Marie Mason Painting: Ivory Funeral Pyre (Blood, Money, Smoke)

The burning of smuggled ivory.

Marie recently completed this painting, inspired by this photo from a 2011 burning of poached ivory.

A Chinese reporter in Kenya covers the 2011 burning of 5.5 tons of smuggled ivory. Kenya helped launch a global ivory ban in 1989 but lately has been stockpiling its ivory. The ivory here belonged to other countries. Photograph by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images

Th feature article, Ivory Worship, documents the religious carving of ivory that fuels the poaching of thousands of elephants each year.  Marie elaborates on the painting, writing that-

“The painting is in response to a National Geographic article on religion an the illegal ivory trade.  The article was heart-breaking and surprising, a lot of poachers and vendors using religious icons as a cover for black-market ivory.  So many elephants were murdered this year!”