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It is that time of year when people want to dress up, look their best and enjoy mixing with their favourite personalities at the country’s best horse-racing event, the Vodacom Durban July.
Art and sport can, at times, be good bedfellows, and Durban’s favourite rugby team, The Sharks, will be sure to prove this point during this year’s Durban July next Saturday.
The Sharks tent is always one of the most popular on race day, and to make the event extra-special for the many visitors to their marquee, three art works created by Sean Simons depicting three popular Sharks players – Keegan Daniels, Patrick Lambie and “Beast” Tendai Mtawarira – will be up for auction.
Simons was approached to create the portraits following the success of the auction of his painting of Laurence Anthony, known as the Elephant Whisperer,
Already an established artist, Simons, who studied graphic design, illustration and fine art, is exploring the subject of sport personalities.
The challenge in his work is to depict the likeness and energy he sees in these personalities.
A pre-auction viewing of his new artworks can be seen at the Riverside Hotel in Durban North, where the public can make a pre-auction bid.
Visitors who want to rub shoulders with the Sharks players at their marquee – at R2 500 a ticket – will be able to bid on the works.
There will be the possibility of buying a limited-edition print of the three paintings up for auction. Proceeds of the prints and originals will go towards the Bobbie Bear Foundation.
The painting of Daniels features the Sharks’ rugby captain with the thoroughbred racing horse named Shark Attack.
Daniels was given the opportunity of naming this horse when it was a foal, and it is owned by a syndicate of which many Sharks players are a part.
The painting of Lambie, depicted by Simons in a powerful action pose, captures his passion for the game of rugby, and the composition expresses this passion and power.
Mtawarira, the Zimbabwean-born Sharks powerhouse player, is portrayed in charcoal and pastel. This original sketch has been signed by Beast and inscribed with one of his favourite Bible verses.
Beast’s religion plays a big part in his life, so you will notice that a subtle cross is shown behind his head. This striking charcoal composition is made up of a magnificent portrait of his face in full game mode, as well as his signature power action.
All proceeds from the auctioned art works will go to the Operation Bobbi Bear Foundation, which exists to rescue and uphold the rights of sexually abused children.
The foundation quotes a statistic that a child is raped every three minutes in SA.
“The Bobbi Bear Foundation is committed to helping as many children as they can, and appreciates every cent that comes its way – hence the Sharks’ commitment to raise significant funds and awareness for this amazing cause,” said a spokesman for the foundation.