Addressing the spirit of animals eradicated from their place, Botha’s lifesize elephants generate wonder around the globe. Three elephants placed on Durban’s Warrick Triangle, to commemorate the last elephant shot on that very place, finally in the process of being completed, continue to generate tremendous debate.
In Belgium in 2006, Botha paid homage to the thousands of elephants King Leopold of Belgium slaughtered, by placing a herd of nine life size elephants on a beach outside the king’s holiday house, walking into the sea, away from Belgium, back to Africa.
Enter the White Lion, completely eradicated from its ancestral lands until Linda Tucker and Jason Turner declared their sanctuary at Tsau Conservancy, Timbavati. On the 26th August 2012, Botha placed the first incarnation of the Rock Star lion, a galvanised steel frame to be filled with king quartz crystal, on the Nilotic meridian coursing through the White Lion ancestral lands, the heartline, facing Giza. Once filled with crystal the sculpture will weigh in excess of two tonnes. This gift from Andries attests to the glory of the White Lions in the wild and the work of the WLT ensuring that the White Lion is here to stay.
NARRATIVE FOR THE WHITE LION SCULPTURE
BY ANDRIES BOTHA
After spending a night in a tree house as a guest of the Global White Lion Protection Trust, under the Timbavati star-studded sky, it was difficult not to fall asleep thinking about the ghost-like, first encounter with the white lions, who silently emerged like illuminated shadows from the night and back into the night of stars.
The following morning my dream of the previous night loomed large in an uncustomary manner. Dreams seem to elude me, the details thereof I seldom remember. In this instance the dream was clear and defined. I had wondered what my role would be, if indeed there was one for me to have as a result of my visit to the Project. The dream unfolded in the light of the day, that which had remained shrouded in the complexity of the dream, appeared now to gain shape in the early morning light. It had three parts to it:
The mythic invitation of the heart line or meridian, that which intersected the globe running North to South, originating in Africa at Giza and flowing down the East Coast of Africa and exiting at Phoenix, Durban, was compelling if not dream-like in itself. I had, of course, dreamt about lions and had begun to imagine why it was that the white lion evoked as much mystery as it did substance. I now understood why it was that they had invoked as much myth and legend in their presence as in their absence. I now realised that memory can never be erased. Even the most deliberate efforts of reason cannot resist or erase the memory of the imagination. In my dream I had seen the white lion rising almost like a phoenix, re imagining and calling the ancient sphinx which had been patiently, obediently waiting like a stone, on the heart line, as an ancient guardian of memory. For anything to happen there had to be an agreement in place. This re-establishes a binary universe, a modality from which energy can flow between and within polarities. In my dream there appeared a lion, a white lion, crouching and waiting patiently for the evening star to appear. It was gazing in the direction of the full moon, just to the right of it into the eyes of Venus (star). I do not know where the calculation came from but the angle from the horizontal drawn up into the eye of Venus was around 38 degrees. The white lion re imagines the sphinx and transforms it from its eternal “wait” into a coiled instance of energy, the frozen moment before mythic action. The white lion was on the meridian facing the sphinx, transforming the ancient vigilant wait into a new possibility of action. The binary is now complete, the energy now flows from positive to negative, male to female, from the earth to the sky (star) and back down again to the earth. Such was the dream – the first part of the dream. It now became clear to me that I had to creatively release the phoenix lion from the dream. The packing of the lion with white crystal appeared to be a logical, reasoned consequence. Crystal has its own modality to transmit energy so this part just seemed to make good sense. Now the Rock Star Lion is placed on the meridian, the heartline, in free white lion territory. South Africa is now open for mythic business.
The second part of the dream is related , connected. It evolves from the ceremony that I attended that very night, led by Linda, around the release and life of Nyanga, the lioness whose life was now endangered as a result from attacking and killing her minder in the Johannesburg zoo who had entered her enclosure. I was mindful during the ceremony of the role that Linda was playing as a conduit to all of this particular energy. In my dream she reappeared in the centre of a circle wearing a radiant garment that reflected the night sky. It was as if the mantle around her was a magnetic field of energy spinning around a centre core, not unlike a rod of metal that had been magnetized and then began emitting magnetic force. The central core is the human body, an intense radiation of energy evolves from this point of reference outwards. As I moved closer through the energy and light that was emanating from the central core, I noticed that the robe around her body was covered in stars. Another part of this dream took me instantly to Papal Rome. I saw the pope standing attired in gold and silver. People were circled around him. From the side of the crowd walked another figure dressed in a radiant mantle of stars. Such was this illumination that everyone’s eyes turned away from the papal splendour to look into this new vibration of light. It was cold where I fell asleep on the deck under the stars and as a result I awoke from my dream. In creativity the relationship between the subconscious and the conscious is a meaningful, fertile, but subtle courtship. There is no doubt that the body of the person who takes it upon themselves to love enough, becomes a radiant pillar of light. This is the first idea, the axis mundi, the moment around which the earth radiates and from which the spirit and humanity emanates . If we were to revitalize the heart meridian, the spirit, this idea must radiate out from the source of the one who loved the keepers or the guardians of the heart more than anybody else and we would have to have a mantle or circle of protection around this person which was a combination of the principle that creates the stars, the sun and all the sacred symbols of theguardians of the earth heart. This protective mantle needed to be worn by the protector of the protector. At this point it became clear that weneeded to make a robe out of silver and gold, more radiant and imaginative than the eye dares to dream…..
The third part of the dream happened while I was awake. We were standing looking at an adjacent piece of land that was to be auctioned. The value of the land was more or less estimated at 26 million South African Rand. It appeared to be a vast amount of money. It also seemed to me that creativity could play a meaningful role in securing a part of the energy necessary to secure this “free earth”. This was an intoxicating idea worthy of being in creative service to. It was the idea that I first heard from Ian Player. In essence he said to me: “Andries, we have to purchase land and set it free. In doing so we have a chance of releasing pure nature which in turn could do its work and re enchant humanity.”(my translation from memory). To this idea I offered a bronze, the original from which the Rock Star lion was created, to be manufactured in edition. It has subsequently been decided that the edition will amount to 26.
|Dimensions:|| Nose to rear 3.10 m|
Head to Feet 1.35 m
Front legs to rear legs 1.40m
Widest part across the top 1.40m
|Photo Credit:||Obie Oberholzer|
|Destination:|| MADE FOR THE GLOBAL WHITE LION PROTECTION TRUST. Learn more at WhiteLions.com.