Elephant for Glasgow
Kenny Hunter worked in partnership with House for an Art Lover to create a life-size 'Elephant' cast in part from recycled, redundant or scrap parts of locomotives, sourced in India and South Africa, that were originally built in Glasgow. This sculpture has been installed on the site of the famous 1938 British Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park.
The original model of a life-size Indian Elephant in clay was made by Hunter during a residency at our new ART PARK Centre for Arts & Heritage in Bellahouston Park, during the summer of 2014.
Hunter was based in our ART Sheds which act as an 'open studio' allowing the public to visit and see the work-in-progress whilst utilising the existing education workshop facilities and museum displays on site to provide a unique and integrated visitor experience.
The Elephant has a direct connection to many Commonwealth countries in South Asia and Africa where Glasgow built trains were deployed and where the Elephant is seen as both a form of transport and an animal of symbolic power.
It also functions as a symbol for Glasgow's role as a 'workshop of the world,' in particular to the often-overlooked human role and cost extolled in creating that output. The industrial workforce of Glasgow, a Beast of Burden, which took to its role with diligence yet could also stretch its chains and panic its masters.
The transformation of metals from one form to another contains the ability to express great historical change and meaning through the process of re-casting, swords into ploughshares or statues into cannons.
The Elephant is cast in iron, in-part from sections of Glasgow built locomotives and sited near the western entrance to House for an Art Lover, where it gazes down toward Govan and the Clyde - creating a looped energy across time and space.
We believe the Elephant will become a legacy icon for Glasgow 2014, celebrating the city's links within the Commonwealth, whilst also addressing and re-imagining the legacies of the past.
The Elephant for Glasgow could not have been achieved without our generous sponsors.