In a city where the locals have seen it all, it takes a lot to surprise Londoners. But that all changes when a herd of elephants comes to town.
In the biggest outdoor art event ever, 258 fiberglass elephants, each individually designed by established and lesser-known artists have been planted at various locations throughout London.
The collection of model baby elephants is better known as the Elephant Parade and can be spotted as you shop, commute or tour the city until the end of June before they are put up for auction.
Organized by the Elephant Family charity, the project aims to raise awareness of the Asian Elephant, which at is current rates of decline, is expected to be extinct within 30 years. Artists that have got involved include Paul Smith who decorated his elephant in his signature abstract pastel stripes, Diane von Furstenberg, Lulu Guinness, and John Rocha.
From the four elephants in the corners of Leicester Square, to the popular ‘taxi elephant’ which has been fashioned to look like London black cab outside the National Gallery, two within Selfridges, and even one inside the Hoxton Hotel, it’s not hard to find an elephant. Still, trying to choose your favorite might be.
The elephants have certainly got Londoners talking with some even going on ‘safari’—those trying to see as many elephants as you can in one day.
The designs are beautiful and with so much media attention the elephants are quickly becoming highly sought after collectibles. Most of the elephants are already sponsored although some can still be ‘adopted’ for charity. Each elephant will be collected at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea from June 24 and auctioned off on July 3. Proceeds are expected to top £2 million for elephant related charities.
Luckily, for those who those who can’t quite imagine a two-metre high elephant in their home can however purchase a miniature version at Selfridges.