Rinki books a fun way to learn

Artist Irene Oxley with some of her work.

Giraffes in the wild tend to live between 20 to 25 years. Giraffes bellow, snort, hiss and make flute-like sounds as well as low-pitch noises beyond the range of human hearing.

These are just some of the interesting facts children will learn from Scarborough artist Irene Oxley’s Rinki colour and learn books.

Children will also meet a variety of characters from the Giraffe family such as Oupa and Cheeky Blue Tongue as well as from the Elephant family such as Ellie Shelly Elephant and Ellie Blue.

The books have been designed to educate children about animals and create awareness of the environment in a fun way.

They are the latest edition to Ms Oxley’s Rinki Collection which includes an adult, children’s and baby clothing range.

Ms Oxley studied art at the College of Art and Design in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK and she and her husband Brian moved to Johannesburg about 25 years ago where she worked in advertising and publishing.

Eight years ago the couple moved to Scarborough so Ms Oxley could focus on her art.

Her preferred medium is oil on canvas, using a brush or a pallet knife. She primarily paints seascapes, landscapes and portraits.

She also uses acrylic paint and recently discovered acrylic inks. It was the “looseness” of the ink that inspired her to do something fun with it, she said.

“I started seeing all these characters in animals and just had to paint them on canvas with acrylic ink. They started developing their own personalities and then someone walked into my studio and said ‘that will look great on a T-shirt’.”

And that was the start of The Rinki Collection which includes a range of T-shirts, tote bags, baby bibs, babygrows and blankets with 36 colourful animal characters. The products are endorsed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and 5% of the profits of certain items in the collection are donated to WWF. Ms Oxley said she wanted a fun name for her collection and decided on her nickname: Rinki.

She said Ryno the rhino, which she designed for World Rhino Month for the WWF last year, had been a hit with customers.

WWF’s Andrea Weiss confirmed that the Rinki products are endorsed by WWF and could be bought from their website.

Visit Ms Oxley at the pop-up art shop in Longbeach Mall or call her at 082 303 6798.