A spectacular herd of 100 life size elephant sculptures have taken up residence in London’s Royal Parks for six weeks. The free exhibition is open to the public, offering visitors the unique opportunity to meet these magnificent creatures up close in the biggest outdoor art exhibition in the country.
Much like the elephants from Hunan which have filled recent headlines with their cross-country journey, this huge herd are on an epic global migration which began in India and will move on from London to the USA. Today sees their majestic arrival into the leafy surroundings of the parks which serve as a reminder of their natural habitat in India.
There will be a total of eight herds distributed between Green Park, St James’s Park and Berkeley Square each carrying a unique story of human-wildlife coexistence. As the G7 summit closes and with attention turning to environmental causes, the public are encouraged to visit each park to discover more about the elephants and about the ways in which we can live in coexistence with wildlife and better protect our planet’s biodiversity.
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have shown their support for the extraordinary campaign by hosting their own herd of elephants at Highgrove. The sculptures offer a poignant reminder of The Duchess’ late brother, Mark Shand, who co-founded Elephant Family, and conceptualised the CoExistence campaign with Ruth Ganesh, lead creative and Trustee of Elephant Family. .
CoExistence is an environmental art exhibition by Elephant Family and The Real Elephant Collective. The elephants have been created deep in the jungles of Tamil Nadu by indigenous communities who live in close proximity to their real-life counterparts. Here, people and elephants coexist in denser populations than anywhere else in the world.
Funds raised by CoExistence will be directed to grass-roots organisations across India that allow people and wildlife to live together more peacefully. Strategies include the promotion of indigenous knowledge and values of tolerance to wildlife; the creation of technological solutions for early warning, alerts and monitoring systems to keep both animals and people safe in shared spaces; helping people to better protect their crops and houses; and mitigating the effect of roads and railway lines to ensure wildlife can safely get across, and many more such initiatives guided by in-country experts.
You can support these pioneering projects by donating to Elephant Family or by buying an elephant via www.coexistence.org Alongside the CoExistence exhibition, gallery partners Sladmore Contemporary will be showcasing a display of original artwork by artist George Butler.
The previously unseen selection of illustrated maps and prints is based on the theme of peaceful human-wildlife coexistence and will be on display from 15th June-23rd July.
The Royal Parks are an AGF Associate Member.