Sheffield’s war elephant Lizzie recreated in street art

Two Elephants, a mother with her child trailing, painted in black and white, lift themselves off the blank canvas of the wall behind it, the artist using a chimney to create a long silver trunk. 

The man behind it, Robin Loxley, creates a world of war, struggle and journey, drawing inspiration from and giving tribute to Sheffield’s Elephant Lizzie who helped out in the WW1 war effort. 

He also incorporates ideas from the toll of war in Ukraine and Nelly the circus Elephant.

Loxley describes the connection: “the connection is war Lizzie worked for a war effort. Nelly was a prisoner in a circus, a bit like the poor people caught up in a situation they did not want to be in. So the only thing they can do is flee”

He leaves the young elephant unnamed saying his reason : “I heard the stories of children very young living, no one knowing their real names” 

Loxley has been dubbed by some as “Sheffield’s Banksy” and said: “Well you can only be honoured to have any link to him, however I do my own thing and have a few different styles,

“Stencils have been used by many artists before and after Banksy, as has paint!”

Art is something that is interpreted differently by every person that experiences it. Loxley recognises this and said: “like I always say my art is subjective, the work has my meaning but others will interpret it however they like.”

Loxley describes his work as more “topical” than political and said: “my main goal is for as many people to enjoy it as possible.

“If they see a meaning inside the art that they can relate to, then great. If they see a nice piece of work, even better.

“Let’s face it, everybody loves elephants, so, worst case it’s just elephants on the wall.”

Apart from the war and struggle, the two stoic elephants seem to represent a bold resistance to hard times, something anyone can relate to. 

Written by James Hughes-Brown

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