Colchester artist designing Elmer sculpture in honour of late wife Valerie Osment
- Credit: CHRIS MORGAN
A Colchester artist will be creating a pair of elephant figures for Elmer’s Big Parade, three years after his late wife designed the much-loved Ipswich Hedgepig for Pigs Gone Wild.
Chris Morgan is the creative force behind Puzzelmer and a Artiphant, two elephant figures due to appear at Elmer’s Big Parade, which is coming to Suffolk this summer in support of St Elizabeth’s Hospice.
Artiphant will serve as a tribute to his partner and fellow artist, Valerie Osment, who died in September 2017 and whose work acted as am inspiration for Mr Morgan to continue producing art.
Mr Morgan said: “Valerie was approached while she was in hospital about doing a preview for this art trail. When she died I could have decided ‘that’s it, no more art for me’, but I chose to carry it on in her memory.
“Artiphant is based on my wife and all the sculptures she has created for other art trails across the country over the years.
“I’m going to surround it with different objects as well - paintbrushes, cameras - she was an artist for 25 years so there’s a lot to include.”
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Hedgepig, which Ms Osment created, was one of 40 sculptures set up around Ipswich, located at St Lawrence Church and sponsored by Suffolk Wildlife Trust, during the Pigs Gone Wild trail.
The 2016 trail lasted for 10 weeks and was enjoyed by more than 250,000 people - with Hedgepig voted one of the most popular designs in the trail by our readers.
Mr Morgan said he was looking forward to tackling a new challenge.
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“There was a lot of love for Hedgepig in Ipswich, especially after it was damaged and took 100 hours of repainting to restore,” he said.
“I’m a graphic designer, haven’t used a paintbrush since school. I do find it hard but I like doing hard things. You have to do hard things.”
Puzzlemer is being sponsored by Ipswich design company Concertus, but Artiphant will be sponsored by Elmer’s Big Parade itself. The location of sculptures is still to be announced.
Mr Morgan also contributed two giraffe models to Worcester’s most recent art trail, with one of them fetching more than £16,000 for charitable causes when it was auctioned off.
The two Elmer designs will be unveiled later this year when Elmer’s Big Parade officially launches across Suffolk.