Photo of an elephant never forgets

A much-awaited public art trail featuring a rainbow herd of elephant sculptures has been launched in Worcester.

Worcester’s Big Parade began on Tuesday, July 13 and will finish on Sunday, September 5.

A Wild in Art event, the eight-week showcase is being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.

Sixty-six individually designed sculptures and two interactive digital art installations are on show through the city’s streets and open spaces, forming a trail approximately six-miles long.

We are the Music makers elephant
We are the Music makers elephant

The trail is raising funds for the hospice’s care for patients living with serious progressive illness and their loved ones in Worcestershire. It follows the hugely successful Worcester Stands Tall giraffe trail in 2018, which saw giraffe sculptures displayed across the city before raising £210,000 for St Richard’s at auction.

Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s, said: “We are so excited to be bringing our herd to Worcester and can’t wait to see everyone out there exploring the city this summer!

“The parade is the perfect, open air opportunity to reconnect with family, with friends, with colleagues and with the city, while helping to support the care we provide to families across Worcestershire.”

Of the 66 sculptures, 30 large elephants have been designed by artists and sponsored by organisations from across the county and beyond.

There are 36 smaller calf sculptures which have been decorated by schools and community groups and are on show in city centre shop windows and Crowngate Shopping Centre.

And two digital art installations in the city will shine a light on mental health by asking trail goers ‘What’s the elephant in the room?’. A collaborative project between St Richard’s Hospice, creative communications agency, DRPG, and mental health awareness partner, Onside, the public will have the chance to become one of 24 virtual ‘community artists’ by creating their very own Worcester’s Big Parade elephant. At the same time, they will share what mental health means to them. Each week, three artists will be chosen from all entries and featured in the installation located within Crowngate Shopping Centre.

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art, said: “Worcester’s Big Parade is a wonderful opportunity to bring business, artists, schools and communities together through the power of creativity – after a challenging 18 months or so.

Jackson the elephant
Jackson the elephant

“We hope everyone has fantastic fun getting out and about, discovering incredible elephants, and sharing the magical stories that inspired each work of art – and which may well inspire local artists of the future!”

Trail maps are available from points around the city, including Worcester Tourist Information Centre, Crowngate Shopping Centre and the Worcester’s Big Parade pop-up shop – located on Broad Street in the city.

There is also an app for the trail too – sponsored by local law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys – which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for £1.99.

The app allows visitors to the trail to track their progress as they walk the route, discovering elephants and facts about the city along the way.

Once the trail has ended, there will be a final chance to see all 66 sculptures together at farewell events at Worcestershire County Cricket Club on Thursday 30 September – Sunday 3 October and again from Thursday 7 October – Sunday 10 Oct 2021. Tickets for farewell events will go on sale later this month via www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk. The large elephants will be auctioned to raise funds for St Richard’s later in October.

Worcester’s Big Parade is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), DRPG, West Midland Safari Park, the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

To find out more, visit www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk. You can also follow Worcester’s Big Parade at www.facebook.com/WorcestersBigParade, www.twitter.com/WorcsBigParade    and www.Instagram.com/WorcsBigParade

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