Her Excellency Vijay Thakur Singh lighting the lamp at the exhibition’s opening ceremony
Singapore hosted an inspiring art exhibition featuring the collaborative works of a rescued elephant from India, Phoolkali, and Singapore-based India-born artist, Alpana Ahuja who worked closely for several months with Indian Wildlife Conservation Non-Governmental Organization Wildlife SOS to understand the challenges Indian elephants face in the wild and in captivity. Titled ‘Ganpati to Gajah’ , the exhibition raised awareness about elephant conservation, and ran on 18th and 19th January, 2014 at Madder Moon Gallery on Ann Siang Road, Singapore.
Her Excellency Vijay Thakur Singh, the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, gave an eloquent speech at the opening of the Art Exhibition on 18 January, 2014, conveying her passion for wildlife conservation. Her words of encouragement for artist Alpana, for her soul touching works, were heart felt. “Today we are seeing Ganpati to Gajah, a very important symbolism in our culture. Ganpati or Lord Ganesha is the one who removes all the obstacles, and then there is Gajah, the wonderful, magnificent, compassionate elephant who should be roaming free in the jungles. We have very important guests from India, Kartick and Geeta, the co-founders of Wildlife SOS India, and I think all of you present here, will really benefit from what they have to say, as they work on the ground. I wish them the very best in their endeavours to help Elephants and wildlife in India.” Her Excellency concluded by saying, “I hope this movement gains strength as we go along, and we find practical solutions of how this planet Earth can be shared, both by mankind and the animals.”
Alpana’s collaboration with Phoolkali took place at the recently established Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center– India’s first ever chain free facility for elephants! Together, they created a series of unique and stunning images on canvas, a first-of-its-kind in India. Alpana said, “I was moved to tears when I saw the plight of the elephants, but I was filled with hope when I saw the efforts made by NGO Wildlife SOS to heal and protect these elephants. I decided to take the help of art to raise awareness and funds to help the elephants in India. Rescued elephant Phoolkali was my inspiration and I collaborated with her to create these unique colours. Proceeds from the sale of the paintings will go to support Wildlife SOS.
Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS India, spoke briefly about the efforts of Wildlife SOS to protect wildlife and long-term plans for elephant conservation and welfare.
Visitors to the exhibition witnessed the amazing riot of colours created by Phoolkali and Alpana, and enjoyed an opportunity to buy a unique piece of art while also supporting elephant conservation in India. A video of how the paintings were created was also displayed in the gallery.
L-R: Kartick Satyanarayan, Alpana Ahuja and Her Excellency, Vijay Thakur Singh
The Indian High Commissioner to Singapore speaks at the exhibition
About the artist:
Alpana discovered her inner artist at the age of 8. A textile designer by training, her vivid watercolours, acrylics and oils express her inspiration and emotions. Alpana is an illustrator of over eighteen children’s books, Wildlife SOS ‘s 2014 calendar and is a much sought-after art teacher in Singapore. Her supportive family includes ‘Mask’ an adopted Husky, husband and two daughters.