CoExistence is dedicated to the late and very great founder of Elephant Family, Mark Shand, whose dream it was to bring this issue to life on the global stage.
Working under the creative direction of Shubhra Nayar and Ruth Ganesh, a collective of 70 Adivasi artists and wildlife conservationists have spent the past five years recreating every elephant they live alongside, in intricately detailed sculptural form.
George Butler is an award-winning reportage illustrator focusing on current affairs. His drawings, predominantly for the British press, have taken him to Afghanistan and Iraq, Tajikistan and West Africa. However, it was the people he met during the war in Syria that captured his imagination, and his heart. And, with three friends he started the Hands Up Foundation which has raised over £5million supporting Syrian doctors and teachers in the region.
He is a SDG Goalkeeper, chosen by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a TEDX Speaker and his work is held in the National Archive at the V&A.His focus now is the natural world. In addition to the illustrations created for CoExistence, George will produce an exhibition tracking human-wildlife coexistence both in the UK and India to run alongside the campaign.
The sculptures are sustainably made from dried Lantana camara stalks, a weed that when dried behaves much like Willow, wrapped over steel structures.
Lantana is a flowering plant native to South America that has spread across the world as a toxic, invasive species outcompeting local flora and reducing biodiversity. British tea planters introduced it to India as a decorative plant in the 1800’s. It is now choking 30% of India’s already limited protected reserves, severely damaging the forest ecosystem.
The creation of these sculptures not only generates employment for local communities but also removes this invasive plant from the landscape.
Photographs of the herd were taken by Varsha Yeshwant, Nikhilesh and the wonderful team at The Real Elephant Collective.
100% of all proceeds benefit the work of WildEast whose nature restoration projects are returning biodiversity to the UK
The sculptures come in four main sizes: tuskers, matriarchs, adolescents, and calves. The creation of these sculptures generates employment for local communities and removes an invasive plant from protected areas. Each sculpture is unique, exact dimensions will vary.