“This painting is dedicated to my father, Simon Combes (1940-2004). For the last years of his life, he was Project Director for Rhino Rescue Trust, a charity set up to reintroduce black rhino to Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya and to protect them with a high security fence. Simon went to his grave unexpectedly, but with the knowledge that this project in which he had enormous pride was a tremendous success.
“For years now, I have wanted to paint a black rhino in a setting in which I am most accustomed to seeing them. A charging rhino with lots of dust is a great subject for a dramatic painting, but there is something about this that implies a response to the threat. These great creatures are being culled to extinction at an alarming rate, so I wanted to portray the rhino in this beautiful grove of acacia abyssinica that I grew up thinking of as sacred, sublime and safe.”
Angurouk (a more phonetic spelling of the Kalenjin “Ankurwaak”) means “The trees that grow in the sacred altar.”