The Elephant Parade is an organisation which, since 2007, has been exhibiting and auctioning off large polyester baby elephants on a global scale, that are painted by famous and less famous artists. With this, they raise money for the conservation and protection of the Asian elephant. We have been helping them since the foundation by painting and restoring these fantastic object. We’d love to invite you to enjoy our creations below.
|Alice in Wonderphant
In 2016, we were commissioned to paint sixteen elephants for the Elephant Parade. We were allowed to design two of them with our own design and this we loved. We came up with the theme ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which we elaborated extensively by spreading the original illustrations over the elephant in a colourful way.
Many well-known themes come forward; the tea party with the Mad Hatter, the hare and the mouse, the rabbit with his watch, the labyrinth of the Queen of Hearts, the blue caterpillar smoking on a mushroom and a crazy dodo. The smiling cat can be seen in the tree as well as in the eyes and tail of the elephant, from which the key to Wonderland is dangling.
There are also other themes, like a bread and butterfly, a rocking horsefly, a dressed dodo, a bush of roses that is painted half red, a cricket game with flamingos and hedgehogs and the little door, that Alice is checking out. In the grass you can find a cupcake with a sign that says ‘eat me’ and a bottle with a label that says ‘drink me’, as described in the books. Lastly, on the back of the elephant, there’s a rose bush with flower faces and on the belly the hole that Alice fell through.
All in all, like with our other elephants, there’s a lot to see on this one.
|Hommage to Keith Haring
The second elephant we designed in 2016 is named ‘Hommage to Keith Haring’, as a hommage to the well-known pop art painter. According to his style, we painted an elephant yellow and decorated it with several elephants and hearts. The elephants winks friendly at its spectator.
In 2011, we painted the elephant ‘Cygnifant’, named after the star sign Cygnus, the Swan. Everything on this elephant is related to swans and folklore and stories around this wonderful animal. One side represents the night, the other side represents the daytime.
The golden swan from the famous story ‘the golden goose’, flying swans from the fairytale ‘white swans, black swans’and a fairytale castle in the background of a scene from the opera ‘Lohengrin’, played before the Bavarian ‘swan king’ Ludwig II. Furthermore, many swans are displayed on many spots on the elephant and finally there’s the poor little swan from the fairytale ‘the ugly duckling’(which is, according to us, a beautiful creature).
In 2010, we designed an elephant, which we called Evolifant. The concept of this elephant is the idea that this species would evolve after many ages due to the destuction of the earth and the rising sea level. The animal would adapt to new environments on land, in the sea and in the sky. Symbolising hope of a good future like in the Biblical story of the flood is an olive branch, that the elephant carries in its mouth.
In the sea, you can find a few elephants. Some look like manatees and others like deep sea fish, with a bioluminescent facial lamp. In the same sea you can find a museum with a showcase, that shows the last original elephant known to men.
In the desert, there are elephants that adapted like camels, with humps on their backs and also little elephants that dug themselves in in the shade of a rock, having ears like sails to regulate the heat. On the other side, a scorpion elephant is hiding in the shade with a little light in its tail, as a hint to the deep sea elephant on the opposite leg.
The rock that is standing in the desert is shaped like an elephant, on top of which a flying elephant is flying toward its brothers in the sky.
On icebergs, that form the barrier between the surrealistic sea- and desert worlds, there’s a species of elephant that is reminiscent of the old mammoths, totally adapted to the extreme cold.
We also made a detailed model of this elephant.
In 2009, we created ‘Surrealephant’. Its theme, the protection of the Asian elephant, has been executed in a surrealilistic way.
For example, on the sea side of the elephant there is a floating bottle with a little elephant in it, symbolising an SOS for the species, or Ganesha, an elephant God. The phoenix on its forehead, the baby elephants that emerge from the flowers and the tiny elephant in the egg represent the rebirth of the elephant. In an idyllic scene, elephants are living in abundance and peace. On the border between land and water, an elephant is taking a little peak under water; a hint to the surrealistic works of Salvador Dalì.
The trunk of the tree on the right front, on top of which the phoenix built its nest and from which the flowers are sprouting, is an elephant with three legs when you take a close look at it. This represents the elephant that triggered the foundation of the Elephant Parade, the little girl Mosha, that had stepped on a landmine and lost her leg because of it. She had to wear a prothesis for her leg which was partly sponsored by the auctions.
This elephant raised an impressive € 12,000 at the auction!
|O Lief Fantje (O Sweet Little ‘Phant)
In 2008, we were allowed to design a standing model elephant. This we painted in a soft yellow with a pattern of many butterfly dragons. Next to that, on top of its trunk sits a three dimensional butterfly dragon.
You can find many butterflies and moths on this sweet elephant; are there any you recognise? There is also a dragonfly dragon; can you find it?
For a few private customers we painted a few smaller models, like two elephants with a Greek landscape, a little elephant with dog portraits and one with children’s portraits. During a painting workshop we painted an elephant in a classic pattern in grey with decorations on the back and head, which we had to archieve in just a few hours. For another customer we painted horses that are hidden in a landscape with snow and dolphins in the water. Lastly, we designed and painted an elephant with the modern logo and colours of an insurance company.
In 2007, we painted our first elephant for the Elephant Parade; one we had to paint during a ten weeks period in a local DIY store as a means of promotion, which resulted in the elephant ‘Binnen en Buiten’ (Inside and Outside). One side of it consists of an interior with a window to the garden and the other side represents a garden with a window looking into the house.
In the same year we designed an elephant for a sponsor (within limits), a train company Railfeeding. This company takes care of railcompanies for the Antwerp harbour for example, which is depicted on this elephant. Just like the yellow front of the trains we painted the elephant’s front yellow with a sunset. During the auction, this elephant raised the enormous amount of € 11,000!
Finally we were commissiond by the Belgian radio station to design (with limits) an elephant in two fixed colours; fun, but not very challeging. Yet we made it into something sweet.
Since 2007, we have been helping the Elephant Parade with the restoration of the elephants, that are exhibited in big cities during periods of a few months. We restored elephants in cities in the Netherlands, in London, Copenhagen, Antwerp, Trier and other locations. We restore both the top layer with polyester spackle and the original colours of paint. Enjoy some of our most spectacular examples here.