Here I have used a photograph of bars combined with an illustration to make it appear as though the elephant is trapped and caged.
Left: The original photograph.
Below: The manipulated imagery.
These images reflect the trauma of the Asian elephant when faced with threats from the human race. Rather than elephants being physically caged, my intention is for the cage for be a symbol of how such a large animal is made to feel demoralized and trapped in a number of ways. This could reflect on how elephants are used within the tourist industry in Thailand or even how they are kept behind the scenes of a circus.
Intentionally, the elephant appears vulnerable and lost. Perhaps this is the only elephant left before they become a long lost memory into extinction? The red hues reflect violence and danger, a sense of darkness which is the elephants impending fate.
Using the same elephant illustration, I superimposed the animal into a forest scene. The forest scene is manipulated from a primary source photograph and put into a new context. The in the left image the elephant seems vulnerable in its own habitat whereas in the right image the elephant seems to be fading away. This sense of fading reflects the threat of extinction through habitat loss. Whilst the habitat is replaced and preserved, the elephants and forced to survive elsewhere, or not at all...
Using an ink illustration, I thought about a comment I had during the formative assessment- why not add a background? Whilst I feel white space encourages the viewer to pay closer attention to the main subject, I decided to use a primary source landscape photograph to provide a sense of context to the image. The darkness of the landscape highlights the elephant slaves whilst the red tones in the sky imply a sense of danger and foreboding. Where are the elephants being taken? What is their fate?
These illustrations were manipulated in Photoshop and given a simple forest-like background. This background was painted digitally and fills out the image.
Overall, I believe these experiments were a success in how they reflected the threats of extinction and providing imagery which is more thought-provoking for the viewer. The colours are vivid and the use of photography brings stronger compositions. However, the manipulation in Photoshop can appear over-worked so it could it effective to replicate similar imagery in traditional media.