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An Elephant for Glasgow

An Elephant for Glasgow

Elephants for Glasgow

An Elephant for Glasgow is a new public art work commissioned by House for an Art Lover. The 11 tonne, life size, Asian Elephant, was created by Scottish artist, Kenny Hunter and is now on display in Bellahouston Park.

The sculpture stands on the site of the 1938 Empire Exhibition and looks towards Govan and the Clyde, an area of great economic significance during the British Empire. The original clay model of the Elephant was created by Hunter during a residency at the ARTPARK Centre for Arts & Heritage in Bellahouston Park, during the summer of 2014.

The iron Elephant was created in response to links with Commonwealth countries in Asia and Africa where many Glasgow trains were deployed during the Empire. The sculpture was cast using scraps of iron from the Govan built locomotives which Hunter sourced in India and South Africa. In these countries, elephants were used as a form of transport and in some cases viewed as an animal of symbolic power.

The Elephant also functions as a symbol for Glasgow’s role as a ‘workshop of the world,’ in particular to the often-overlooked human role and cost extolled in creating that output. The sculpture is on permanent display at the west side of the House for an Art Lover and is easily accessible to all visitors. Visitors are also invited to explore our wider collection of fantastic sculptures situated across the park.

A small maquette of the elephant can also be viewed in our newly developed Heritage Centre where visitors to the park can learn about the 1938 Empire exhibition and its impact on Glasgow. An Elephant for Glasgow has been generously supported by Weir Group, Glasgow City Council and the Malcolm Group.