Published: 11:49, 10 September 2019
| Updated: 12:15, 10 September 2019
A herd of elephants has stampeded into a city — and now a Kent town is due to experience the same.
Newcastle has been festooned with sculptures of much-loved Elmer the Patchwork Elephant in a project which launched last month.
Next summer similar artworks will be based more than 300 miles away, in Maidstone, and will form a trail families can visit.#Called Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, the free installation is designed to bring the children’s book character to life.
The project, which launched back in March, is the first of its kind to come to the County Town and will feature a series of sculptures based on the star of the book, written by David McKee.
It aims to raise awareness and vital funds for the Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford, which is working on the scheme in collaboration with event producers Wild in Art and publisher Andersen Press.
Maidstone artist Graham Clarke is the project’s artistic patron.
Each Elmer will be designed by a different artist and the hospice aims to have more than 40 sculptures in key locations.
Up north there are 50 large artworks and 114 smaller installations. It is being run by St Oswald’s Hospice, until Friday, November 1.
Jane Hogan, project lead for Elmer’s Great North Parade, said: “We are thrilled so far. Though it’s early days, already thousands of people have signed up to the trail app, and venues across the region tell us they are seeing an increase in footfall.
“People from all over the region and beyond are posting on social media about how they are enjoying the trail. These trails are vital to St Oswald’s, bringing awareness and raising funds towards our children and young adults’ services.”
Visitors to Maidstone will be able to use an app to find the Elmers and unlock codes to deals and discounts. KM Media Group is the official media partner. Other backers include Gullands solicitors, Westerhill Homes, Chartway Group, Scarbutts Printers, MCM Net, Clive Emson, Maidstone Borough Council, Gallagher Group and One Maidstone.
Elmer the elephant art trail coming to Maidstone to support Heart of Kent Hospice