Ah, my elephant. This was a learning piece, back in 2001, my first exploration into creating a large animal sculpture. I knew that I didn’t want to simply make a copper replica of an elephant; I wanted to show those parts of the animal that really matter, the parts that define him. Hence, the brooding irresistible power of the brow; the infinite possibilities of the trunk, the brutal prongs of tusks; but also the bulk, the high spine-ridged back like an outhouse roof. The absurd fly-swish tail, which is bigger than you might think. The enormous ears. Especially, the wonderful sandbag feet, bearing all that weight aloft, and framed by such toenails. How can anyone not love an elephant’s toenails?
What I did NOT understand at this time was the need for structural strength sufficient to support the rest of the sculpture as it ages and the copper softens. He’s still not very strong. I would love the chance to re-make my elephant, incorporating steel inside the skeleton, as I now do with all of my larger sculptures; and one day I will.
He still stands in a corner of my workshop, occasionally joined by my elephant calf when he’s not out at exhibitions.
200cm long, 170cm tall; not for sale – but I would gladly make another. Contact me to discuss price.