‘Mark Shand’s Adventures and his Cabinet of Curiosities’ is a multi-medium exhibition that surveys the extraordinary journeys made by the adventurer and conservationist, as seen through the eyes of the photographers that accompanied him and contemporary artists who have been inspired by his mission. The exhibition will preview on 8th February and online at adventuresandcuriosities.com, with all proceeds from the works going to Mark Shand’s charity, Elephant Family.

The exhibition features a series of photographs chronicling Shand’s escapades into the wild, taken by fellow adventurers: Don McCullin, the celebrated photojournalist; Shand’s comedic counterpart and his elephant riding sidekick, Aditya Patankar; and Mark Luscombe Whyte, renowned travel and interiors photographer. The show, co-curated by the late Mark Shand’s daughter, Ayesha, will be held in his honour, lauded by those who knew him as ‘the real-life Indiana Jones’.

The exhibition does more than visit the vistas of Shand’s travels, it also displays a collection of phallic fertility sculptures from tribes and villages across India and Indonesia. Rather than exhibiting them museum style, frozen behind glass panels, they are being brought to life, moulded in jesmonite from the original sculptures and reinterpreted by 48 emerging artists, designers and illustrators, including Philip and Charlotte Colbert, Alba Hodsoll, Christabel Macgreevy and Jack Penny, among others.

Following my father’s extraordinary travels, he decided to make it his life’s mission to protect the Asian elephant and did so tirelessly in the most artistic and original ways” says Ayesha Shand. “Following his death in 2014 I inherited many of the photographs from his travels, and his cabinet of curiosities, and I looked for ways to understand and honour his exceptional life. My father collaborated with many artists in order to draw attention to the need to save the Asian elephant and their habitat. I have decided to do this, together with my co-curator, Harry Miller-Stirling, to benefit his life’s mission, which is carried on through his charity Elephant Family.”

29 photographs and 101 original sculptures will be sold via the website adventuresandcuriosities.com with all funds donated to Mark Shand’s charity, Elephant Family, which strives to continue Shand’s life's mission of saving the Asian elephant. 

Ayesha Shand goes on to say: “I once got told that if you tell someone’s story over and over, they eventually become immortal, and it gives me the great honour to be able to share my father’s story and adventure, and to do so in collaboration with such exceptional contemporary artists.”



For more information contact Davina at Elephant Family on davina@elephant-family.org