Elephant Park has some rather apt new residents.
But first, a little bit of personal history. I grew up just outside of Bristol, where colourful animal trails are somewhat quirkily A Regular Thing (see gorillas, Gromits (twice!), and Shaun the Sheeps for more of this sort of thing). The idea has apparently followed me to London, as if I’m some Pied Piper of a colourful menagerie, for this time it’s the noble elephant who’s taken up the gauntlet and organised itself into a multicoloured troupe.
In the heart of Elephant & Castle’s Elephant Park – yes, the whole thing is very on-brand – you’ll find ten colourful elephant sculptures. They’re in place to commemorate the 30th birthday of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, literature’s most flamboyant pachyderm. (If you too are 30 years old this year, and somehow don’t have your own art trail, then what have you been doing with your life?)
All ten sculptures are community-designed, with input from local schools, pensioner centres, and playhouses. Scattered across Elephant Park and the surrounding areas, they form a free art trail that you’re invited to follow. Each sculpture features an anagram, and if you can unscramble all ten, you can submit them to the Elephant Park website for the chance to win an Elmer-themed prize.
The birthday festivities are highlighted by a special celebration on August 29th, which will feature theatre performances, craft activities, and an Elmer-themed tea party. (It’s all very kid-friendly, which means no birthday shots for this elephant.) The Elmer trail will be in place until late October, at which point the sculptures will be auctioned off, and proceeds will be put towards funding local community causes.
To shamelessly crib the catchphrase from a popular early-noughties board game, it’s elephantastic!
Find out more from the Elephant Park website.
Also published on Medium.