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Haathi Mera Saathi

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Having just marked World Elephant Day on 12 August, we can’t go past the work of Adelaide artist Kaye Monck

Kaye Monck’s delightful works of the beloved pachyderm, in familiar Indian themes, are wowing visitors at the ongoing SALA Festival.
Her work with murals, canvases as well as greeting cards showcases elephants and their special status, having been revered for centuries and playing an important role in culture and religion.

Kaye’s love affair with India began on a business-cum-holiday trip with her husband a few years ago. Uncertain of what to expect on the trip, Kaye was mesmerised by India; including its art and architecture.
“The colours, the patterns, everything just made me want to draw and paint,” Kaye told Indian Link.

Being a guest at an Indian wedding opened up a whole new world of designs and patterns.
“I firstly fell in love with the patterns and the shapes, which seems to be everywhere and in everything. I saw these patterns even in the henna tattoos decorating the arms and hands of everyone in the bridal party. This was how my greeting cards began, even incorporating the bright and sparkling bindis into my artwork,” she said.

Two years ago she started making cards using Indian cultural influences with a fondness for Indian elephants, horses and camels. Until her trip to India, Kaye had been afraid to use bright colours in her artwork. When asked how the Indian culture has help her evolve as an artist, she said the culture has given her inspiration that she needed, by adding joy and colour to her monotone artwork. She has made several bright and colourful canvas and gift card pieces. Her gift cards are designed and decorated with Indian patterns, bindis and colourful stones.

With a flair for creativity, Kaye is always trying new techniques and using new mediums in her art work. Her pieces can vary from photographic painting to almost cartoon-like designs. Recently she finished a mural for the Adelaide Secondary School of English, a multicultural school teaching young people who speak English as their second language. The mural was about Australian wildlife to help the kids learn about native Australian animals. The school named it ‘The Australian Flora and Fauna’.
Her love for animals stands out clearly!
This year South Australian Living Artists Festival or SALA Festival steps into its 18th year featuring artworks from over 5000 artists in 610 free exhibitions throughout the month of August. SALA helps promote emerging and established local artists, creating a future for visual arts in South Australia. Pubs, cafes, wineries, gardens and even florists are turned into pop-up art galleries for a period of 31 days. Amongst the 550 venues is The Tea House in Glenelg where Kaye Monck’s art work is on display.
 

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