Elephant Parade


Written by Caroline Doyle
26 Monday 26th April 2010


Remember that scene from the Jungle Book when there’s an almighty racket and suddenly a rowdy troupe of elephants march in? Well imagine that, but transported to the quiet unsuspecting streets of London. That’s the prospect this May, and all in aid of protecting the lovable beasts. The Elephant Family charity is teaming up with some of Britain’s leading artists and designers on London’s biggest ever public art event - The Elephant Parade.
Life-sized models of baby elephants will soon be jostling for space with tourists at some of London’s most famous landmarks, like the South Bank, Buckingham Palace and Parliament Square. But these will not be your run of the mill elephants - grey is so last season. The likes of Dianne Von Furstenberg, Alice Temperley, Lulu Guinness and Julien Macdonald will be ensuring these pachyderms are enviably styled.
In July, the colourful elephants will be herded together in one of London’s green spaces for a public display and then following this there will be an auction. The elephants are being sold in a bid to raise £1 million to buy and manage vital elephant habitats across Asia and to support community education projects highlighting the commercial, cultural and ecological significance of Asian elephants.
If you can’t wait until May 3 when the 250 strong troupe hit the streets, you can get an insight into the project at the Hempel Hotel, London, where there is currently a photographic display called The Creation of the Elephant Parade.
This project will display an unusually uncynical and frivolous side to art and its capability for doing good, hopefully generating money and interest in the charity.
As a sophisticated art connoisseur I will of course be interested to see how the designers successfully transcend the corporeal elephantine form to achieve aesthetic harmony within the urban environment and... aaaawwwww look at their cute little faces aaaaaaawww!


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