Tattoo by Keith Winterbottom, Citrus City Tattoo
The image on this page is of ‘Ellie’, one of my tattoos, and The Tattoo Project’s logo.
Why an elephant?
Elephants form communities and have rich social bonds that provide a major component of their survival. Elephants demonstrate ‘emotional contagion’ which means that if an elephant is in distress the others try to soothe and protect them. For example, elephants are known to exhibit grief at the loss of a family member. Members of their communities provide social support to the member who is grieving the most – rather than rushing the elephant through grief – they keep to her or his pace.
Unlike the ‘elephant in the room’ of humans, that which is present but intentionally avoided, elephants see, face, and communicate.