The elephant in the park

Southside’s newest public artwork and a major outdoor sculptural landmark in the city could be in place for Christmas, trumpeting in the New Year.

Glasgow’s elephant project should be ready to go to the forge to be finished in late December.

The model elephant is taking shape.

The model elephant is taking shape.

Sculptor Kenny Hunter, artist in residence at House for an Artlover on Dumbreck Road, has been commissioned to produce the much-vaunted Elephant for Glasgow.

He spoke exclusively to The Extra saying he expects the project to be ready to be forged in metal by mid- to late September.

But he warns the Indian elephant is not out of the woods yet as things can still go awry during the process.

“We’re on schedule, yes,” said Kenny.

He added the caveat: “But so many things could go wrong as we go through a number of processes. We’re in the process of covering the completed clay elephant in a resin cast; then it will go through to the plaster mould stage; then sand – all before it has to go to the foundry.

The project is a work in progress and Kenny – who is more used to working in the seclusion of a private studio – says this is one of his most public works, being executed in an art shed at The House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston park.

He said: “It’s unusual for us to be working in such a public setting. We get around 20 visitors a day.”

A spokesperson for the Art House said: “The life-size elephant will be cast in part from recycled, redundant or scrap parts of locomotives, sourced in India and South Africa, which were originally built in Glasgow. This sculpture will be installed on the site of the famous 1938 British Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park.

“It also functions as a symbol for Glasgow’s role as a ‘workshop of the world’.

“The Elephant has a direct connection to many of the Commonwealth countries.

“For example, in South Asia and Africa — where Glasgow built trains were deployed.

“And where the elephant is considered both as a form of transport and an animal of great symbolic power.