The Human Elephant Foundation is a visionary and collaborative organisation that initiates, co-ordinates and facilitates discussion and innovative problem solving to create a better, respectful and sustainable world.
The Foundation creates the opportunity for thinking individuals and corporates to join together, stimulate their imagination and harness their creativity towards the overall health of the planet.
It is a tax-efficient vehicle to facilitate and support the development and implementation of innovative projects that address the social and ecological imbalances, as well as vulnerabilities resulting from the human footprint. It invites partnerships between schools, universities, local businesses, cultural and creative communities and individual citizens.
The current problems of the world cannot be addressed in a predictable, formularised way. Such solutions require the ability and desire to break new ground and generate fresh ideas.
The presence of an elephant made out of recycled material in different regions of the world will, we believe, help mobilise community involvement in broader human and ecological issues.
PROFILE: Andries Botha
Andries Botha lives and works in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has given significant time to exploring the relationship between creativity and other forms of citizenship, which has resulted in his committing his life to being within a teaching and learning environment. Andries has always been highly conscious of the fragile co-existence of man with other life forms and sensibilities.
He has, throughout his creative career, tried to unravel the mystery and responsibilities attached to the idea of co-existence. This search led to the formation of the Human Elephant Foundation in 2006 and its public launch in 2009.
Graduating from the University of Natal in the 1970's, he won several awards including the Volkskas Atelier Merit Award in 1987, the Cape Town Triennial Merit (1988), the Standard Bank Young Artist Award (1990) and the National Vita Art Award (1992).
Apart from exhibitions in his home country, he has exhibited extensively internationally, including: Oslo and Stavanger Norway, Durban, George, Cape Town, South Africa, Amsterdam, Rotterdam,The Hague and Maastricht Holland, Merida and Mexico City Mexico, De Penne, Antwerp and Terveren Belgium, St Brieuc and Marseilles, France, Gwalior, India; Las Palmas, Canary Islands.Chicago,Fayetteville, Bozeman,El Paso, Detroit USA, Dusseldorf Germany, Lisbon Portugal, Albisola and Venice Italy, Santander Spain, Reykjavik, Iceland, Senegal and Abijan Africa, Bath, UK among others.
For more information on Andries' work, awards etc please visit his website at www.andriesbotha.net
Picture: Andries Botha
Photogragher: Sean Lorrenz
PROFILE: John Charter
After graduating from Stellenbosch University in Philosophy and English, he spent 37 years in the marketing communications industry in Johannesburg, Toronto and Durban with Ogilvy, McCann Erickson, Lintas and latterly Matthews and Charter,Ogilvy and Mather. For the past 12 years, John has practised as a Corporate Dynamics partner together with his psychologist colleague, working with clients across many industries in South Africa. The key focus of the Company (Black Egret) is business strategy, people development and training.
Having worked for so long in a highly creative (advertising) industry, John believes strongly that human imagination and ingenuity provides the key to the massive problems currently being faced on the planet.
As a 4th generation South African, he has a profound love of his country and continent on many levels. With the legacy of a grandfather who founded the oldest game reserve in Africa, as a keen naturalist in his own right, and being conversant in many local languages, John is both environmentally and culturally immersed in the very fabric of South Africa's heritage.
He is convinced of the leading role that African sociology, ecology and philosophy can play in stimulating new thinking around the challenges of the human condition in the 21st century.
As a partner in the Human Elephant Foundation, with founder and sculptor Andries Botha, John has campaigned for its extended role in harnessing human creativity to generate important conversations around re-engaging with the earth, and ensuring meaningful sustainability based on an acknowledgement of our inter-dependence with each other and with all forms of life.
The HEF have two specially trained young men (artistic creators) Siyabonga Madlala and Sibusiso Mazibuko
Both Siya and Sbu, as they are affectionately known by their friends and all at the HEF, were born in the South African province of Kwazulu Natal and have been working on the famous life-size elephants for the past seven years. In that time they have been under the tutelage and expert guidance of the creator of the HEF elephants, Andries Botha.
Siya and Sbu were specially chosen by Botha to be trained under him in his studios in Durban. Their practical experience has enabled them both to qualify through the Durban University of Technology, obtaining their National Diplomas in Fine Art.
During this time of intense labour they have created elephants from recycled materials, metal, disused rubber car tyres, wire and stones.
They are also soon to be trained as nature guides by the Wilderness Leadership School and who knows, the next Andries Botha or Ian Player may come from this source! We intend selecting other young people who may not have many opportunities in life, to follow in their footsteps as a part of our job creation and training contribution.
Siya and Sbu share a flat together and have become inseparable friends, being of the same age.