Vandals Destroy Stunning Life Size Elephant Sculpture in West Winfield
The life-size elephant that sits in a field in West Winfield, New York will soon be no more.
Sadly, someone vandalized the sculpture that took three months and 40 truckloads of wild grapevines to complete. "I like to think by acts of love for photo shoots," said artist Elizabeth Schoomaker, who worked from March to June, in the rain, heat, cold, and wind building the elephant in her driveway. "The elephant is still standing. I repaired this last act of vandalism as best as I could. It looks OK from a distance, but up close you can see the broken, the paint and my mend which comprises my original intent."
Over the years, Schoomaker has repaired damage before but says the sculpture will be nothing more than a memory come spring when she plans to take it down. "My work is fragile, made of natural wild grapevine wrapped around a rebar armature. Over time, the vines do become fragile, yet, if left to natural elements, the vines embrace a new color and depth. Sadly, this aspect of my original concept will never occur."
Local photographer Todd Walker captured the stunning sculpture under the stars in what looks more like a painting than a photograph. "I was near Plainfield, driving along a country road when I came across this sculpture. From a distance, I had to blink twice. It was definitely something I wasn’t expecting to see."
A life-size Magpie joins the elephant in the field, also made from rebar, cold-rolled steel, wire, and automotive paint.
Both sculptures are big enough to see from the road so you don't trespass on private property. Unfortunately, some people aren't as courteous. "My work was never intended to be sat on or climbed for photos to share on social media," Schoomaker said. "My work is intended as a roadside attraction, welcoming all to stop and cross the bridge for a closer look. That’s fine. It’s not fine to climb or sit on."
Hopefully, Schoomaker won't let this stop her from creating more stunning works in her field.