This Giant Elephant Sculpture Is Made Just From Recycled Tires and Steel

This Giant Elephant Sculpture Is Made Just From Recycled Tires and Steel

Jaanisoo, who's based in Finland, likes to use discarded items to give his artwork a new perspective.

Image source: Instagram/villusoo

Artists are increasingly using unconventional materials and methods to create contemporary art and express themselves. Villu Jaanisoo, an Estonian sculptor, is finding new ways to create thought-provoking pieces of art. Jaanisoo, who's based in Finland, has created some beautiful sculptures using just tires and steel. One of the standout sculptures is without a doubt that of an elephant. The 2018 sculptures were sculpted using just tires and steel, which stands magnificently at a public park in Jyväskylä, Finland. Jaanisoo has a strong connection with nature. He also said that he liked the idea of putting familiar things in new places to provide a new perspective. He also uses size and proportions of objects as a means of expression. Jaanisoo is a professor of Sculpture at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and lives in Pirkkala and Helsinki.



When asked about the material used to create the elephant, Jaanisoo said availability was always a factor. "Used tires were available, always around," the sculptor told My Modern Met. "Environmental issues are important in terms of using these. But to me, more important has been the trace their former lives have left to those utilized things that I use for making something new, and also the idea of putting something familiar into a new context." The sculptor has also experimented on other sculptors while using tires and steel. It was the culmination of his experiments with rubber material since 2001. Some of his other tire sculptures include a larger-than-life rubber duck, a gorilla, and towering palm trees. It wasn't just rubber though. Jaanisoo liked to work with mundane materials. 



Not only were the tire sculptors refreshing to the eye, but Jaanisoo also wanted to experiment with unconventional ideas to change the perspective of people observing the elephant sculpture. "In a way, I see my artworks as 'reversed' landscape paintings," said Jaanisoo, before adding, "and my goal in making art has been to create different experiences of nature, light, and space." For Jaanisoo, art and sculpture haven't always been limited to just a visual experience. It's about the feelings a piece of art evokes, said Jaanisoo. He considers it a sensitive act and says "it is not so much to do with reason, as it is about the feeling.” 



Another one of his impressive tire works is a sitting gorilla that was nearly five meters tall. The idea was to remind humans of their responsibility and point to the future they were creating. Jaanisoo said human activity had significantly eroded the habitat of the endangered species. Sadly, the sculpture was destroyed by fire on January 10, 2018. Jaanisoo considers himself an exploiter of his classical art education, according to Helsinki contemporary. He was born in 1963 and graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1989. He lived in Finland through the early '90s. Apart from his exhibition work, Jaanisoo has also made several environmental sculptures in the Baltic region and internationally, including in the USA. You can follow the artist's work on Instagram or his website

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