Elephant Parade Singapore


I first stepped out onto the street at the heart of Singapore about five years ago. En route from Vietnam to London I thought this tiny republic warranted a day's stopover between flights. Its main shopping centre, Orchard Road was lined with trees that were wrapped tightly in white-spotted red paper with baubles hanging from their branches and decorated to match. I don't know why they were there, but they looked quite fantastic. And perhaps it was the humidity or the fact that we'd come from the extreme contrast of Ho Chi Minh City, but they made the vast thoroughfare seem quite unreal, and despite fitting in a few Singapore Slings at the Long Bar, they remain my overriding impression of the stay.

So it's fabulous to now hear that Pavonia, my latest elephant for The Elephant Parade Singapore, is going to be placed in this famous street. And I hope he, and the rest of the elephants have the same sort of effect on the shoppers and tourists that the bizarrely wrapped trees had on me.

 Orchard Road, Singapore 2006

The idea for this elephant started as an M.C.Escher type attempt at patterning the leaves into the spaces where the branches met, but at some point I started painting a peacock in an ear and really liked it. Then the backside seemed a good place to paint another, and then the rest just happened. 

Pavo is the genus of Peafowl or Peacock. But only the male has the wide-eyed patterns that fan out from its tail feathers during courtship displays. 

There's nothing like a bit of post-rationalisation.

Escher inspired leaf/branch pattern

Peacock in the ear

Frederic, Lord Leighton, Pavonia, 1858-9
Inspiration for the name, not the image!

If you know Singapore or just want to see where the elephants are going to be, you can find them on this pdf. Pavonia is number 35.

Other elephants and an orangutan can be found on my websitehttp://www.rebeccasutherland.co.uk/

Pavonia is being sponsored by ABN-AMRO Private Banking. 

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