The Making of The Last Rhino

The Last Rhino is a song and a painting about believing in love in hopeless situations. The song originated in 2015 after hearing on the news that there was only one male northern white rhino left in the world and his name was Sudan. I dramatized the song by referring to him as the last rhino in the whole world. I imagined Sudan with his heart filled with hope, searching to find another rhino to love, when in reality no other rhinos existed. I related to Sudan because I had given up on love at that time. I felt like I was the last rhino in the world. I stopped believing that the love that I was searching for existed. As a result of writing this song, Sudan’s hope became my hope. Sudan’s innocence and optimism rubbed off on me and I started to believe in love again.

As for Sudan, he died in March of this year. There are no more male northern white rhinos left in the world.

I was flattered and also frightened when I was asked to make a video for the Reading Eagle. Painting is an activity done in solitude. No one ever watches me paint and the thought of having a stranger come over to my house to film me painting freaked me out a bit. I always look forward to new adventures even though they may seem scary, so how could I refuse this opportunity.

Natalie knocked on my door and she wasn’t scary at all. It felt as though we were instant friends. We drank coffee, had a smoke, talked about gardening and brainstormed about how we were going to tackle this project.

We decided to start with the painting and finish it up with the interview. Natalie wanted to do a stop motion film of the entire painting so we had to figure out a way for her camera to shoot straight down from a ceiling view. We rigged a way for her camera to capture this angle by using a table, a microphone stand and a bunch of rubber bands. Clever girls we are. Natalie pushed record. The music started playing and the film rolled. Actually, Natalie rolled too. She was so creative with her shots that she was rolling all over the floor and climbing up furniture. Her eye for photography amazed me. My house was a mess because I was in the process of moving so I am so glad that I took the time to sweep the floor before she came. I wasn’t anticipating this kind of shoot. Natalie made it so fun. We had a super groovy time. She did an amazing job with the video. I am so glad that I said “yes” in spite of my fears.