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Vanessa Berlein – Rhino Residency June 2019

Vanessa studied fine art at Natal Technikon, South Africa, majoring in painting. Since 1987, she has worked full time as a fine artist, predominantly working in paint medium, although has experimented in photography, print medium and sculpture. After viewing an exhibition of Mark Rothko’s in London in 1998, she began to experiment with abstract images, concentrating on the effects of colour, light and various mediums, such as beeswax, industrial varnishes, building materials and metal leaf. She has curated and exhibited in numerous exhibitions in the USA and SA and currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. An artist, she works predominantly in paint medium on board, paper and canvas. Her work is varied, but is concerned with human emotional response and relationship to one another, the landscape and within abstraction.

Vanessa worked with Rhino Disharmony in June 2019, by taking on a Rhino Residency based at Motswari Private Game Reserve. Here she had sole use of the bush studio, access to game drives for inspiration and totally immersed herself in her natural environment to create some stunning pieces of art. Her focus was on gold leaf paintings, inspired by bush panoramas and the outcomes were stunning. She also donated a piece to Rhino Disharmony depicting rhinos with gold horns – the irony that their horn is worth more than gold on the black market. Our first Rhino Residency was a huge success, increasing awareness of the rhino poaching crisis via the medium of art.