This is the artist's second herd of elephants and her most international herd.
It all started in 2009 when she was invited to make a work for the border-crossing in Cyprus.
There she herded her Dutch herd of elephants back and forth between the two sides of Nicosia in a playful gesture at fudging borders between art and the day to day.
This second herd was started in the middle of 2011 while they were driving from the Netherlands to Istanbul via an art project in Sweden and the Venice Biennale to build a video installation for the Cumhuriyet municipal gallery for a show respresenting New Zealand artists at ISEA Istanbul.
The herd had their first airing in Istanbul's Taksim square on September 11th, the artist's second art event made on this date (The first was the symposium "Issues of Engagement in digital media artworks and literature" at Leiden University in 2008)
Sonja collected newspapers in the diverse languages she encountered and made a caravan of origami elephants out of these. There were 19 in the herd for the Istanbul airing and since then this is the 8th airing of the elephants.
Trade routes throughout history have been influenced by economical and physical retraints. What caravans transported was of more value in another location.
These elephants hail from the diverse countries that the herd has passed through since it began in mid 2011 - Hong Kong, The Philippines, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey as well as Dunedin, Murchison, Nelson, Christchurch and Hawera. What they carry are words and images: snapshots of news from each stopping place. So the elephants bear the similarities and differences 'in the news' between various countries - and the materials have an impact too - some newsprint is smaller, some more fragile.
Like any mutable herd, each elephant bears the telltale signs of wear and tear and at some point needs to be retired from the herd. However at each new location an elephant or two are added to the herd.
One observer noted on the third airing in New Zealand that in that case, the herd will become more anglophone as it travelled through New Zealand, and she was right.