Painting the project


Field Report by International Intern, Tatiana Chapman 

The Kileva Eastfield school kitchen stands next door to the permaculture garden. Its bare face was begging for a mural to be painted on it. I leaped at the chance. So many elements go into living in harmony with elephants. How to paint this in a picture?

I adore painting and one of my favourite things to paint is the almighty elephant with their charismatic ears, swinging trunks and deep wrinkles. This was naturally what I started with. The Tsavo elephants are quite startlingly red due to the deep colour of the soil and thus this fact (and my lack of grey or black paint) meant that this elephant was going to be one colorful guy.

With the elephant firmly in place I started to ponder how to fit him into an appropriate background. The colourful soil next:

For a mural it was clear that the best non-palatable crop to make the painting look pretty would have to be sunflowers. Thus yellow heads started to appear to frame the window:

The whole picture needed to be naturalised into the surroundings therefore I painted trees and bushes to soften the buildings impact. After this I added some chilies. Chilies are detested by elephants and other successful deterrent methods involve chilli bombs and chilli fences.

Of course bee hives had to be in there too as the corner stone of the project. Lastly I added some bees buzzing around to help pollinate these organic plants and deter elephants away from any maize that would be growing within the bee-hive fence.

With all these different elements combined in my mural I hope to convey some of the ways demonstrated here about how to live with elephants in harmony. I fascinated many of the school children who would crowd round me at lunch times to watch the colours being slashed onto the walls in my typical slightly crazy way.

Creativity makes this project thrive and I hope I did that justice.

Photo credits: Tatiana Chapman

The views, opinions and position expressed in this article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy and position of Save the Elephants

 

Posted on 15/03/2020, in Elephants & Bees, School & Education and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Paul Burbidge

    Love it, just fantastic. Well done, Tatiana.

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