|The Asian Elephant is an endangered species and their numbers continue to decline. Many efforts are being made to help the existing populations of these incredible creatures, and the goal of the Elephants & Mahouts project is to showcase these magnificent animals and raise awareness of their plight through photography.|
The project, intended to span at least five years, will be an evolving collection of portraiture depicting the elephants and the unique and complex relationship they have with their Mahouts (owner/keepers). The initial body of work is augmented to document new arrivals - newly rescued elephants and new births - and to provide a continuous visual record of the evolving elephant communities.The project is planned as both an educational tool and as a fundraising vehicle to provide ongoing support for the elephants.
The initial series documents each of the 28 elephants currently residing at the GTAEF elephant camps. The ‘Elephant’ series is intended to capture the unique physical characteristics of each elephant, much as one would do in portrait work with people.
The mahouts choose how they wanted to be photographed with their elephant. The images powerfully capture the bond between the Mahout and their elephant.
Each series is available in a limited edition, numbered and signed by the artist. Also in planning is a series of international gallery showings and a fine art book featuring the images. A portion of the proceeds go to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
Asian Elephants are found predominantly in Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka, with very small populations as far away as Bhutan.
The elephants photographed in this series live in Chiang Rai at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation www.helpingelephants.org in a heavily jungled part of Northern Thailand known as the Golden Triangle, the crossroads of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
Carol has a non-profit to support adoption of elephants in need. Please visit Adopting Elephants
William E. Heinecke, CEO of the Minor Group (Thailand) and Chairman of GTAEF; to John Roberts, Director of Elephants, GTAEF; and to the Anantara and Four Seasons hotels in their support of the project.
And of course, lastly but not least to the elephants and mahouts!