Friday, 14 February 2014

Elephants on Parade

The other day on my weekly visit to a local mall, I couldn't believe the delightful sight of one beautifully painted elephant statue after another leading me along the ground floor to where I have my coffee. On closer inspection, I discovered each individual animal had a name and a unique design painted by local artists.


There is a serious point to this wonderful display that is taken to venues all over the country and further afield. Most people know that elephants are now an endangered species, mainly because of their valuable ivory tusks, and the fight is on to ensure their survival. One Dutchman, Marc Spits, is making a difference after meeting a baby elephant in Thailand that was to change his life.

Mosha had been brought to the elephant hospital in Lampang when she lost a leg after stepping on a landmine. Hearing of the plight of the Asian elephant, whose numbers in the wild have decreased to only 1,500 in Thailand, Marc and his son, Mike, founded Elephant Parade. The world's largest open air art exhibition, each of the painted elephants is a unique piece of art and the inspiration behind each design is explained on a plaque.

 
A few of my favourites were Mrs Bennet, in her pink tulip hat, Butterfly Effect, in her colourful array of butterflies and Mega Nova, representing the stars and universe. I've only picked out a few from the stunning display and each one told its own story. There's also the chance to buy a replica of the elephants in various sizes, coloufridge magnets and other items. Part of the proceeds will go to The Asian Elephant Foundation. I couldn't resist buying a tiny replica of Mosha with her bandaged leg as a memento and in the hope that I've made even a small contribution to this essential cause.

11 comments:

Anne Stenhouse said...

These are lovely, Rosemary. Lucky you. Anne Stenhouse

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It was a wonderful display, Anne, and I've now written a fuller article about it!

Carolb said...

The elephants that have been in our intu shopping centres for the last month have been brilliant, lots of families went to see them.



Patsy said...

They're fun! I hope it does some good.

I know ivory poaching is a serious problem, but I suspect loss of habitat is just as serious.

Joan Fleming said...

An interesting and colourful way to bring a serious situation to the attention of the public, Rosemary. And an ideal choice of location - a busy shopping mall.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

They're a real draw, Carol!

Absolutely, Patsy!

It really does increase awareness in their plight, Joan!

Vikki said...

Love the idea of the exhibitions and that little replica of Mosha is very cute!

Wendy's Writing said...

What an amazing sight that must have been, Rosemary.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It's a great story behind it too Vikki!

It was indeed, Wendy!

ange said...

Hi Rosemary

They are wonderful aren't they? They've visited Nottingham too and as elephants are my favourite animal, I took a great of interest in them. Small model elephants had been made for children to paint in the shopping centre which I think was a wonderful idea.

All the best with your writing.

Ange x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Ange. It's a brilliant idea - glad you got to see them too!