Gledhill’s print included in the successful auction in December 2013
Lot 17: The Last Elephant
The Last Elephant is one of a series of images on the subject of the extinction of animals which John Gledhill began working on in the early 1990s. At that time the issue of endangered animal species was in the news again and this moved him to have the elephant occupy the central ‘space’ while the figures are arranged around it.
The people in the image are on the whole indifferent to the fact that the elephant portrayed is the last of its kind and there is a kind of carnival atmosphere – only one girl in the foreground tries to draw the crowd’s attention to the headline in the paper the man is holding.
Originally the elephant was in a cage but the artist found that the bars of the cage interfered with one’s view of the animal so in the end he left them out.
This print is made on a handmade Japanese paper in a strictly limited edition of 20 individually signed by the artist.
The Last Elephant 2008. Colour linocut. 50cm X 58cm. Printed on handmade Japanese paper.