The 100 majestic elephants are an important reminder for us to share space with other living beings on our over-populated planet.
It’s hard to overlook them, and you may have wondered what on earth they are doing here in central London: That’s precisely what the creators behind the environmental art exhibition “CoExistence” wanted us to ponder when they installed herds of life-sized elephant sculptures all over the city. They’re incredible to look at, but are not just there for our viewing pleasure — they’re meant to share an important message, encouraging us to live peacefully alongside animals on a planet that’s continuously losing space.
In the past, we’ve seen small numbers of bronze elephants take up residence in Spitalfields, but these life-sized herds are a bit more eye-catching. The artwork project is brought to us by the wildlife conservation charity Elephant Family, in partnership with The Real Elephant Collective, and aims to bring awareness to the challenges our wildlife faces on a crowded planet being ruled by humans. Elephant Family works to create landscapes that allow all species to live peacefully together, which is what the exhibition is all about.
According to the charity project’s website, “CoExistence marks a unique moment in time when a global reduction in human activity is having a positive effect on wildlife around the world. Brought about by tragic circumstances, this ‘great pause’ – coined the ‘anthropause’ – is helping guide us on how to best share space with animals on our crowded planet. The elephants are here to tell their story about the inspiring ways we can coexist with all the other living beings that make our world magical – from tigers and orangutans to nightingales and elephants.”
The beautiful creatures popped up at The Mall for one day only, before migrating to the Duke of York Square in Chelsea, where they can be found until June 4. A separate herd can be spotted at Petersham Nurseries in Covent Garden and Richmond, where you can also enjoy an Elephant Family-inspired afternoon tea which raises funds for the charity. From June 14 until July 23, the elephants will scatter in Green Park, St James’s Park, and Berkeley Square, so even if you missed their grand appearance at Buckingham Palace, you can still marvel at the gentle giants in other places around London.
Learn more about CoExistence and what you can do to help create a better world for our wildlife here.