Noel has been described as an artist, scientist, author and conservationist, at first glance a contradictory set of interests and motivations, yet it has been the synthesis of these attributes that have enabled him to touch people’s lives in an original way. Through his storytelling he takes people on fascinating journeys, his artworks offer windows into hidden worlds, his passion drives him to initiate conservation programmes, and his African soul helps him connect with the wider living world. This website has been created to offer glimpses into his unique journey.
“I have always been drawn to the wild places of Africa, for it is here, along the paths where the first man walked, that I remember the deeper knowing that a connection to the earth gives me. I share this journey through my art and written narratives, speaking of these experiences and insights in the hope that I might touch other people’s lives, and so enable a path towards healing and inner transformation.”
THE NEWLY UPDATED FINE ART GALLERY
To enable easier viewing of Noel’s latest paintings and sculptures, we have updated the gallery on the website. The link below will take you to the Gallery page where examples of Noel’s latest artworks can be seen, with click-through’s to view each piece in a larger format.
Although Noel is probably best known for his paintings, sculptures and scientific illustrations of the world’s whales and dolphins, this page also showcases his very exciting series of mammal and bird paintings and sculptures.
With such a wide range of subject matter, Noel has had to become proficient in various mediums, each offering a different artistic approach and language.
“The smooth surface of a dolphins skin and gentle shifts in tonality are best expressed using airbrush techniques, whilst the soft texture of a genets fur needed the dexterity of acrylic brushwork and glazing” says Noel when explaining his choices. Other mediums include oil, watercolour, pastel and charcoal.
View the new Gallery
MAPUNGUBWE REVISITED - RHINO FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE
800 years ago, a little gold rhino was placed in the royal grave at the Late Iron Age Archaeological site of Mapungubwe, which inspired Noel 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 knowing 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.
WATCHING WHALES AND DOLPHINS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Noel and Belinda’s new book has been released by Random House Struik after a launch event at the Two Oceans Aquarium in June 2012. Southern Africa has some of the best whale and dolphin watching opportunities in the world - this book is an essential guide to encountering and learning more about the twelve most-frequently sighted species. With a foreword by zoologist and BBC presenter Mark Carwardine.
For more information or 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 email@example.com