Early this year, I was photographing a boutique hotel in Milan and was spellbound by the entrancing surroundings of the design elements when something very enchanting engaged my attention.
It was a beautiful elephant sculpture about 3 feet high that appeared tucked in a corner. And it stood daringly out! Humbly and powerfully! What appeared a splash of colors was actually a captivating 3-dimensional artistic rendition of the largest lovable mammal in the world!
I sat for a long time engrossed in the fine art and decided to find more about this elephant art-piece. Surely this can’t be an isolated manifestation? I learnt that the artwork was by a well-regarded artist, Maria Ines Aguirre. She called this work, “Ele-love-at first-flight”.
I made it a compelling component of the color-design palette of the hotel I was photographing!
Little did I know that I would cross another elephant art-work a couple of months later.
One morning last week, after an intense brainstorming session, we were at Good Earth taking a break at their charming cafe in Bengaluru. We encountered this elephant sculpture.
With the Milan experience, my curiosity was aroused as I was seeing something happening so close to home! This is when I learnt about the Elephant Parade 101 project.
THE ELEPHANT CORRIDOR PROJECT
The majority of the 50,000 remaining Asian elephants, are in India.
Of these, India has seen a 10% declination in the past 5 years and we are left with just 27,312 across 23 states.
The Elephant Family is a UK based NGO started by Mark Shand in 2002 in England. With the Wildlife Trust of India they have identified and recorded 101 elephant corridors across India.Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that connect 2 large habitats.
The founder of the concept, Elephant Parade, Marc Spits and his son Mike created the elephant based public art exhibition to raise awareness and support for the creation of 101 elephant corridors in India.
The sculptures themselves are auctioned at premier auctioneers as the Sotheby’s and Christies for a global average of 7000 pounds as buyers are seeing a high caliber of art in terms of the intricacy, craftsmanship and beauty by artists like Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla as well as Sabysachi among others.
Which brings me back to the beautiful elephant called Van Vaibhav at the Good Earth– which captured my attention and led me to this revelation. Am sure am going to be a lot more involved in doing my little bit to save our magnificent Indian Elephant.
#101 #elephantparade #theelephantfamily #asianelephants #saveelephants #elephantcorridor #sudhirramchandran