Mark Adlington

A Memory of Elephants
John Martin Gallery: 13 – 29 September 2018
38 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JG
Mon – Fri 10-6, Saturday 10-1:30

“This exhibition is called “A Memory of Elephants” after their collective noun but unusually, most of the paintings are of individuals. Age, gender, size, beauty, character, eccentricity, boldness, or the lack of it, defined each elephant I was lucky enough to meet to such an extent that I felt compelled to create a gallery of individuals, some famous or even infamous, but all of whom had made a distinct impression in very different ways.” – Mark Adlington


In September John Martin Gallery will present Mark Adlington’s latest exhibition, ‘A Memory of Elephants’. Over the last two years Mark Adlington spent in Kenya and Namibia where he was granted exceptional access to herds of elephant and a unique opportunity to become familiar with some of the most famous individual elephants alive. For Adlington, the exhibition lets him describe elephant conservation not in terms of declining numbers, but through an understanding of some of the magnificent individuals that make up those herds. The exhibition brings together drawings made in the field alongside a powerful series of oil portraits, sales of which will help support the work of the conservation charity, Big Life.


Mark Adlington writes “
During three intense months in Africa over the last two years, I have had the fortune to meet and draw some of Kenya’s most iconic tuskers, spend time with Namibia’s desert adapted elephants, and had the luxury of whole days on my own with huge herds of females and young on the Laikipia plateau. Perhaps no other creature reminds us so acutely of ourselves as the elephant. With a similar lifespan, social structure, enormous brain, and an ability to show  grief, learning, play, cooperation, altruism, compassion, a sense of humour and yes, memory, the elephant is the ultimate ripost to those who would deny other animals a soul.”

“Without the generosity and encouragement of two exceptional Kenyan families, this exhibition could never have happened. I have witnessed first hand, over several months, the challenges faced by conservation on a  daily basis, which is why I wanted to support Big Life Foundation in its award winning work. The human population of planet earth has doubled since I begged my grandparents to take me to Africa as a small boy, so even without ivory poaching, human/elephant coexistence faces growing and complex difficulties. I have painted a “Memory of Elephants”, a herd, for this exhibition but it is also my personal experience of elephants, of individual, monumental, living, behemoths – the largest land animals on earth. I pray that this poetic collective noun never becomes an epitaph for these magical giants of the Savannah.”


John Martin Gallery

Operating from Mayfair since 1992, the John Martin Gallery represents established international artists, artist estates as well as providing a platform for emerging painters and sculptors.
Opening hours during the exhibition: Monday – Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-1:30 pm. Further information please visit our website or contact James Wildgoose

Mark Adlington
Mark Adlington is a sculptor, painter and draughtsman. He has drawn animals in their habitat since he was a boy and has evolved a fluent, rapid line that seeks out the movement and volume of animals in motion. His research has taken him to Spain to study bulls and wolves, then to the mountains of Gran Paradiso for Ibex; in Sharjah he drew the rare Arabian Leopard and has followed Prjzewalski’s horse from conservation colonies in France to the herds now successfully reintroduced in their native Mongolia. His most recent travels took him to the Arctic circle in search of polar bears from cub to adult, the results of which were published in the book ‘Painting the Ice Bear’ (London, Unicorn Press, 2016).

Born in 1965, Mark originally studied History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and Italian at the Dante Alighieri School in Milan, before taking a BA in Fine Art at the City & Guilds of London Art School. He lives and works in London and France.


Mark Adlington’s exhibition ‘A Memory of Elephants’ takes place at John Martin Gallery 13-29 September, 38 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4JG in support of the wildlife conservancy charity, Big Life Foundation.