Place in the Sun – Elephant Print on Canvas

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“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.” – Lawrence Anthony.
 
If ever there was a silly regret that I could have, it was only that I learned about the Elephant Whisperer after he was already gone. But if I was to attribute any one man to the giant curve ball that my art world took, it would be Lawrence Anthony; wildlife conservationist, brilliant author and brave hero.
 
I was at home with my first daughter when my partner came home from work to see me looking at an article, bawling like a small child, and saying something incoherent like “elephants….mourning….they knew! Waaaaaah” I immediately hit send on an order for all of Anthony’s books, and I laughed, I cried, and I cried some more. This man defied all odds, and gave it everything he had, ALWAYS, to try and save animals. And somehow by chance he ended up with an elephant herd, and somehow by chance, my path of knowledge crossed his. He truly defied death at all times in pursuit of sanctuary for all wildlife that he could help, he INSPIRED ME. Then he died. A man who had had meetings with giant drug lords, and stood in front of a charging elephant, who slept outside with a herd of elephants night after night to make them see that he would protect them, taken out by a heart attack.
 
On the day he died the elephants of Thula Thula proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that his theory of ultimate connection was correct. When he passed, the multiple herds living some 12+ hours away from his home, travelled back to hold vigil for two days, never fighting amongst themselves. His wife maintains that they still return every year to honour him.
 
He wasn’t only one man, he of course had support and a team, but once I realized that this one overly-passionate, brave, bold man was making this much change, it ignited a fire in me that had been originally started as a child. “I need to save wild animals!” I wish he could know, but I suspect that he does, that even in death he is still spreading a bushfire of truly passionate conservationists who read his books and KNOW that they can do and be so much more.
 
I confess that I have never been able to se what is done to elephants without feeling completely lost and enraged. But if the hero that inspired me can get up every day, and do some truly remarkable shit in honour of elephants and rhinos until his dying day, then I can and will continue to share how I feel about them through art and writing; they are smarter and kinder than we ever acknowledge. They are a symbol of the connection to earth and spirit that we have all but destroyed. If we can stop the slaughter of these great titans of the earth, and protect them, we will be part of something truly outside of ourselves.
 
This elephant is called Place in The Sun, is it my homage to my hero.
 
Thank you Lawrence Anthony.
Thank you.
 
Erin

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