INNOVATIVE student design works detailing the plight of Africa's elephants feature in a new exhibition at the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery.
The exhibition showcases a selection of works by USC design students that will be part of the revamped Letaba Elephant Hall at South Africa's Kruger National Park from next year.
An official opening of the exhibition will take place on Thursday, December 1, at 6.30pm at the USC Gallery. It will be attended by guests from South Africa National Parks and feature an opening address from USC Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Quality) Robert Elliot.
More than 30 design students contributed to the permanent exhibition for Kruger's flagship interpretative centre, which shares information on the African elephant through intricate pencil drawings, static displays, photography and 3D imaging.
The USC project will be the first major update of the Letaba Elephant Hall since it opened in the late 1970s, with many of the former displays handwritten and containing outdated information.
Design lecturer Kevin Todd said the university had been working on the South Africa National Parks project since 2011, and nearly a dozen students had completed placements at the site in Kruger during that time.
"This scientific conservation exhibition represents thousands of hours of work from our students,” he said.
"We have some truly beautiful pencil drawings of tusker elephants, through to digitally remastered maps and information on elephant ecology.
"The USC exhibition is a chance to showcase the high-quality work of our students to our community before it's put on display to educate visitors at one of the world's most iconic tourist destinations.”
After the USC exhibition ends on December 22, the materials will be transported and installed in South Africa, with the new Letaba Elephant Hall to be launched in March next year.
USC International's Sheila Peake said three students from design, public relations and events would have the chance to assist with the installation and official opening of the hall.
"Dozens of students have visited the Kruger National Park on a variety of conservation focused projects since 2010, and this exhibition is a chance for them to see the design project in its completed state,” she said.
"About one million tourists visit Kruger National Park every year, so the exposure for USC and these students' work is quite extraordinary.”
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