Wednesday, May 20, 2015


When I was looking for inspiration for a new elephant design I looked east towards Bangkok.
This year the Elephant Parade will hold it's first parade in Thailand, the spiritual home of the parade, which was founded in 2006 by father and son Marc and Mike Spits. Whilst on holiday in Thailand, Marc met a baby elephant named Mosha, who had lost her leg after stepping on a landmine. Mosha inspired Marc and Mike to create Elephant Parade. 

The name of my elephant Matriarch is for mothers and female strength, the eldest female in a family group of elephants is known as the matriarch. So I named her for little Mosha, all female elephants and strong women everywhere.

One of the most important actions of Asian elephant conservation is to preserve their natural habitat, so I wanted to incorporate that idea. I therefore drew trees rising out of the city. I decided to paint the trees gold to symbolise the hope, energy, support and money coming from the city, with the leaves green to show the aim to preserve the natural habitat of Thailand. I chose to use a rich colour palette so depicted the city at night with a bright sunset. The hearts are simply a symbol of love for elephants.

Bangkok is visually a city of contrasts, magnificent ancient stone temples and soaring modern skyscrapers. It attracts nearly 16 million visitors a year. It's very special that the capital city is supporting the parade to help the endangered Asian elephant, which is also Thailand's' national symbol.

You can vote for Matriarch in the Artbox contest to become part of the Bangkok Parade HERE