Sussex-based artist Sophie Coryndon has recently finished her new art piece for the forthcoming Elephant Parade UK tour, sponsored by intu.
Reflecting on her artistic inspiration for her new elephant, Sophie said: “White Triumphator’ is probably one of the most successful paintings of flowers I have done over the last 12 years and certainly one of the most popular. It seemed appropriate as this tour is going to reach so many people to choose this painting as the starting point for my design. I have always had a passion for the natural world in all it’s diversity. This is the starting point for all my work and it is wonderful that in designing and painting ‘Triumphator’, I am part of helping to support that diversity for future generations.”
A British artist, Sophie set up her studio in 1997 and quickly gained work with leading designers on a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from the restoration of Chinoiserie wallpaper at Badminton House through to a collection of large scale floral panels for Marco Pierre White’s Belvedere Restaurant. Signed to a London gallery in 2000, her highly crafted aesthetic and elegant, sculptural approach captured the attention of designers, stylists and collectors. Commissions include work for Nina Campbell, Farrow and Ball, Schroders Bank and House and Garden.
Having recently finished her fine art creation for the new Elephant Parade tour, running from July 2013 to August 2014, Sophie gained the biggest commission of her career to create a three-dimensional art piece in Thailand. The commission presented an ideal opportunity to also visit the elephant projects that her work with Elephant Parade has supported. Sophie commented: “Elephant Parade’s work around the world helps generate financial support for the plight of the Asian elephant and, given my commission in Asia, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take some extra time and visit the elephants we have been supporting through Elephant Parade. Having spent time in schools talking about Elephant Parade and the plight of the Asian Elephant; I have been thrilled to see how engaged the children have become in the project and would love the opportunity to bring the project to life by giving the children involved a glimpse of the remarkable animals we are supporting and the conservation issues surrounding them.”
Mike Spits, Elephant Parade Founder recalls the selection session with tour sponsor intu where the first designs were selected: “Sophie’s design idea just flew off the page. The raw first sketch had both a life and a beauty and gave something different and special to the evolving tour line up. Selecting the right designs for an Elephant Parade is always very difficult - especially the intu tour which attracted hundreds of design ideas within days – but Sophie’s design almost selected itself. We have followed it’s evolution in Sophie’s studio and really enjoyed seeing her design come to life.”
Sophie has also been heavily involved in the national schools programme that supports the tour. Sophie says: “It was great to get the chance to judge the design ideas of the first school to take part in the Elephant Parade national tour. I am really glad that I was able to see the amazing results that can be achieved when children are so inspired. I left the judging session with my head spinning with beautiful elephants! Since that day, children from my local school have been to visit the elephant I am painting in my studio and they are really keen to hear more about the project and the story of Mosha, which inspired the whole Elephant Parade concept. I now have a school assembly to run and I’m going to get the children busy painting 15cm Elephant Parade replicas. The last Elephant Parade in London seemed geared towards important fundraising. This new parade is more three-dimensional, putting schools involvement at the heart of the project. This year, the decision to focus on a legacy of lasting awareness on vital conservation issues among the young through art is something I am proud to be a part of.”
Sophie’s new elephant was the third tour elephant to gain a sponsor and was the first to sell before the tour even started – or before she had even put paintbrush to elephant. Through this sale, intu will pass the first £7,500 to the Asian Elephant Foundation, the charity that receives proceeds from the sale of the touring elephants.
To discover more about Sophie’s work, visit www.sophiecoryndon.co.uk
For further information on the UK tour artists, contact email@example.com