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What would your Elmer sculpture look like?

PUBLISHED: 11:40 12 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:07 12 August 2018

'Imagination Can Take You Anywhere', for 'Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019'. Picture: LOIS CORDELIA

'Imagination Can Take You Anywhere', for 'Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019'. Picture: LOIS CORDELIA

Picture: Lois Cordelia

Artists have been putting pen to paper and have started sharing their visions for what the herd of elephants that will take over Ipswich next summer should look like.

Elmer the elephant will be the theme of the 2019 trail around Ipswich, named Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMSElmer the elephant will be the theme of the 2019 trail around Ipswich, named Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS

St Elizabeth Hospice officially launched their call for artists two weeks ago, asking creative talents from around the country to submit designs for the Elmer sculptures that will form the next public art trail in the town between June and September 2019.

Three members of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk have also been expertly painted - the first in traditional Elmer livery, the second an astronaut and the third is a fairytale-inspired design featuring silhouettes against an ombre backdrop painted by Ipswich artist Lois Coredlia.

But there are 47 more elephants to paint and the only limit is the imagination of the artists bidding to decorate them.

Colourful, elaborate and quirky ideas have already been submitted, and the hospice team are hoping for many more over coming weeks - including submissions from emerging artists, art students and local designers.

Astronaunt - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWESAstronaunt - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES

Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for the hospice, said: “For me, this is the really exciting bit of organising the trail; designs can be submitted by anyone - practising artist, student in training, or complete novice - and we would really love to see even more local artists represented this time, showcasing the talent we know Suffolk has to offer.

“With Pigs Gone Wild we received around 250 designs, which we had to whittle down to just 40, and although we have got 10 more sculptures this time we expect to receive even more designs, so we know we have some tough decisions ahead of us.”

Encouraging others to join her in this exciting project, Miss Cordelia said: “Pigs Gone Wild was the first public art trail I had done and it really grabbed me,

“When I saw the response from people it was overwhelming, there were children walking around with smiles on their faces because of the artwork.

“That magic has never really left me,” said Lois, who lives and works in the Chantry area. “It has boosted my career in so many ways.”

She did offer some words of advice though: “Obviously there are considerations, there is the physical challenge of painting in 3D.”

Artists have until midnight on October 31 to submit their designs, and an expert panel will then create a shortlist ahead of a special ‘matchmaking event’ with sponsors.

The final 50 designs will be announced in December and artists will be able to start work in January.

The parade will mark the 30th anniversary of not only St Elizabeth Hospice but also Elmer the Elephant himself.

The successful artists will not only play an important part on these celebrations but, like those who contributed to the Pigs Gone Wild trail in 2016, they will be able to help support the hospice as all proceeds from the sale of the sculptures will support their work.

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 the hospice – enough to fund one week’s care – and was a highlight of the hospice’s busy fundraising calendar.

Interested artists can find out more and make their submission at here and read the Information for Artists PDF.

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