Following the success of ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ in 2016, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk comes to Ipswich from June to September, bringing 55 large and 85 young Elmer elephant sculptures to discover around the town.
Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since the first book was published by Andersen Press. A modern classic, this picture book is known to millions, and the entire Elmer series has sold over 10 million copies around the world. The subtle inclusive message is that it is ‘Ok to be different’.
The University of Suffolk’s Elmer will be called ‘E=MC2’ and the sculpture will be painted by Suffolk artist Lois Cordelia.
The sculpture will combine art and science with inspirational quotes and a portrait of Albert Einstein as Lois explains, “Einstein features heavily and he is one of my biggest heroes. He says remarkable things about creativity and imagination. I think he was just a phenomenal genius on every level. He is a huge inspiration to me as an artist.”
“The Elmer is called ‘E=MC2’ which stands for ‘Elmer equals multi-coloured squares’. The original Elmer has a grid pattern so I have adapted that and made it into a painted, free flowing, freeform creative ‘mess’. Gravity is helping me to paint Elmer as the paint is dribbling down the sides of the elephant and so it runs around the contours and highlights them. That for me is very exciting. I am not the sort of artist who spends weeks and weeks meticulously, delicately fine-tuning every detail. I like it to still be fluid and free at the end.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Langton said, “We pride ourselves on being a community impact university and are delighted to support St Elizabeth Hospice. Pigs Gone Wild was a great success in 2016 and we expect Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk will be just the same, bringing local people and visitors to the town. With the University of Suffolk’s main campus on the Ipswich Waterfront, we have a prime spot to host Elmer and hope to do so this summer.”
‘Pigs Gone Wild’ attracted around 250,000 visitors to Ipswich and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1 million. It raised £200,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice and is a highlight of the hospice’s busy fundraising calendar. The parade will once again be run in conjunction with public art event specialists, Wild in Art, as well as children’s publisher Andersen Press, publisher of Elmer since 1989.
To keep up to date with Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk visit www.elmersbigparadesuffolk.co.uk
To find out more about the University’s involvement visit www.uos.ac.uk/elmer
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