Art Charities

Ivory Towers – Art Show with a Powerful Anti-Poaching Message

Surreal and evocative art exhibition with powerful anti-poaching message

Ivory Towers 1-7 December 2015

Ivory Towers is a new powerful exhibition at Co-LAB gallery, Bristol showcasing three of Bristolʼs extraordinary artists. Each has his own unique style but all are united by the common theme of wildlife. Works from two of the artists particular have a strong anti-poaching message and all are donating 10% of sales to the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. Featured work from these Bristol artists includes Neil Robertsʼs ʻTarget Practiceʼ – a heartbreaking oil painting of elephants painted with targets; Patrick Tutton (DIFF)ʼs ʻTake the blue pill not my hornʼ an evocative rhino head sculpture and Julian Quayeʼs ʻThe Cult of the Illuminated Telling Boxʼ – a surreal painting of an anthropomorphic elephant on a throne with an ancient TV.

About the theme of the exhibition organiser and artist Neil Roberts said: ʻWildlife crime is ravaging the planet; the illegal trafficking of wildlife is now one of the worldʼs largest criminal industries with repeated links to terrorism networks. Our exhibition highlights the inanity of poaching and we are donating a percentage of every item sold to the I.A.P.F. to fight this crime.ʼ

Artist Neil Roberts mainly specialises in oils. His key themes generally revolve around the surreal directly influenced by the arcane, resonating with symbolic energy. He says ʻI paint from a combination of life painting and photographs. I choose to mainly paint with oils giving my work an almost classic feel to them. When people see my work I like them to experience both a mixture of nostalgia and déjà vu.”

His latest work ʻTarget Practiceʼ is an emotive piece showing a family of elephants walking by a riverbank with targets painted on them.

neil roberts Target Practice

“Target Practice” by Neil Roberts

Target Practice - work in progress - Neil Roberts

“Target Practice” (work in progress) by Neil Roberts

Revealing his passion for the subject he adds: ʻYou do not have to ravage the earths wildlife to get the horn…just use Viagra!ʼ

Take the blue pill not my horns - DIFF

“Take the blue pill not my horns” by DIFF (Patrick Tutton)

This theme continues with the next artist Patrick Tuttonʼs resin rhino bust titled ʻTake the blue pill not my hornsʼ. This evocative piece has hand guilded 24ct tarnished asian gold leaf horns, and resin tear drops. His second piece ʻD.I.Y shark fin soupʼ shows mini sharks suspended in resin with chopsticks and a razor blade sends itʼs own strong message. Bristol born artist Diff (Patrick Tutton) was inspired by Banksy and first brought his artwork to the streets of Bristol. In recent years Diff has diversified, producing 3-dimensional works dealing with issues of capitalism, war and greed. About his work organiser Neil says ʻDiff has the gift of making dark worldly concerns come to light with a touch of humourʼ.

DIY Shark Fin Soup by DIFF

DIY Shark Fin Soup by DIFF (Patrick Tutton)

DIY Shark fin soup 2 by DIFF

DIY Shark Fin Soup by DIFF (Patrick Tutton)

The final featured work is from the surreal world of Bristol artist Julian Quaye. About his antrhopomorphic characters he says: ʻThey live in a world which is a reflection of our world– only slightly differently. Each of my characters are vignettes who play a part in the much bigger story in a world that has gone completely bonkers.ʼ

His new work for the show is ʻThe Cult of the Illuminated Telling Boxʼ. When asked why this piece for the show Quaye said ʻNeil had come back from South Africa with an idea for the exhibition which would raise money for an anti-poaching charity. We were looking at his pictures of elephants and Iʼd been wanting to paint another elephant for some time to fit into the world that Iʼm creating. The character in this piece is a variant in their world of Aleister Crowley mixed with a reflection of todayʼs cult of celebrityʼ.

The Cult of the Illuminated Telling Box Julian Quaye- WIP

“The Cult of the Illuminated Telling Box” (work in progress) by Julian Quaye

When asked who the exhibition of these exciting artists is aimed at Roberts answered: ‘our other works at the event illustrating each artistʼs versatility. So, basically anybody interested in wildlife and contemporary art in general would enjoy the showʼ.

For more information see
The exhibition runs 1- 7 December at Bristol Co-Lab
Opening Hours Monday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm / Sunday: 11am – 5pm

51-53 Merchant St, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3EE


Words: Auntie G @CreativesGM

Art: Julian Quaye, Patrick Tutton, Neil Roberts

Editor: Beck Nickolls @becknickolls @artistscribbles

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