There’s something about elephants that makes me smile. They look beautiful and have these amazing trunks and long eyelashes. They have really long memories, like playing in mud, love their family and friends, mourn their dead. Elephants are my favourite animal, I collect them – I’ve even sat on the head of a large female elephant while she walked me round the Thai jungle, my feet under her ears, Mowgli style.
So the fact that 260 adolescent-size elephants are currently sitting, or standing, all around London, decorated by artists and celebrities, makes me very happy. I love how friendly they look, their curved shapes, and the designs – from polka dots (South Bank) to pieces of vinyl records (Brixton). I love the incongruity of a painted elephant sitting outside the Elephant & Castle tube, surrounded by blokes drinking beer; many of them have been cleverly placed in front of London’s landmarks – it was only after I took the photos that I saw how beautiful and exciting the view of a painted elephant in front of Tower Bridge, or City Hall, or the Guerkin, is. Its the largest outdoor art event that London has even seen.
From May to July, keep an eye out for this Elephant Parade brightening up London. They’ll eventually be auctioned off at Sotheby’s to raise money to save the endangered Asian elephant. I’m posting some photos of those I’ve been delighted to find – I’ve got about 230 left. I’m contemplating doing an elephant parade walk to find them all – the locations are all on the official website.
UPDATE: The Elephant Parade guys forwarded me this lovely film about the Elephant Parade and why we need to save the Asian elephant – please sign the petition!