On Tuesday 13 September, Bonhams, the London-based auction house, will be holding a charity auction to help fund a large scale theatre production that Handspring Trust is doing with a rural community in South Africa’s Little Karoo. The group is called NET VIR PRET (Just for Fun) and this will be the seventh year that we’ll be working with their young leaders in planning, scripting, puppet making, rehearing and performing a show – their show. This is involving extensive research on their part. Already 16 of them have travelled to the Addo Elephant Park to experience and study elephants in the wild. This was funded by Handspring Trust.

SEE AUCTION DETAILS HERE:  www.bonhams.com/auctions/24010

Next month, five of the women will be visiting the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit in the Balule Nature Reserve next to the Greater Kruger National Park – also funded by Handspring.  This is the highly successful and mostly female ranger unit founded in 2013 with the purpose of protecting wildlife in South Africa. Big weaves, red nails and ruby lipstick are their trademark. You’ll find them on the web. The Barrydale music group – The Jazz Monkeys – is collaborating with someone with a knowledge of elephant infrasound to find ways of including this low-level frequency into the music they’re composing for the piece. They also get to travel to Cape Town to spend time making puppets with us in our studio and music in the studio of our soundscape/electronic music composer. Some of them will be inside the elephants in the show, experiencing in a very muscular and visceral way what it is to embody – to be – another ontology. This is a pretty neat way of learning about elephant conservation.

Ours is a big project involving:

  • About 20 Young Leaders from Barrydale (average age 24)
  • 120-150 children aged from 6 – 12 (each of whom make their own puppet for the show)
  • 15 professionals hired by Handspring over a five month period to assist in various aspects of the production: Puppet building, manipulation training, rehearsals, song composition, logistics, sound production, and power utilisation.
  • The four person company – UKWANDA – made up of people who used to work for Handspring and nor run their own Mellon Institute-funded company are joining with us to realise this project. The Centre for Humanities Studies at UWC is central to this aspect of our co-operative programme that criss-crosses the terrain between the city and the rural, linking a network of creatives that we are beginning to term ‘Geographies of Co-operation’.

We have quite a lot of money to raise to make this all happen. And this is where the War Horse puppets come in.

On offer at Bonhams will be set of puppets from the National Theatre’s USA Touring Production of War Horse:

SEE AUCTION DETAILS HERE:  www.bonhams.com/auctions/24010

Each puppet is numbered and signed by Adrian Kohler. This is an edition of 5 and each puppet will be numbered accordingly. If you are aware of anyone – or a museum or gallery – that might be interested in acquiring what in their retirement have become rather beautiful works of art, please let them know. Each will be signed by Adrian Kohler.

We’d love you to attend the sale. Adrian and I will be there too. And Investec is kindly providing the catering.

There is no reserve. Pre-sale enquiries to:

Specialist – South African Art
London, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7468 8355
Fax: +44 20 7468 5839