Vishnu is one of the principal Hindu deities worshiped as the protector and preserver of worlds.
Vishnu is also the name of the male Great Indian rhinoceros at the Toronto Zoo that artist Barbara cook instantly fell in love with on the Behind the Scenes tour May 2014. She immediately started dyeing and quilting fabric to create the tubercles and folds of his skin: the quilt draping his frame, provides comfort from the plight of the rhinoceros. This project developed into a forest of textile light sculptures surrounding Vishnu as a shrine to him and his endangered kind. This installation highlights human divergence from an idealized path laid out in the book of Genesis. The patches on this sculpture depicts the human efforts to put things right.
The Great Indian rhino has been cited as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, and it needs our help!
The Toronto Zoo saves and protects animals and their habitats at home and abroad and this includes the rhino. All rhinos are in desperate need of our help as poaching of these magnificent, and ancient creatures is on the rise. Did you know? There's a possibility that we will lose rhinos forever if the population continues to decline at the rate it is now.
This Tribute to Vishnu is part of the group exhibit GENESIS: MEMORY LANE sponsored by AVANI www.avanikitchens.com/genesis featuring 13 artists on 9 different locations on the grounds of the Spadina Museum . 285 Spadina Road, Toronto, October 3rd, 2015 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. www. snbto.ca/project.html?project_id=1598
This Rhino statue of this installation will be donated to the Toronto Zoo for auction after being shown at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.