Pink for wildlife conservation

2019-02-26 06:01
Sabrina Rupprecht with the pink lion.

Sabrina Rupprecht with the pink lion.

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After spending a year travelling through 11 countries in Southern and East Africa, a Gardens resident was motivated to tell a story of wildlife conversation through art.

Sabrina Rupprecht said that after she graduated from her Fashion Design studies in 2007, she was fortunate to visit over 50 national parks and reserves and fell in love with nature and wildlife.

“The journey had a life-changing impact on me, the way I saw myself and everything I had learned about life until then. It put into perspective how small I am and taught me to be grateful and humble to be privileged to live on this beautiful Earth. They call Africa the Motherland, because humanity and with it the cultures we all stem from originated here.

“Living in a tent for most of the year with only the most necessary items in one bag, travelling day in and day out, mostly off road through the bush and deserts, made me value the simplicity away from our ‘man-made’ city life and consumer culture, but more importantly made me understand so much about our heritage and that we have a responsibility to protect this precious part of the world,” she said.

Most of her paintings are usually done in a pink colour because it is the colour used to represent vulnerability and call out for compassion. “I want to connect people to our environment through my art, so that they understand its irreplaceable value and feel responsible to protect it. Pink is the colour of sensitivity and compassion. It’s the passion of red mixed with the purity of white. It symbolises vulnerability and the need for protection. I decided to paint endangered wildlife in a way never done before: intimately close, powerful and uniquely in pink to call out for compassion. I hope to bring across the magic that I felt from my encounters with these beautiful animals by showing Africa through my paintbrush. But of course, pink is also just an awesome colour,” she said.

Rupprecht is half Sicilian and half German and was raised in the countryside outside of Cologne, Germany. She has called Cape Town home since 2006 and she is in love with the people, the different cultures, the nature, the food and the music of this amazing city.

For her, drawing and painting started as soon as she could hold a crayon.

“Since early childhood, I’ve been drawing and painting my own fantasy world and I am happy to say that today, I paint for a living. Drawing and painting have been a part of my life since the day I was able to hold a wax crayon. While the real world around me was mostly rainy and grey, I used the brightest colours to draw things that only existed in my imagination far away from the small village I grew up in. Art very quickly became my favourite hobby, as it opened the door to a fantasy world that I could create entirely by myself to hide away from the challenging reality I was facing then, as my dad was ill at the time. The more I practised, the more beautiful this world became, and today I am grateful to be able to share it with you.”

Having lived in Miami and Germany as well, she has managed to build a strong brand everywhere. “Moving between three continents over the last two years definitely helped to expand my brand and network within the art industry. However, I wouldn’t call it easy. It’s as exciting as it is equally exhausting. Long-distance travels, settling into new accommodation every two to three months, packing and unpacking, setting up a workspace to paint and be productive, and simply adjusting to your surroundings can all together be a lot combined. Not to mention the social surroundings which are extremely different from place to place – but definitely worth it,” she said.

For her this is not just painting, it is her life. She has now given up her call centre job to concentrate full time on her paintings. “The painting process in itself is calm and peaceful, and I usually enjoy listening to audiobooks while I paint. Of course, my favourite part is always to see a painting come to life in the last quarter of the process. I love when it’s done after so many hours, because the rest of the world can finally see what I’ve had in my head as an idea for weeks or months in advance. I can’t really say how much time I spend on a piece. It really depends on the size of the artwork and on the amount of detail. But typically, my large wildlife pieces take around 150 to 200 hours of painting each.”

V To view some of her work go to or


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