CoExistence is an environmental art exhibition featuring 100 life size lantana elephants.
As the herd make their way around the globe, they will tell the story of our over-populated planet, the effect of human encroachment on wild spaces and the inspiring ways we can coexist with all the other living beings that make our world magical – from tigers and orangutans to nightingales and elephants.
The herd started life in the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, where they were created by the tribal communities who live alongside their real-life counter parts in complete harmony. Covered mostly by tea and coffee plantations and patches of forest, the Nilgiri hills are home to a quarter of a million people and 150 magnificent wild elephants who roam a matrix of human dominated landscapes. Here people and elephants coexist in denser populations than anywhere else in the world. Their story, and that of the Adivasi farming communities who have learned to successfully live alongside them, is one the whole world can learn from.
Flying in with the herd will be flocks of now extinct or much endangered British birds such as the nightingale, curlew, dalmatian pelican, wryneck and turtle dove. These tiny feathered treasures will draw attention to the biodiversity we have lost in our own landscapes, and one of the most ambitious restoration visions to launch in the past 12 months; WildEast.
Initiated by three farmers, WildEast plans to make East Anglia in to one of the biggest, most connected and restored nature reserves in the world.
Headed up by Oliver Birkbeck, Argus Hardy and Hugh Somerleyton, WildEast is challenging everyone across East Anglia to make a pledge to return 20% of their land to nature recovery; whether it be churchyard, farmyard schoolyard or backyard. Their vision is of a wilder, wetter and woodier east. Their aim is to lead the UK towards a future of greater biodiversity, and to bring the wild back to our landscapes.
Leading UK sculpture artists including Mark Coreth and Simon Gudgeon have created single birds, pairs or entire flocks to join the herd to raise awareness and funds for rewilding projects.