Sunday, 16 May 2010


On my first day of blogging in May 2007, I wrote about the visit to London of The Sultan's Elephant, four years on, the capital is once again in the thrall of elephant power with Elephant Parade, London 2010.

Dumbo, you may recall, had inebriated dreams of "pink elephants on parade". Last weekend in Green Park - wide awake and and stone cold sober - we encountered elephants of all colours, shades and hues.

Here are a few favourites...

Flower Power

Elephant coming...




Bi-Polar (1)

All Behind
No sign of that colour which used to be designated on cotton reels in my Mum's needlework basket as 'Elephant Grey'!!

And the elephants in Green Park are just a few of the 250 brightly painted life-size baby elephants located all over central London this summer as part of a three month event to focus public attention on the urgent crisis faced by the endangered Asian elephant.

Each decorated by a different artist or celebrity, the elephants will be found in parks, at street corner and around (and in) well-known buildings. Running from May to July 2010, this is London’s biggest outdoor art event on record and aims to raise £2 million for the Asian elephant and benefit 20 UK conservation charities.

The artworks themselves will be sold by auction and you can buy your own minature replicas on line or at Selfridges, 80 Regent St, 36 Carnaby St and Greenwich Central Market.

You'll find more about this imaginative project by visiting Elephant Family; and you can see the whole of my herd (just a few of the 250 currently inhabiting our city) on my Elephant Parade flickr Album.


Annette said...

New Zealand artists did some thin similar with cows some years ago in Auckland

Brian Sibley said...

Yes, ANNETTE, we've also had a Cow Parade in London one year. I'm not sure how many bovine artworks there were in the capital, but there were nowhere near as many as the herds of elephants currently roaming the city!

Give my love to Auckland.

Suzanne said...

I would love to be in London this season! I absolutely love elephants! Stroke a couple for me will you!

Good Dog said...

Perfect timing for this post! I saw a number of them on the way to a birthday party yesterday afternoon - I think the first was outside St John's Wood Church, then Park Lane and Knightsbridge - and then, just before sunup, the two standing outside Canada House.

Thank you for saving me the search.

Brian Sibley said...

SUZANNE - Will do! The very next two I meet... :)

GOOD DOG - Do vist some of them "in the flesh" - especially the herd at More London, adjacent to the Mayoral headquarters.

"How odd," said David, as we viewed the pachyderm parade passing Boris Johnson's front door, "I wonder why they didn't think to put a plain white elephant outside the front door!"

SharonM said...

I hope I get the chance to see them. I wonder where they're going after the stint in London.

Bill Field said...

The Steer/cow parades have been a Texas staple for a while now. I have heard of a Yeti equivalent being hatched in the appropriate location of BIGFOOT Texas- I hope it becomes reality. As a cartoonist and writer, I have always loved the use of text as an element of design, so the one using the word elephant really speaks to me.
( I think I made an accidental pun...)

Brian Sibley said...

BILL FIELD - I liked the 'Elephant' elephant, too! Images in calligraphy have always given me great pleasure.

You'll find the other side of that particular pachyderm here and, as you'll see, the artist has created a different elephant-shape with the word.

Also note the fact that the whole creature represents an African sunrise with a silhouette of the veldt running around its feet and birds flying up into the dawn sky...


murphyz said...

I've been attempting to take my photos without people in them where possible, but your 'Friends' photo just shows how much greater it can look with a little something extra added. Great shot.

Brian Sibley said...

I did the same as you, attempting to get the elephants sans people - especially kids! In fact, I got rather ratty when stray human legs and arms spoilt my photo! But, as you say, every now and again, a bit of human interest can add a little something and I really liked the way this child snuggled up to the elephant.

I wish I'd seen these wonderful creatures when I was the age of that youngster.

Good Dog said...


Early Friday evening Roxy and I stopped off in Cavendish Square where there were four brilliant elephants, including one that looked like it was made out of tree bark - just right for the elephant's trunk!

Brian Sibley said...

Haven't seen those! I need an I-Spy Book of Elephants!! ;)