Elephant parade

Summer 2010, I was delighted to work with the Elephant Family, the only charity solely dedicated to ensuring the survival of the Asian elephant, to launch London's biggest ever public art event. For two glorious months the exhibition mopped up over 500 press articles, 10 hours of TV and radio air time and reached an audience of 25 million people. An astonishing £4.1m was raised at the auction.

Supported by numerous conservationists and celebrities, the parade featured 250 life-size elephants hand-painted by an assortment of established and emerging talent from the art and design world and I was delighted to support this charity by painting an exclusive elephant.

This is what inspired me to create "Freedom":

Elephants, just like humans, need strong leaders and symbols to represent them in their fight from extinction.

During this project I concentrated not only on its decorative value but also on the ideological aspects. It became a metaphor of sorts.

I wanted to underline the importance of the cause of the elephants by drawing comparisons with some of the most recognisable freedom fighters and their noble causes. Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Lech Walesa were some of the world's greatest leaders. I chose to show their faces in the street art graffiti style because it is often in the streets that the grandest ideas are born.

Many times unnoticed and undervalued at first, waiting to be realised. Without an active human intervention, elephants could face extinction and we should not let that happen.

My elephant 'Freedom' is one small step toward achieving this goal.