• The Elephant of Eastbury


    Virginia Commonwealth University, 1509 Gallery Exhibition, VA, USA, 2011

    Kidogo Arts Centre Exhibition, Fremantle W. Australia, 2011

    A child goes nextdoor to see his grandmother, and finds her motionless. Next to her is a tiny bejewelled elephant. Upset, the child returns home to tell his parents but when they all return, there is no elephant to be seen, only the deceased grandmother. The parents don’t believe the child but he knows the elephant was real. This is the story behind the poem that inspired the paintings in this body of work

    “The Elephant of Eastbury” is an international collaboration between LittleFox Press, U.S./Australian artist Laura Mitchell of Perth and U.S. poet Andrew Gates of Connecticut, which has resulted in not only a multilayered artist’s book with 10 full color plates plus the cover, but also a collection of paintings on canvas that interpret the text – a very rich and haunting poem by Gates. The images range from literal to highly metaphorical interpretations of the poem, the latter of which allude to some of the poet’s memories and stories behind the text of the poem. Many of the images include nuances of the actual text embedded within the landscapes of the paintings, which are not literal landscapes but perhaps best described as the “mindscapes”
    They evoke a point of view that alludes to childhood memories. Mitchell’s evocative paintings feature figurative elements overlaying text and texture that suggest the multi-faceted nature of memory.

    “The Elephant of Eastbury” – by Andrew Gates

    Born wandering between the ears,bookB
    an elephant
    passing in the back of beyond
    gathering grass, leaves, and flowers
    digs for the roots of trees and thyme
    a tiny twig, a minute seed
    enough to fill her skin and bones
    to tread the wild mead alone
    her trunk covered, dusted in earth
    she carries the day’s worth
    and crawls to the edge of an ear
    and quietly calls for all and nothing to hear.

    Hardback: 25.5cm x 21.5cm

    Pigment Ink on Archival Paper, 24 pages, 12 full color images