Award-winning artist, Chris Ofili, donates painting to elephants
Thursday 21 February 2002
Turner Prize winning artist, Chris Ofili, is donating a painting to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), so that it can be auctioned to raise money for the elephants at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. The painting will be auctioned this week at New York's prestigious contemporary art fair, The Armory
All the proceeds of the sale will go towards the elephants at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, which include the three elephants that were moved from London Zoo at the end of last year.
For the past ten years the elephants at London Zoo provided Chris Ofili with dung for his internationally acclaimed paintings. This new work called 'Triple Couple' is 6ft x 4 feet in size, and is part of a current body of work. The painting will be sold, by the Victoria Miro Gallery, on behalf of ZSL, at a silent auction at the Armory fair between the 21st - 25th February 2002. (It is hoped that the painting will raise at least £40,000.)
Chris West, Zoological Director at ZSL said: "Chris Ofili's offer is incredibly generous and all the money will be spent on further developments in the new elephant facilities at Whipsnade." West continues: "The association between ourselves and Chris will not be affected now that the elephants have moved to Whipsnade and the dung shall remain in constant supply!"
Chris Ofili commented: "Elephant dung is an essential component of my work and it would be impossible for me to create my paintings without the elephants." Ofili continues: "It has been a rare honour and opportunity to get to know Mya, Layang Layang and Dilberta over the past decade. I am delighted that the sale of my painting will benefit them in their new home and help in the conservation of this beautiful and threatened species."
ZSL currently has the UK's Largest Breeding herd at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park and the money provided from the sale of the painting will go directly towards the elephant enclosure and the specific needs of Mya, Layang Layang, Dilberta and the other elephants at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.
For further information please contact the Public Relations Department of the Zoological Society of London:
Debbie Curtis/Peter Beatty/Joe Laing
Tel: 020 7449 6363/6361/6236
Mobile: 07889 043 843
Fax: 020 7449 6362
Notes to Editors:
- London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park are an integral part of the Zoological Society of London, a worldwide conservation, scientific and educational charity. Charity Number 208728
- Elephant dung is one of several materials used by the artist Chris Ofili in his painting including acrylic paint, paper collage, glitter and map pins on canvas. The dung balls are dried, lacquered and sometimes decorated with map pins. They are used as supports on which the paintings rest and are often applied to the surface of the canvas.
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