Artists for Elephants, 2004/5
Expedition: National Thai Elephant Institute, Lampang 2004
Exhibition: Thailand Cultural Centre, Bangkok, Thailand 2005
This invitation only event showcased leading Thai Artists, Australian Artist Rebecca Wilson and Australian writer, the late, Michael Wansbrough who were hosted by the National Thai Elephant Institute in Lampang Thailand. During the three day visit, the artists drew, painted and photographed the elephants and donated works for the exhibition the following year. Over one million Baht was raised for the Institute.
The National Thai Elephant Institute in Lampang rescues elephants from around Asia and keeps them in very natural surrounds. Often the elephants are injured or unwell having been maltreated or injured (often due to land mines). The Institute has a hospital so they can care for & heal the elephants and has clever strategies for using elephant by products such as recycling the dung to make paper which they sell to raise funds, they make their own gas to fuel the centre, also from the dung. The mahouts stay with the elephants for their whole life. Being a mahout is often a family tradition, knowledge is handed down from father to son. Traditionally mahouts would spend long periods of time in the jungle, they made their musical instruments from their surrounds and used the jungle flora to make whiskey and a whole range of foods and medicine etc. They were at one with their land and their animals.
If you would like to know more about the Institute, visit http://www.elephants.se/location2.php?location_id=529
Rebecca Wilson drawing the elephants, Thai artist Suchart drawing, Thailand Cultural Centre Exhibition
©RWilson 2004 Copyright on all content