06 December 2013

An artist with a cause

I've said on more than one occasion that good political art is extremely difficult to create. But I strongly believe that artists should have a political conscience, whether they express through in their art, through public activism (e.g., joining protests or movements), or in some other way. It's a rare pleasure to see an artist taking that step.

Not long ago Eliza Wierwight and her son happened to watch a documentary on the plight of Asian elephants. Eliza was deeply moved and decided to help in whatever way she could. Through the Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand, she and her son are sponsoring an elephant named Mae Bua Loy. But more than that, she has created an elephant-shaped topiary designed for Xmas, which she is selling at her store Patron and sending all proceeds to the organization. At L$499 apiece, merely 54 topiary elephants will sponsor a real elephant -- but Eliza is aiming to have residents of SL collectively sponsor 35 elephants. She is challenging everyone to take part in this project.

Topiary elephant benefiting the Save Elephant Foundation at Patron
Naturally I purchased one of the topiary elephants to support Eliza's cause, and set it up at Split Screen. Given I'm the wrong religion to have any particular affection for Xmas colors and ornaments, that's saying a lot. So those of you who cherish Xmas should buy an elephant for each of its twelve days!  While you're at it, give one as a present to everybody on your friends list. (Okay, okay ... how about 5 friends?)

Eliza's topiary elephant at Split Screen, accompanied by Scottius Polke's steampunk elephant.
Eliza's Satirical Polemicist is in the background.

More information about the Save Elephant Foundation (and how Eliza became involved) is available at Patron, and I've also set up a notecard giver at Split Screen.

As I mentioned, I think it's important for artists to get involved in social causes in one manner or another, and given how thoroughly screwed up the world is, there are a lot of causes to choose from. It's great to see that Eliza has found one that suits her gracious heart. Good luck!


  1. Very cool of you to have highlighted this venture Div, I appreciate it. I really didn't have a choice but to get involved after my sharp learning curve on the topic of Asian Elephants and their plight after viewing the documentary "How I became an Elephant". Using my business was simply the best resource at hand that I have, this is not about Patron, this is about facilitating a positive outcome that can have an immediate impact for the incredible team at Save the Elephant Foundation. I'm just grateful I was able to earn their trust to facilitate this. They take both their work and advocacy very seriously.

    Oh I am getting ranty and sounding so PC [laughs] this will spoil my pixel reputation and we can't have that.

    BTW Div as we discussed Inworld, I do TRY and be culturally sensitive, I understand not everyone celebrates Christmas, I dropped the word at one point and used "Holiday" though as you so accurately pointed out, it is what it is. Commercially marketable has a value to moving from point A to point B however. If I created 'art' to express the grief I feel, when as a bystander, I see what these elephants have endured you could expect a much darker undertone. The patent opposite of the design above.

    Anyway, my thanks again DIv, good to see out little elephant topiary up there pictured with the clever Scot's entrancing work.

    Eliza :)

    1. No worries, there's nothing "culturally insensitive" about making and selling Xmas trees etc. (Well, if you sold Xmas swastikas, *that* would be insensitive.) All I meant is that for a Jewish leftwing atheist like me, Xmas isn't a selling point, any more than a menorah would be for most Christians. Anyway it's a cute topiary elephant that anyone in a merry mood should want, and feel good about buying too! :-)