I have always been in awe of elephants. To me, they are the most majestic animals in all of Africa.
It is the trunk of the elephant, in particular, which fascinates me. I originally thought the trunk was just for drinking through, but later learnt that elephants use their trunks for breathing, smelling, producing sound, touching and grasping objects.
This, in part, is what drew me to take on my most challenging project at that time, a pair of large-scale elephants called Ellie and Billy.
An elephant’s trunk is so intricate, 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 gather and migrate in groups and it is for this reason I created Ellie and Billy as a pair.
It was important for me to demonstrate the flow and movement of these gentle giants, despite being made from hard-edged Corten steel.
It was my desire to capture the allure, magnitude and beauty of African elephants that has always fascinated me.
Ellie and Billy won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.