by Violet Astor
A collaboration with:
The Ministry of Heritage & Culture
The Environment Society of Oman
4th November – December, 2019
Under the Patronage of HH Sayyida Dr. Mona Fahd Al Said, the Ministry of Heritage & Culture welcomed an art exhibition by Violet Astor celebrating Oman’s unique wildlife. Sponsored by Land Rover and the Anglo-Omani Society, a silent auction was held in support of the Environment Society of Oman, with 100% of the proceeds donated to support their Raptures Project.
Violet also held a number of public lectures around Muscat about her time exploring Oman’s diverse habitats in search of wildlife to draw. Her travels took her from the dramatic coastline where she watched turtles nesting on Ras Al Jinz’ pristine beaches to hiking in the scenic Dhofar mountains in search of the elusive Arabian leopard. Her talks, including one at the Natural History Museum to local Government school children, also highlighted successful conservation efforts in the protection of Oman’s wildlife from the mystical Unicorn of the Desert; the Arabian Oryx to the vibrant marine life found off the coast of Muscat, including the unique non-migratory Arabian Sea Humpback Whale to a variety of dolphin species. Through her talks, Violet encouraged over 200 Omani school children to pledge to become Wildlife Guardians.
Violet’s conservation efforts also include using only natural materials, such as charcoal and soil collected from Arabian leopard territory, in the creation of her artwork. She uses recycled paper made from coffee cups in the effort to raise awareness about the 16 billion disposable cups used each year, which results in 6.5 million trees being cut down, 4 billion gallons of water used and enough energy to power 54,000 homes for a year all going to waste.
Through her talks, Violet has been able to encourage over 200 Omani school children to pledge to become Wildlife Guardians; to reduce their plastic, energy, water and meat consumption and encourage those around them to be mindful of the environment. To her delight, they also resulted in a number pupil initiated school projects about protecting their natural heritage. Furthermore, the extensive media coverage across Oman’s Print, TV and Radio media, as well as some international reporting, has raised the profile for Omani wildlife and the conservation work being carried out. Violet has been voted as one of Oman’s Top 10 Nation Builders of 2019 due to the work she has done in Oman.
The exhibition was opened in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture on 4th November 2019 and will be going on a national tour of Oman.