International Sculpture Center
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Amber Whiting
Portland State University
Faculty Sponsors: Erik Geschke

Parachute Elephant, 2012
Army Parachute, Wood, Bamboo, Papier-mâché,
Chicken Wire, Metal Hooks and Chains,
10' x 5' x 10'

Artist Statement

My sculptures call attention to the plight of the Asian elephant—threatened by deforestation, tourism, and the ivory trade. Raw and found materials symbolize its fragility and magnitude. Burlap, an iconic fabric of trade and religion (where it signals repentance and humility) swaddles an adolescent elephant. Repurposed suitcases contain tourist desires, and a suspended military parachute captures the immensity of a full-sized elephant in a material that sustains conflict while also providing protection and shelter.