Elephant Art

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Elephant Art

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Asian elephants are classified as 'endangered' because in the last century, their numbers have decreased by nearly 90 per cent. Dublin Zoo began supporting Asian elephant conservation in 2008 by teaming up with Elephant Family, a charity dedicated solely to the protection of Asian elephants.

Dublin Zoo recently supported a competition run by the Elephant Family charity and the town of Clonakilty to design an Irish elephant which will feature in the Elephant Parade which takes place in London this summer.

Elephant Parade London 2010 is part of an international art event to inspire millions and inject hundreds of thousands of Euros into important conservation projects across Asia. This summer a herd of 200, brightly painted fibre-glass elephants will invade London in a show billed as the capital’s biggest outdoor art event. The model Asian elephants - each decorated by a different artist or celebrity will set up in streets, parks and squares across the capital.

Aoife Burke, aged 10, from Drogheda, won the nationwide competition in Ireland to create the design for the elephant sculpture, which will represent Ireland at the Elephant Parade in London. The winning artwork, which was inspired by Irish myths and legends, was uted in Clonakilty by renowned Irish artist Bill Griffin, who paints entirely with his fingers.

The elephant will be displayed with the other 200 elephant sculptures from around the world at Covent Garden Piazza. They will then be presented to Elephant Family charity patron Goldie Hawn before being auctioned by Sotheby's.

The exhibition is backed by Dublin Zoo and Clonakilty District Chamber of Tourism. Financier Dermot Desmond, who supports the campaign, said: "Elephant Parade is a clever and colourful way to promote Clonakilty and Ireland itself. “I've always had a soft spot for elephants and I support the charity Elephant Family and their efforts to save them. Congratulations to Aoife Burke for creating such an imaginative design to represent Clonakilty and Ireland in this epic event."

The Elephant Parade exhibition is part of an international movement by Elephant Family to save the Asian elephant, whose numbers in the wild have plummeted by almost 90 per cent in the last century

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