By Louise Jury
Tracey Emin’s soft spot for animals is usually demonstrated in her art with touching depictions of her elderly cat Docket or pictures of tiny birds.
But the Margate-born artist chose a rather bigger animal with her generous donation to the Christmas appeal by the Standard’s sister papers, The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. Emin, 50, has given a drawing of two elephants that will be sold in a special late addition to the auction which has already raised thousands of pounds.
Emin said: “I have seen baby elephants, mother elephants, herds of elephants, and even though they are incredibly short-sighted they have a majestic beauty that is inexplicable to mankind.” She joins artists including Thomas Heatherwick, Damien Hirst and the Chapman brothers, who have given pieces to be sold to raise funds for rangers to protect the creatures from poachers operating on an industrial scale, with militia machine-gunning entire herds from helicopters. Their tusks are sold to fund war and terrorism. Space for Giants, the charity chosen for our support, is helping to create sanctuaries where elephants will be safe.
The campaign has also received the backing of Prince William, who said: “I have been fortunate to see these incredible, beautiful yet touchingly vulnerable animals up close, and I am absolutely delighted that The Independent and the Evening Standard are shining a much-needed spotlight on this issue.”
Meanwhile, the Government has pledged a crackdown on the trade in illegal products such as elephant ivory and rhino horn with a £10 million fund.