Sunday 14 May 2006


The older we get, the swifter time seems to pass and the quicker memories seem to fade. A week after encountering the entrancing Sultan's Elephant on its time-travelling visit to London, I am still haunted by memories of this extraordinary vision: a mechanical creature, forty-foot high moving through the city - for once devoid of traffic - with an indescribable combination of power, grace and beauty. No photographs capture the magic because, like every good illusion, it was effective simply because it was 'of the moment'.

The best our photographs can do (and how many million images were shot that weekend, using everything from the most sophisticated equipment to mobile phones?) is to provide a memory-jogger for some future time when we need to remember having experienced something as wonderfully strange and moving as a time-travelling elephant visiting our cynical, too-busy-to-stop-and-stare world…

[Image: © Brian Sibley]

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