Helge Denker - Professional Brief

Helge Denker was born in Namibia in 1969 and grew up on a farm east of the capital, Windhoek. He completed high school in South Australia, where he also studied visual art and graphic design. He returned to Namibia at the country’s independence in 1990 and has worked here, as well as in other parts of Africa, as an artist, writer, naturalist, guide and consultant since then. His passionate interest in nature, man’s interaction with nature, and the dynamics of culture and society create the foundation for his work.

Helge has held solo and group exhibitions in Namibia, Australia and Germany. His photographs and illustrations have featured prominently in numerous books and calendars, on postcards and posters and in a wide range of advertising material. Published writing includes over 50 magazine and newspaper articles, a book on photography and a collection of poetry. Helge has illustrated and designed over 300 postage stamps for Namibia, two of which have received the 'Most beautiful stamp in the World' Award at the Stamp World Cup in Paris, France. Helge has presented two intensive philatelic product design training courses for Nampost and several of his students have subsequently designed stamp series for Namibia.

As a guide, Helge has worked throughout Namibia over the last 18 years, and has spent focussed time as a local guide in the Namib and the Khomas Hochland. As a consultant, Helge has assessed tourism potential and compiled inventories of infrastructure, evaluated attractions and co-authored a tourism development plan for central northern Namibia. Other consultancies have included the mapping of hiking trails, the development of an operations manual for tour guides and the training of local guides.

Helge is an active member of social, cultural and environmental organisations. During the first half of the 1990s, he was very active in sports, especially handball. He coached several school teams, captained the Namibian National Team and served on the committee of the Namibia Handball Federation. Helge chaired the founding committee of Visual Artists – Namibia (VA–N), as well as the Game Translocation Committee of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA). Helge served as a committee member of the Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) from 2004 to 2006 and was the Society’s first Director during 2007 and 2008. Since the beginning of 2011, Helge has been working as a freelance artist, journalist and conservation consultant.

Selected Exhibitions and Published Works:

Exhibitions (selection)

The Dream

(Artelier Kendzia, Windhoek, 1990)

            drawing, painting, screen-printing, photography, poetry


(Coin Security Hangar, Eros Airport, Windhoek, 2000)

            ten year retrospective exhibition of drawing, painting, photography, graphic

            design, illustration, hand-made books, poetry, T-shirt design, found objects

Namibia - Zwanzig Facetten (Namibia - Twenty Facets)

(Jugendkunstschule ATRIUM Cafe, Berlin, Germany, 2006)


StampX 10 square

(National Art Gallery of Namibia, 2007)

            postage stamp artwork, philatelic products

Fokus Namibia (joint exhibition with Helga Kohl)

(Fotogalerie Friedrichshain, Berlin, Germany, 2008)


BOOKS (selection)

The Dream

(Helge Denker, self-published, 1990, 16 pages)


Jagen in Namibia (Hunting in Namibia)

(Kai-Uwe Denker, self-published, 1994, 128 pages)

            illustration (92/colour, 22/black & white, one map), photography (cover/colour),

            book design

Shaping Our World

(Wiebke Volkmann, Gamsberg MacMillan, 1999, 160 pages)

            illustration (cover/colour + 172/black & white)


(Helge Denker, Wild Heart Journeys, 2000, 112 pages)


Atlas of Namibia

(John Mendelsohn et al., David Philip, 2002, 200 pages)

            photography (cover, four chapter introductions + 19/colour)

Okavango River; The flow of a lifeline

(John Mendelsohn & Selma el Obeid, Struik, 2004, 176 pages)

            photography (cover, three chapter introductions + 43/colour)

One Hundred Shots; A Collection of Photographs

(Helge Denker, Wild Heart Journeys 2004, 150 pages)

            photography (109/colour, 11/black & white)

Forests and Woodlands of Namibia

(John Mendelsohn & Selma el Obeid, RAISON, 2005, 152 pages)

            photography (35/colour)

MAGAZINES (selection)

Elle Magazine (Australia) Article: Remote Possibilities

(Richard Roxburgh, Hachette Pacific, May 2000, four pages)

            photography (double page + six/colour)

Flamingo Magazine Article: Sunbirds of Namibia

(Helge Denker, Venture Publications and Destiny Investments, May 2005, four pages)

             writing, photography, philatelic art (ten/colour)

The Big Issue Namibia Article: Can you hear me?

(Helge Denker, The Big Issue, May 2005, three pages)

            writing, photography (nine/colour)

Roan News Article: On (Rhino) Hunting and the Cycle of Life

(Helge Denker, Wildlife Society of Namibia, October 2005, two pages)


Flamingo Magazine Article: As naturally Namibian as dune sand...

(Helge Denker, Venture Publications and Destiny Investments, September 2006, two pages)

             writing, photography (seven/colour)

Flamingo Magazine Article: A karakul carpet makes a home

(Helge Denker, Venture Publications and Destiny Investments, March 2007, four pages)

             writing, photography (seven/colour)

The South African Philatelist Article: Namibie wen met mooi beleid, pratige seels en puik diens

(Joh Groenewald, The Philatelic Federation of South Africa, October 2007, three pages)

             philatelic art (cover + 17/colour)

Flamingo Magazine Article: The language of form

(Helge Denker, Venture Publications and Destiny Investments, January 2008, four pages)

             writing, photography (cover + seven/colour)

Flamingo Magazine Article: Realising diamond dreams

(Helge Denker, Venture Publications and Destiny Investments, May 2008, three pages)

             writing, philatelic art (one/colour)

STAMP ISSUES (selection)

Owls Of Namibia

(Nampost, 1998)

            five stamp booklet, booklet cover

Indigenous Fruit Trees Of Namibia

(Nampost, 2000)

            four stamps, commemorative cover, canceller

Ephemeral Rivers of Namibia

(Nampost, 2002)

            five stamps, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert

World AIDS Day

(Nampost 2002)

            four stamps, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert

Recent Biological Discoveries in Namibia

(Nampost 2003)

            five stamps, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert

Rural Development in Namibia

(Nampost 2003)

            four stamps, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert

1904-2004 Centenary of the War of Anti-Colonial Resistance in Namibia

(Nampost 2004)

            single-stamp minisheet, commemorative cover, canceller

Education in Namibia

(Nampost 2004)

            four stamps, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert

XXVIII Olympiad, Athens, Greece 2004

(Nampost 2004)

            four stamps, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert

100 Years of Rotary International

(Nampost 2005)

            single stamp, commemorative cover, canceller

Inauguration of the 2nd President of the Republic of Namibia

(Nampost 2005)

            commemorative cover, canceller

Dolphins of Namibia

(Nampost 2006)

            five stamps, canceller

Traditional roles of men in Namibia

(Nampost 2006)

            two six-stamp minisheets, canceller

Namibia Post 4th Definitive Stamp Issue - Biodiversity of Namibia

(Nampost 2007)

            twelve stamps, canceller

Centenary of Etosha National Park

(Nampost 2007)

            three stamps, commemorative cover, ten-stamp minisheet, canceller, text insert

Centenary of the discovery of diamonds in Namibia

(Nampost 2008)

            four stamp minisheet, commemorative cover, canceller, text insert