Earth elephant16

Heywood, Anthony (2016) Earth elephant16. [Art/Design Item]

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The catalyst was a newspaper article which was about the indiscriminate slaughter of elephants simply for their ivory tusks. In this work, ‘Earth Elephant16’ – paper materials- context and content does not inform an image that does not suffer from isolation, nor is it neutralised. Apart from the obvious, and very relevant, considerations of suffering and conservation it was the ultimate irrationality of this barbaric act portrayed in the newspaper article photograph that engaged me to do the work, in parallel I felt that as an artist I wanted to show my concern for the plight of the people and the elephants as the situation of the animals is directly parallel to human. Why does ivory have such value and why do we allow the simple law of supply and demand- as applied not to basic essentials, but to conspicuous consumption, to exercise such a gross tyranny over our planet? Which then manifests itself in the greed and avarice which causes deep unrest in cultures and countries? The work therefore challenges traditional notions, initially by evoking classicism, a form which has utilised paper a universal medium which represents materials of both symbolic and intrinsic value. This idea of long term appreciation and value is quite obviously alien, not only to the procurers and purveyors of ivory, but to much of contemporary culture. Ironically, the medium of newspaper, which was responsible for disseminating the plight of the elephants, and of the message of giving news, is also responsible for the dissemination of a great deal of information and entertainment which is arguably of dubious value. A newspaper which is not performing the function for which it was designed is transformed through recycling into the sculptured form - it represents the detritus of culture. The body of an elephant slaughtered solely for possessions of its tusks is the detritus of a supply created to meet the demand of a particular rarefied ostentatious and perverted refinement of taste. My work simply portrays the plight of the elephant today both in its classical form and its vulnerability through the paper materials all peeling away like skin falling from the carcass of the elephant.

Item Type: Art/Design Item
Members: University for the Creative Arts
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 12:57
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 12:57

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