Next summer, St Elizabeth Hospice are bringing 50 fantastically designed sculptures to the streets and open spaces of Ipswich and from the standard of entries received it is clear that visitors are in for a treat!
The call for designs for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk closed last week with more than 200 submissions received, many of which have come from local artists. With the high quality of entries, it is clear that the shortlisting panel have got a tough job ahead of them.
Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for St Elizabeth Hospice said: “I’m so glad it isn’t me who has to decide which of the designs go through to the next stage! It is so tricky at this point, as we have got so many brilliant designs that we really want to show off, but until they have been shortlisted, and then matched with a sponsor, we have to keep things strictly under wraps.”
However, in the spirit of sharing, the hospice is pleased to be able to announce plans for their very own Elmer sculpture, which will feature on the trail next year. To be designed by Jason Alexander, or The Wildlife Gadget Man, an award winning blogger, writer and designer with a passion for wildlife and technology, St Elizabeth Hospice’s sculpture will be based on the original Elmer the Patchwork Elephant but covered entirely with pieces of waste plastic that Jason is collecting on his, now well-known, Rubbish Walks.
Mark Millar, Chief Executive at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Here at the hospice we are well aware of how important it is to reduce our impact on the environment, both on site at our various locations, and out and about in our local community, and over the last 18 months have really increased our efforts to improve our processes. I am really pleased that we can work with Jason to get others involved too and help spread this message even further through Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk.”
Jason will be working alongside the campaign team and supporters to collect suitable materials that can be used to decorate the sculpture early next year. He will be running a series of planned ‘Rubbish Walks’, setting up special collection points and issuing collection challenges to ensure that he can amass the volume of hard waste plastic, such as bottle tops, that he will need for his design.
Jason said: “When I heard about next summer’s Elmer campaign it just made sense to me to get in touch and see if there was some way I could get involved. The issues we are experiencing with the amount of rubbish – and in particular single use plastic – that is being discarded are massive and it is really important to me to both help clean up our own neighbourhoods and also to help people understand the impact that this is having on our world. It is said that elephants have long memories and this is certainly something we are not going to be able to forget, unless we act now and start doing something to make a difference.”
Campaign Manager, Norman Lloyd, added: “The Elmer stories have strong environmental themes, celebrating the natural world and the protection of animals in the wild, so this partnership feels like a perfect fit for our sculpture. We hope that we will be able to involve our sponsors and Learning Herd members in the collection of plastic and the creation of our sculpture, making it a real team effort.”
Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk and The Wildlife Gadget Man will be sharing further news and updates about how you can get involved and help with the plastic collection on their websites and social media sites:
www.elmersbigparadesuffolk.co.uk and @elmersuffolk19
www.rubbishwalks.com and @UKrubbishwalks