Sunday, 13 June 2010

Concrete Jungle

It's a jungle out there as the Elephant Parade of London began a few weeks ago. You may have noticed some new companions lining our sidewalks and parks recently. It's all in effort to raise awareness on the imminent extinction of the Asian elephant. Many of art and design's largest names have joined the cause and created elephants to dot the streets of London. Seems elephant mania is taking over the capital! Have a look at a few of our favs along with a specially designed Elly notecard in support of these beauties...

During our trek through Elephant Safari, we were lucky enough to meet Soraia Almeida, an up-and-coming artist who's work is based on experimentation and escapism and is always in constant transformation and development. With unusual and innovative techniques, it seems like creating 'Patchwork' the Elephant was a perfect match (pictured below right). Sitting down with Soraia and Patchwork, we asked a few questions....

What was your favourite part about the project?

The best part for me was to be able to use my skill to raise awareness on such an important issue as that of conservation. It is also a great opportunity for me to create work that truly interacts with people, as a canvas based artist it’s rare when I have the opportunity to create public art and in doing so create work that is enjoyed by such a varied audience, especially those that perhaps would not go or enjoy the gallery settings where my work is normally displayed.

What was the inspiration and symbolism behind Patchwork?

In essence Patchwork is symbolic to that same exploration of identity recognized in my work it is based on this idea that we are all made as a result of all the different pieces, ideals, dreams and nightmares, backgrounds and circumstances of ourselves, where the small pieces put together create ‘patchwork’, so the whole is nothing but all those pieces ‘sewed’ together. It is reflective of our multifaceted complex nature as human beings and I wanted my Elephant to be like that, to be made up of a series of pieces of patchwork as a beacon to its magic, its complexity and majestic nature. I used highly detailed squares superimposed upon each other painted in very bright colours and metals like gold, silver and copper as highlights, although a poignant issue of conservation, I wanted my Elephant to be above all a celebration of the Asian Elephant.

Check out more of her work

The Elephant Parade, is an innovative fundraising and public awareness campaign for the endangered Asian elephant. There are currently 258 elephants being exhibited in London all painted by a different artist or celebrity until the 23rd June.

To learn more about how you can support the Elephant cause, check out

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