Location: Marina Gardens, St Helier, Jersey 2023. Tortoise Takeover with Durrell Zoo
Tortoise Takeover is an island-wide, public art trail from 16 June 2023 to 31 August 2023. Bringing together every part of the island’s community, this magnificent art trail is brought to you by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in partnership with Wild in Art. Encouraging Jersey’s community and visitors of all ages, to explore the outdoors in a creative and colourful way. While also recognising the incredible work Durrell undertakes to protect some of the most threatened species on our planet.
‘Aasimah’, the striking tortoise sculpture, draws inspiration from Australian Aboriginal art and has been brought to life using different shades of blue, orange, glitter, and metallic gold. According to the Yorta Yorta Tribe, the tortoise is a symbol of protection, provision, and guidance, and this message is skilfully woven into the artwork.
The concentric circles adorning the tortoise's shell are reminiscent of the sky, representing the vast expanse above us, while the orange patterns symbolise the land and water. Aasimah, meaning "protector" in Aboriginal Australian, is a fitting title for this powerful and thought-provoking sculpture.
"Tortoises have been making their way into stories for centuries. From Greek mythology to Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot and Aesop’s classic fable “The Tortoise and the Hare”.
These slow-moving creatures have captured our imaginations and become symbols of persistence and diligence."
The public's reaction
People have really enjoyed visiting Aasimah and it's been highly collected as well as voted on the app. The location is fantastic and as you can see from the photos below, Aasimah is super loved by locals and visitors. The reaction has been brilliant. Please tag @mrasingh when sharing your photo of Aasimah.
Partnering with my sculpture sponsors
The sculpture is co-sponsored by Jersey Development Company and Cooper & Co Jersey. Jersey Development Company is the Government of Jersey's regeneration arm. They are a delivery vehicle for major property development and mixed-use regeneration for the long-term benefit of the people of Jersey. Cooper & Co Jersey are purveyors of the finest teas and coffees since 1890. They have three cafes, a store and a food service, supplying over 300 outlets in Jersey.
It has been fantastic working with Sally Le Cornu from Jersey Development Company and David Warr and Marta Bilinska from Cooper & Co on this project. They have all been highly proactive businesses to partner with leading to delivering art workshops and active social media promotion.
Art workshops at primary schools
During my second visit to Jersey, I worked with my sponsors to deliver creative workshops at Springfield primary school and Rouge Bouillon primary school. It was amazing to see the pupils (and teachers!) engage with designing their own tortoises, working with colour and patterns.
“Delivering these creative workshops to two States Primary Schools in St Helier, was an absolute joy. The school pupils were so enthusiastic and the positive effects of bringing children together within a creative setting was very evident. The environment allowed them to express themselves and gain inspiration while learning about various patterns, colours and dot art, which are integrated into MrASingh’s sculpture designs. On a personal note, these last two days delivering workshops at Springfield and Rouge Bouillon School, has been an incredible experience and we’re looking forward to working with more town schools in the future.”
Sally le Cornu, Communications Manager, Jersey Development Company
On 21 September, all giant tortoise sculptures will go under the hammer at The Royal Yacht Hotel at the much-anticipated Tortoise Takeover auction with celebrity auctioneer Charles Hanson. The auction is to raise vital funds to help build a new Tropical House at Jersey Zoo. The Reptile and Amphibian House at Jersey Zoo is home to some of the most endangered species that Durrell works with, but is in urgent need of improved and more sustainable facilities. These improvements will also support Durrell’s team working at rewilding sites around the world, who are undertaking vital research and providing frontline care to these species on the brink.
Where: The Royal Yacht Hotel
When: 21 September
Online bidding: click here
Location: Marina Gardens, St Helier, Jersey
Client: Jersey Development Company and Cooper & Co Jersey
Materials - Fiberglass sculpture. Acrylic, metallic, gold paint, glitter and resin varnish
Related hashtags: #TortoiseTakeover
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