Matt Hill Projects
Matt Hill Projects

Landscape Lighting & Architectural Sculptures

Ellie and Billy

Abstract Elephant Sculptures – Made to Scale.

Abstract Elephant Sculptures

– Limited Release

I have always been in awe of elephants. To me, they are the most majestical animals in all of Africa.

Their trunks, in particular, fascinate me. I originally thought they just drank through them, but later learnt they use their trunks for breathing, smelling, producing sound, touching and grasping objects.

This, in part, is what drew me to take on my largest and most challenging project yet, Ellie and Billy.

Although I had put together Brown Dog and Señor this pair of large scale elephants signalled a change of direction for me as an artist and I set out to create something unique, something fresh and bold, a piece that would surely get noticed.

An elephant’s trunk is such an intricate appendage, it is made up of over 40,000 muscles and can lift up to 350 kilograms.

I put this knowledge into my work, making sure the trunks were an integral part of Ellie and Billy’s craftsmanship, and also their character.

Billy’s trunk was the last part of him that I constructed; it is held high, a symbol of good fortune in some cultures, but also a vital link to his big sister.

There is a sacred bond elephants share with their family members; they assemble and migrate in groups for safer passage and it is for this reason I created Ellie and Billy as a pair.

Elephants have even been known to show grief when they are faced with the bones of dead elephants – another human-like quality that intrigues me.

Mirroring our perception of these animals in life, there is a depth to Ellie and Billy that may escape the viewer at first.

Complexity lies in the details.

Looking closely at Billy, you will see he is almost smiling, his mouth open to feed on grass.

His eyes are open to take in the view; he is inquisitive.

Ellie, Billy’s big sister, has seen more life.

Her eyes are looking at the ground, her trunk is down and she grazes on whatever she can find.
He holds her tail wherever she goes and she directs him to keep him safe.

It was important for me to demonstrate the flow and movement of these gentle giants, despite being made from hard-edged Corten steel.

You’ll note a particular emphasis on their walk, a gentle, hypnotic stroll, and the fluid lines of their bodies that give the animated impression of drawing breath.

It was my desire to capture the allure of African elephants, sharing with my audience not only their beauty and magnitude, but also their human-like characteristics and behaviours.

Photo Credit: Jason Sammon, Leader Newspapers

Material: 1.6mm Corten Steel.

Sizes: 2000mm x 3000mm and 1200mm x 2000mm.

Price: POA.

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