Amboseli, Kenya 2017
Tim is probably Africa’s most famous bull elephant — a colossal big tusker that has drawn fans to Amboseli for many years. His high profile is however now coupled with a low presence in Amboseli. Recently he is spending his days outside the park and not many have had the chance to see him and his 130 pound tusks.
In October 2017, I made the appropriate arrangements to work with rangers in the wooded area where Tim was known to be. To reach him by day break from our camp by the dry lake of Amboseli required a four am wake up call and a long drive on dodgy roads through basic farming communities. I can be no more specific than that for obvious reasons.
I was joined on the drive to the rangers by my Creative Director – Alex Ames and an Italian conservationist – Nora Giulianini, whom I had met at our recent show at the Maddox Gallery in London. Much of the journey was before dawn and to pass the time the conversation moved somewhat randomly onto Italian politics and the life and times of Silvio Berlusconi. I playfully suggested that there was a link to our whereabouts as both the former Italian Prime minister and the big tuskers had high testosterone and both bossed the world they lived in. The difference, I added, was that the big elephants imperious rulership was legitimate!
It became the rather infantile joke of the journey that Silvio was a human elephant of questionable scruples and we decided that if Berlusconi could return as an animal to be in his next life, it would certainly be as a big tusker elephant. Whether of course he would be accepted by his peers, who clearly all boast more majesty and manners than him, is a moot point.
This dynamic portrait of a charging Tim was taken a couple of hours later from the ground up with a small telephoto. There is a real sense of dangerous proximity and this was the reality – as I was both close and unprotected. But the benefits of this approach are evident – it is always worth trying to impose oneself on the situation, so long as you are accompanied by animal experts – and I was.
We decided the name of the image on the way home. It was a no brainer for us.
David Yarrow has built an unrivalled reputation for capturing the beauty of the planet’s remote landscapes, cultures and endangered animals. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966, he is now one of the world’s leading fine art photographers. At the Sotheby’s photography auction in London, May 2017, David’s iconic picture –Mankind –was sold for £60,000 –the highest price of the 100 lots on auction. He is represented by some of the world’s leading galleries and in America David has shown at the renowned Perot Museum in Dallas and his work is permanently on show at the new Museum of Natural History in Missouri. David’s images are among some of the most sought-after pieces of work within the industry. David has a global book deal with Rizzoli publishing house inNew York and produced a flagship book named ‘Wild Encounters’ featuring work from seven continents, capturing some of the earth’s most endangered species. He is honored that HRH the Duke of Cambridge wrote the foreword to the book which was released in October 2016 and all author royalties from the book will go to Tusk Trust. Amazon awarded it “The Best Art and Photography book of 2016”. Alongside Rizzoli, David launched the book in a series of events across the world in the last quarter of 2016, including exhibitions at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Leonhard’s Gallery in Antwerp, Holden Luntz in Palm Beach and at London’s Somerset House. In April 2017 at the annual Tusk Gala in NYC, David’s images raised $175,000 at auction, including two lots which sold for $50,000 each, very much cementing his status as one of the most coveted artists in his field.Read More