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Record public involvement as Elephant Parade visits Norwich

Press release   •   May 02, 2014 16:48 UTC

More than 1,000 people in Norwich have helped paint a brighter future for the Asian elephant in recent weeks, during Elephant Parade’s month-long visit to intu Chapelfield

Around the UK, the Elephant Parade national tour presented by intu has inspired artistic design contributions from more than 8,000 people, breaking all previous records for an Elephant Parade anywhere in the world.

During the tour’s visit to Norwich, more than 650 school children submitted design ideas as part of the tour’s national schools programme. Seven winning entries gained commissions to decorate half size Elephant Parade statues that have been on public display in the dedicated children’s art gallery at intu Chapelfield alongside hundreds of the original school design ideas.

Over Easter week, national tour artists Keith Siddle and Karen Hollis travelled to Norwich for a live painting day at intu Chapelfield, aiming to fully paint a full size Elephant Parade statue in just two days. More than 250 people took part. One side of the elephant features paintings of fish, Keith’s area of speciality, whilst Karen Hollis led painting of floral designs on the other side. This is the first time in the 12-month national tour that the public have been engaged to paint a full-size elephant statue with tour artists.

In addition, more than 200 children have taken part in the art workshops inside the mall working to a local ‘Natural Norfolk’ theme, inspired by Patricia Shrigley’s tour elephant, Wild London, which conveys a message about the need to protect UK wildlife.

At the close of a busy month for public art in Norwich, Elephant Parade confirmed it will be commissioning the school design Sathi Ganesh as a miniature replica which will be available internationally through its web shop. This design, which draws on the artistic skills of children from Sparhawk infant and nursery school, is the first school design ever to be commissioned as a replica. It also breaks records for being created by Elephant Parade’s youngest ever artists: children as young as three contributed to the magnificent design.

Mike Spits, Founder of Elephant Parade commented: “Elephant Parade has really captured the hearts and minds of the people of Norwich. The level of direct public engagement is the highest we have seen in the UK to date since the tour started in London last July.”

Keith Siddle, Elephant Parade UK tour artist who ran one of the live painting days for intu added: “The live painting was enormous fun, involving people of all age groups. This tour is aiming to raise awareness of conservation through fun, engaging art and the day was a huge success. The surprise and delight on so many people’s faces was a real joy to see.”

Having engaged with more than 20 million people through intu centres around the UK, the 100-day national auction for the tour elephants will begin on Monday 5 May via tour website 

Money raised from the sale of the tour elephants will be presented by intu to international charity The Asian Elephant Foundation, which works to ensure the Asian elephant has a future.

Trevor Pereira, Commercial Director at intu concluded: “Norwich is no stranger to public art but the intu team have aimed to do so much more than put on an exhibition. The engagement of so many intu customers in the various initiatives they have run during the elephants stay has captured everyone’s imagination. The full size elephant created by the people of Norwich is going to stay at intu Chapelfield to remind everyone of the fantastic time everyone had when the elephants came to town and to ensure when it comes to conservation, like elephants, we will never forget.”

Elephant Parade is the world’s largest open air art exhibition of decorated elephant statues that seeks to attract public awareness and support for Asian elephant conservation. Created by local and international artists, each elephant is a unique piece of art. Parades have been run in the following cities:

Rotterdam 2007

Antwerp 2008                      

Amsterdam 2009

Emmen Zoo 2010                           

London 2010           

Bergen 2010            

Heerlen 2011

Copenhagen 2011 

Milan 2011   

Singapore 2011                  

Hasselt 2012

Trier-Luxembourg 2013

Dana Point, California 2013

The UK national tour 2013-14 - part one:

- London 2013

- Watford 2013

- Manchester 2013

- Gateshead 2013

- Newcastle 2013

- Cardiff 2013

The UK national tour 2013-14 - part two:

- Nottingham 2014

- Braehead 2014

- Stoke 2014

- Norwich 2014

- Essex 2014

- Uxbridge 2014

- Bromley 2014

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