AFC Signature Member, Jonathan Truss is deeply concerned about the plight of elephants. Elephants figure in many of Jonathan's paintings, but in his latest, he has attempted a world first - to paint a full-bodied "Big Tusker" elephant life size on canvas! He recently completed the painting, titled 'Tusker's Last Stand' and is using it to raise funds and awareness for elephant conservation.
"Big Tusker" is a term for mature bull elephants. By some estimates, as few as 30 Big Tuskers may remain today, and conservation scientists are warning that it is conceivable that they could be extinct within a human generation.
Following are words from Jonathan about his painting...
"In the time it's taken me to paint this painting 2500 elephants will have been killed by poachers. Last year it is estimated that more than 30,000 elephants were poached illegally. That means one elephant is killed every 15minutes!! Killed for their tusks, which are traded to make jewellery, religious sculptures and other trinkets which are very popular in China and the Far East. The ivory belongs to the elephants not us!!
I am determined to make even a small difference said Jonathan and so am creating for the first time a life size painting of a huge African Big Tusker - head on!! A tusker is classed by having tusks weighing over 100Ibs each.
I want the person stood in front of it to really feel the awe of the tusker right there in front of them that they can almost taste the dust'!
Sadly with just 30 or so left that'll be something few people will ever get to experience in reality.
Poignantly the elephant I chose to paint was called Satao, he was Kenya's most famous and largest elephant killed by a poachers arrow last May. When you look at this terrible picture of Satao when was found and look at my painting of how he'd have looked in all his magnificence it just brings home what man has done and is doing to these extraordinarily wonderful creatures."
Jonathan says he's very excited about what he can achieve and will be donating the larger percentage of the sale of the painting to provide significant financial assistance to a select independent charities who are tackling the problems head on and making a difference in each of those areas in the field, namely Africa based' Saving the Survivors', David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and the Tsavo Trust.
Jonathan embarked on his record breaking painting at the beginning of November at Mercedes Benz in Poole in the UK., also the sponsor of the initiative.