C.I.T.E.S. is the acronym for the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora".
When 31 tons of ivory were doused with gasoline and set alight in an attempt to draw attention to the ongoing massacre of elephant and rhino at the hands of poachers, Hodnett was appalled by this wanton destruction and felt that those animals had truly died in vain. The artist believes that revenue from the controlled and responsible sale of that and other existing stockpiles of ivory and rhino horn from game management programs could have been utilized in a far more intelligent and productive way to help protect both species from extinction. Game conservation agencies and government anti-poaching units all over Africa and beyond, remain ill-equipped, sadly under-funded and plagued by corruption. Animals are still being poached, hunted and exploited for their body parts on a world-wide basis. The horrendous trade in animal parts continues.
The aggressive stance and accusing look in the goat's eyes compel the viewer to pause and reflect. Goats are the cause of much devastation of the African bush yet ironically provide life supporting sustenance to many.
Atop the pile of tusks is a white Egyptian Sacred Ibis. This noble bird is found all over Africa, usually scavenging on refuse dumps, and seems to symbolize the plight of millions of people suffering the effects of war, poverty and drought. It's wings however are raised in a proud gesture of hope.
Behind the goat a wise owl takes flight, as if leaving this seemingly hopeless situation, much the same as the European Colonialists did in the second half of the Twentieth Century.
This work was first exhibited at the Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg in 1995 and again in Vancouver, Canada in 2002. This work was purchased by Simon Fraser University in 2007 for the university's permanent collection.
Signed lower right. Size: 165 cm. x 150 cm. - 65 in. x 59 in. Date: 1995
© Copyright Noel Hodnett - All rights reserved.