Elephant Parade Copenhagen 2011

Paradise Lost

I felt I wanted to say something about the loss of forestation in my design for the Elephant Parade Copenhagen 2011. Not just about the trees and the plants, or indeed the Asian elephants, but about all the other creatures that live by symbiosis there. Because, in my opinion, they have become detached from us, from what we are and what we should be. I want the children who see, touch and yes climb upon my elephant to hopefully think about this force of nature in some small way. So my idea was to show a nighttime side and a daytime side, together with the life therein.
I deliberately chose to decorate the scenes with animals that linked the forests and woodlands of Europe with those of Asia (except the chameleon, although we do have flocks of perroquets in Surrey).
For obvious reasons, I've called the elephant Paradise Lost.

Please click on the pictures to see a high res version.

Nighttime side

Daytime side of elephant

The elephant took about four weekends and a few extra days to complete. I coated this one in several layers of varnish as I wanted to protect as much as possible from being damaged before the auction.

When choosing the colours, I thought turquoise for the day, mauve for the night then added others quite instinctively, before standing back to consider whether or not they worked.



Squirrel, snake, bat, moth and beetle


Front Moon

Front Sun

Tree frog

Snake tail

I'm currently making a little film about the painting, with a 360 degree view of the elephant. I will post it later.

Here's a link to last year's elephant, Harapan. He raised £21,250 at auction.

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