The Orphans is a sculpture exhibit featuring 21 life-size bronze elephants, a mother and 20 orphaned elephants, each orphan symbolises a real elephant currently in the care of the SWT, displayed in the centre of Marble Arch, London from 4th December 2019, for one year. Created by internationally acclaimed artists Gillie and Marc, the sculpture aims to raise funds and awareness for this next generation of elephants who will grow up into the healthy and supported elephants of tomorrow thanks to the SWT.
Gillie and Marc have been called the greatest creators of Public Art in New York’s history by the New York Times. They have dedicated their lives to saving endangered species through their love of public art, bringing the hard facts about conservation and, most importantly, the love of these animals into the thoughts and hearts of the public. After their recent trip to Kenya, Gillie and Marc saw first-hand the devastating effects of human greed on the survival of elephants.
Every day, 55 elephants are killed because of ivory poaching and human-wildlife conflict. The death of just one elephant can lead to much wider devastation. Hundreds of calves are left orphaned every year, unable to care for themselves and suffering from the psychological trauma of having their mother violently taken from them. The insatiable lust and unchecked greed of humans is leading many of the world’s most beautiful creatures closer and closer to extinction.
Gillie and Marc have created this monumental sculpture installation titled The Orphans, featuring 20 bronze elephant calves running towards a 3 metre tall mother, representing the mother the babies have lost. The mothers tusks have been painted a deep blue to draw attention to all the issues of elephant endangerment and to make people reconsider what tusks are now and what they will be in the future. This installation is a reminder of the orphans who are left behind because of human selfishness and serves as a vessel to raise critical awareness and funds to save elephants before it’s too late.
Each sculptured baby symbolises a real orphaned elephant in the care of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, that the artists sketched on a trip to Kenya. The best part is, you can adopt them by heading over to their website; https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/elephants-of-tomorrow
4 December 2019 – 4 December 2020
Marble Arch Lawn. Entry is free.
From Kenya to the heart of London, our sculpture ‘herd’ arrived in London on 4th December, where they will reside for the next 12 months. You can come and meet the 21 life-size bronze elephants and get to know the real-life orphans that have inspired the twenty orphans, who stand around a central mother figure. Each sculpture includes the name of the orphan they symbolise and an interactive information board, enabling you to read the unique rescue story of each elephant and directly support their rehabilitation journey. To help create awareness of our work in the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned elephants, so that we can save more lives, we encourage you to take photos when you visit and to share these on your social media accounts using the hashtag #ElephantsOfTomorrow