Sunday 13th October

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Elmer arrives at the Elephant

Elmer arrives at the Elephant
Elmer arrives at the Elephant - Image 1Elmer arrives at the Elephant - Image 2Elmer arrives at the Elephant - Image 3


Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, David McKee’s beloved children’s character, has arrived at Elephant Park, London. A special trail of community-design sculptures that celebrate diversity and inclusivity have been installed to mark his 30th birthday.

Organised in conjunction with Wild in Art and Andersen Press, this is the first time an Elmer trail has been located in London. Ten specially-commissioned Elmer sculptures are now in place and they were designed by a range of local community groups and artists. Primary schools, pensioners, youth groups and local residents were all involved in the design of the sculptures, which can be found around Elephant Park and the surrounding area, including Trafalgar Place, South Gardens, Walworth Square and London’s newest independent retail destination, Sayer Street.

Elmer fans can also look forward to a special celebration day of free activities at Elephant Park on Thursday 29 August, featuring performances from the Blue Elephant Theatre, an Elmer-themed tea party and craft activities. Children will also get the chance to meet Elmer himself.

Children and adults of all ages can follow the trail free of charge, with each of the Elmer sculptures including a special anagram for trail walkers to solve. Once visitors have solved every anagram, they are able to input their answers to the Elephant Park website for a chance to win a special Elmer prize pack.

The trail will be in place until late October, after which the Elmer sculptures will be auctioned, with all proceeds from the sales being used to support local community causes.

Libraries across Southwark will also be joining in with the Elmer fun, with dedicated areas and displays of all things Elmer during the trail period. Special Elmer-themed storytelling events, and parent and baby sessions are set to take place at the libraries during the week beginning 16th September.

David McKee, Author and Creator of Elmer The Patchwork Elephant, commented: “It has been fantastic to see Elmer go off on his own adventures over the past 30 years, but never has he appeared in his namesake, Elephant Park. I can’t wait to see generations of Londoners coming together in Elephant Park to see these colourful, inspiring, brilliant sculptures based on Elmer.”

Charlie Langhorne, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wild in Art, said: “We passionately champion the importance of art for everybody and the social, cultural and educational benefits which it provides. The Elmer sculptures are a fantastic spectacle and showcase a wonderful wealth of artistic talent. We hope everyone will enjoy discovering them.”

The local community groups that have designed an Elmer sculpture at Elephant Park are:

• Notre Dame School
• Victory Primary School
• Southwark Pensioners Centre
• Young Artists with Autism Collective
• Espacio Mama
• Southwark Playhouse Youth Group
• E&C Residents – Draper Together
• London College of Communications
• Elephant Says Hi

David McKee has written and written and illustrated 27 Elmer books, with the first published by Andersen Press in 1989 and the latest, Elmer’s Birthday, set for release in September. The books have been praised in how they encourage children to respect each others’ differences and have confidence in their own true colours. The Elmer franchise has become an international success, selling 10m books worldwide in over 50 languages.

The trail follows hugely successful Elmer’s ‘Big Art Parades’ in Tyne and Wear, Suffolk and Plymouth which are all raising funds for their local hospice charity, and will finish later this year with sculptures being auctioned off to raise funds.

Notes to editors:

More details below of the trails:
Where: Elephant Park, Elephant and Castle, Southwark, London (nearest tube is Elephant and Castle)
When: Until late October
Cost: FREE and open to the public

Interview opportunities with Elmer the Elephant author and artist, David McKee are available upon request.

About Elmer
Elmer remains one the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over 8 million copies worldwide since it was first published by Andersen Press in 1989. Written and illustrated by celebrated children’s author and artist David McKee, the Elmer books have been translated into more than 50 languages and now new books, toys and clothing add to the world of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

About David McKee
David McKee was born in Devon and studied at Plymouth Art College. In the early part of his career, McKee regularly drew and sold humorous drawings to magazines and newspapers such as The Times Educational Supplement, Punch and the Reader’s Digest. David McKee has written and illustrated over 50 picture books for Andersen Press and has penned a number of children’s classics including King Rollo, Mr Benn, Not Now Bernard and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. David McKee loves to paint and now lives in the South of France but regularly visits London.

About Elephant & Castle
Elephant & Castle is a central London neighbourhood just south of the River Thames. A transport hub, a familiar landmark and home to thousands of people, it’s also an area in transition. Elephant & Castle has a long and fascinating history, with a rich culture that has been strengthened by successive new arrivals to the neighbourhood. And, with two local universities, a flourishing arts scene and a strong Latin American influence, the area is imbued with a particularly youthful, energetic and creative spirit.

Elephant & Castle is central London’s most exciting place to live, work, shop, learn and unwind.

For more information, please contact:

About Wild in Art
Wild in Art is a leading producer of spectacular public art events that entertain, enrich, inform and leave a lasting legacy. It brings together businesses and creative sectors with schools and local communities through the creation of uniquely painted sculptures.

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Manchester, Sydney, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.

Together with Andersen Press they are bringing fun, family-friendly public art events featuring 1.1m tall Elmer sculptures to Britain’s towns and cities. Elmer’s Big Art Parades, funded by corporate sponsors and raising money for charity, sees blank Elmer sculptures decorated by well-known and talented local artists, and celebrity names. Find out more at

Wild in Art events have:
• Enabled over £12m to be raised for charitable causes
• Injected £1.8m into local creative communities
• Engaged over 550,000 young people in learning programmes
• Helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings | @wildinart | #wildinart