I have always been in awe of elephants. To me, they are the most majestic animals in all of Africa.
This pair of large-scale elephants, known as Ellie and Billy, were a huge challenge to create and also signified a major shift in artistic direction for me.
I had never taken on a project of such magnitude and wanted to capture the beauty and allure of the elephant, an animal that has always fascinated me.
An elephant’s trunk is so intricate – used for breathing, smelling, drinking, producing sound and grasping objects – and therefore, I had to make sure the trunks were an integral part of Ellie and Billy’s craftsmanship.
Billy’s trunk 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 gather and migrate in groups and it is for this reason I created Ellie and Billy as a pair.
It was also important for me to capture the flow and movement of these gentle giants, to give the impression that they are moving and breathing creatures, which was certainly a challenge when using a hard material like steel.
The end result is a set of sculptures I am incredibly proud of. Ellie and Billy won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show and the People’s Choice Award at Art Red Hill 2016.