Hayley C Lewis, an acclaimed artist from Barry, has set up Elestration®, her new venture to help prevent the plight of elephant endangerment and make a contribution towards their conservation.
Elestration® began in 2020 with the help of Business Wales and Start Up Loans UK but Hayley's journey and passion for elephants started long before this, in 2011 while studying Ceramics in university. She told Bro Radio:
"My passion for Elephants in particular came from having studying them at Cardiff University in 2011 whilst doing a Ceramics degree.
"I have a long-held interest in the depiction of animals in art: particularly the Elephant, which at the time led me to an awareness of their endangerment. I couldn’t fathom a world without Elephants and wanted to make a difference.
"Studying and combining ceramics and illustration has influenced my current art practice and brand. I developed a unique way of using illustration to bring these current concerns forward and to urge the public to look at the issues facing their extinction, and reveal truths that are crucial to the way in which we see the future of elephants and conservation.
"I realised my love for elephants and illustration through many years of study and research which is why I continue to illustrate elephants today as Elestration®"
Hayley currently works from her studio at home, in Barry, painting blue elephants for Elestration®. In a statement on her website, Hayley says of her aim in her work:
"In my work I aim to convey the role and nature of elephant's lives through the ages with their magnificent forms, using an illustrative method of blue and white painting."
Elestration® is a supporting partner of HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development) - South Africa's first elephant orphanage, donating a 10% share of all their profits to their mission. HERD cares for an rehabilitates orphaned elephants, giving them a new family and a second chance of life with another herd.
Being, as she is, still in the early stages of launching the Elestration® brand, Bro Radio asked Hayley what the future had in store for the project:
"My long term goal is to make a significant contribution to vulnerable Elephants through my Elestration®.
I want my work to raise awareness, and to achieve this I want to share my vision and imagination with the world, I want to inspire people and the next generation into supporting conservation, and also to inspire people to think about the environment.
People often come back to me and say that when they think of Elephants they think of me (no pun intended there) because I always try to share my knowledge and stories about their plight, not just my artwork, and even just making little steps to raise awareness, and spreading the knowledge, for me is achieving that goal to support Elephant conservation.
We are a proud supporting partner of HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development) – South Africa’s first elephant orphanage. We donate a 10% share of Elestration® profits to their incredible mission which is to care for and rehabilitate orphaned Elephants."
You can find out more about the Elestration® project on its website, here.