“Meeting artist-sculptor Noel Ashton in his studio is a humbling experience. This is a place where sculptures breathe and paintings move. This is a place where art has been taken so seriously that it becomes something complex, something anatomically precise, something real.” Janis Theron
Noel’s life has taken him along many divergent pathways, but time has shown that two central threads have come to define his life. As an artist, his creative journey has evolved out of responding to the world through the resonance of experience, and sharing these in various ways including paintings, sculptures and written narratives. And then the ‘Creative Entrepreneur’, of seeking ways to broaden the scope and potential of his creative works through programme innovation and partnerships through which he seeks to inspire environmental and social change.
Visit the Gallery to view a selection of artworks - Gallery
We live in a rapidly changing world, and this holds true for anybody striving to establish a career in the creative sector. The traditional format of artworks being marketed and sold through established galleries, although still relevant, is now only an aspect of a much broader set of opportunities available for artists who wish to interact with the world. Social media, innovative ways of sharing and storytelling, and a host of other avenues now need to be an integral part of any artist’s business plan, aspects which Noel terms the Creative Entrepreneur, a topic which he offers as a workshop for aspirant creators. Many of his own artworks fall into this sector, especially when he has employed ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ to share his messaging and environmental concerns, some of which are illustrated below.
MAPUNGUBWE REVISITED | Rhino fundraising initiative with WWF-SA
800 years ago, a little gold rhino was placed in the royal grave at the Late Iron Age Archaeological site of Mapungubwe, 800 years later it inspired me to create ‘Mapungubwe Revisited’. This sculpture not only embodies the magnificent rhino, but also offers reflection on our inter-connected place within the wider living world. Created in partnership with WWF-SA, the initiative was launched in September 2012 at the Mapungubwe Museum, Pretoria. Find out more | Mapungubwe-Revisited
“Noel and Belinda Ashton’s ‘Mapungubwe Revisited’ is a brilliant initiative to honour the rhino. The reverence of the ancient people for this wonderful animal is a sharp reminder to so-called civilized man to ensure that the species survives in our modern world.” Dr Ian Player
SACRED OCEAN | Global Voices Against the Cruelty of Whaling
For many years I have returned to the edge of the sea to spend time with those magnificent mammals of the oceans, the whales, but these special times were tainted with the knowledge that they continue to suffer at the brutal hand of man. My Sacred Ocean sculpture now stands silently in the foyer of the Two Oceans Aquarium, inviting the world to join me and say no to the cruelty of whaling through the Great Whaling Debate.
“It is for ourselves, even more than for the whales, that we need to say No! No! No! to the killing of whales.” Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the launch of the Sacred Ocean Campaign
JOURNEYS IN SEARCH OF THE WHALE
I have found that mankind’s complex relationship with the whale, ranging from a fascination which draws people to the edge of the sea, and the impassioned response to save stranded whales, in contrast to the brutality of explosive-harpoon whaling, has given me a powerful metaphor with which to explore our relationship with the world around us, and along the way to look closer at ourselves and our social and environmental paradigms.
Journeys in Search of the Whale is a A 55-minute AV Presentation | Journeys in Search of the Whale
WATCHING WHALES AND DOLPHINS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
I have spent many years illustrating the world’s cetaceans, which has involved spending time out at sea or along the coast photographing whales and dolphins, creating scientific illustrations and getting to know their behaviours and identification, all of which have been brought together in this new book, published by Random House Struik. Southern Africa has some of the best whale and dolphin watching opportunities in the world - this book is an essential guide to enriching your whale or dolphin watching experience. With a foreword by zoologist and BBC presenter Mark Carwardine.
To order copies | http://www.randomstruik.co.za/title-page.php?titleID=4623&imprintID=2
NOEL ASHTON WILDLIFE STUDIO - Noel and Belinda Ashton | PO Box 760 Noordhoek 7979 Cape Town | Mobile 072 063 4676 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org