Did you notice there were elephants sculpture around the streets of London a few weeks ago? They were all for the elephant parade which is a campaign to highlight to people the crisis of the endangered Asian elephant.
In total there were about 258 elephants that were placed around London. They were found in places such as Greenwich, Hyde Park, Covent Garden, City and even inside hotels. Many were London iconic places but some I thought was in the oddest location.
Each have been designed by various artists which include children. Many were designed with London as the inspiration such as the tube, map of London/UK, Union Jack, Sherlock Holmes, British pennies etc.
The elephant parade provided activities for all ages to go elephant hunt. At the same time you can visit places in London which probably you most likely to visit if you were a tourist. This was exactly what I did with my brother. With our rucksack, elephant map and GPS mobile phone off we went on our elephant hunt. We started off heading to Greenwich on our first day where we saw Cloudia (No.219). She was the elephant that moved from one location to another every couple of day.
From Greenwich we moved to India dock where Matilda (No. 84) was living in the museum of London Dockland. It has been a while since I have been back to the area and it brought back memories of my time at university.
We did a lot of walking and bus journeys on our first day, as many tube lines was closed for weekend work. It was a warm sunny day that luckily when we arrived at Tower Bridge they were giving out free bottle of iced cold Lipton tea.
It has been an exciting experience to look for as many elephants that has been scattered around London. I have got to visit so many place such as Somerset House, More London, Green Park, St James Park, Sloane Square, The Royal Exchange etc.
When we found Untitled (No.165) at the Somerset House we walked out where I saw this beautiful sight of fountains dancing the in the courtyard. Having read more about the Somerset House there are 55 fountains which they have during the summer months. Then in the winter it is an ice rink. I would not have ever thought to see something so beautiful in the heart of London.
Although it was not my first time visiting the Royal Albert Hall but it was my first time during the elephant hunt that the hall is a magnificent place. Outside is just as grand as inside.
There was one elephant (No.66 Phoolan) which was moved for the weekend to Park Lane hotel where Russian Eastern & Oriental Fine Art Fair was being held. International galleries was offering sale of variety of paintings, sculpture, ceramics etc. Prices were ranged from £300 to £3 million. I saw some magnificent art work but with those price tag it is really not in my class.
Having seen so many elephants each ones are really an artwork. I cannot say which of the one elephant I like. But there are three that are my top favourite. One of them is Union Jack (No. 3), that we found in Orange Square.
Second one is Saffron (No. 97), was living in Westfield shopping centre. It was an elephant that was designed as a cheese with mice over it, which was a cute elephant.
Third one is Paul Smith (No. 173), located outside The Royal Exchange. It has been designed colourful that I relate with Paul Smith and also it has Paul Smith logo.
It was unbelievable how these elephants has got so many people interested in hunting for these elephants. Both adults and children love these elephants sculpture.
The elephants were finally migrated at the Royal hospital Chelsea and Wesfield where there was a few days of public viewing which sadly it now over. All these elephants have been on sale that was sold at an auction which has raised over millions of pounds.
For more affordable one then you can buy smaller version of some of the elephants that have been on parade. I went to the elephant parade store to look and you can get them in different sizes and the price goes up in size. When I was visiting the store I saw an artist painting an elephant that was in the end to be part of the other herd. It was fascinating watching her paint and the amount of hours and time in painting every fine details.
If you are interested in owing on of the smaller version then as well as being able to buy them in store (although it seems like limited stock) you can also get them online (http://www.elephantparadewebshop.com/).
For further information of the London elephant parade then go to the following website: http://www.elephantparadelondon.org/
If you did miss the elephant then you can always go to Copenghagen in 2011 when there is expected to be the next elephant parade.
You can see my full set of the elephants here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chechemui/sets/72157624272283360/