DeLHRA to enable them to continue monitoring the lions and keep doing the work they do. It will help to keep an eye on the condition the animals are in,” Dixon said.

He added that a couple lions have recently been removed from the desert so that they could be relocated to other locations.

“It is for their own wellbeing because they were literally starving to death. There is no game around, so the lions end up targeting the livestock of farmers. Rather than the farmers taking it out on the lions by shooting them, they removed them. Someone has to monitor and keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on.”

According to Dixon, it took him a year to complete the 30 painting pieces.

“I was putting in approximately 12 to 14 hours of work per day,” the Cape Town-based artist said.

All the proceeds of three of the pieces on display, including “Ondumbo” which means jealousy, will go to the aforementioned cause.

The exhibition’s title ‘Beneath the Namibian Sky’ refers to the large barren landscapes, wild yet balanced and intact ecosystems.

“There is nothing more important to future generations than conserving wildlife and wild lands. These are special places that lift our minds, replenish our spirits and renew our passion for living,” he said.

The owner of the Fine Art Gallery, Martina von Wenzel, praised Dixon for being an artist who has inspired a deeper understanding of the world and its wildlife, encouraging successful conservation efforts and awareness of endangered species and their habitats.

“As an internationally recognised artist who has observed lions for decades, the body of work created for this exhibition serves as an homage to these animals and explores questions about mankind’s deep fear, love and admiration for these creatures,” said Von Wenzel.

The exhibition concludes on 8 October.