Artist gets involved in Horsham’s safari trail

Pollyanna with Born Free President Will Travers SUS-150615-155203001
Pollyanna with Born Free President Will Travers SUS-150615-155203001

Internationally acclaimed wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering is the latest big name to design and decorate an Elephant for Elephantastic, which is taking Horsham by storm this summer.

Pollyanna, who is a long-standing patron of Horsham-based charity and Elephantastic partner, the Born Free Foundation, used her creative flair to design an exceptionally elegant elephant, using a subtle white and gold palette. The design combines traditional, Indian-inspired patterns created with gold leaf, with hand-painted bird motifs and wildlife scenes.

Pollyanna, who is also patron of the Wildlife Art Society International as well as a champion for environmental conservation, named the ele ‘Run Wild Fly Free’, and it will now join the rest of the Born Free herd, which includes eles decorated by comedian Vic Reeves, Journalist Donal MacIntyre, and one signed by actress and Born Free founder Virginia McKenna, OBE.

Pollyanna said: “Although we often associate Born Free with lions, I know that one of the biggest motivations for Virginia and Bill in establishing this incredible organisation was the story of Pole Pole the elephant, so I was especially pleased to have the opportunity to create an elephant for the Elephantastic event.

“I decided to keep my elephant very pale and elegant and just use white and gold. My starting point was a beautiful poem by Richard Bonfield, Born Free’s Poet in Residence, which I inscribed on my elephant’s back. I added a mixture of painted and decoupaged embellishments in gold and then painted stylised birds flying around the elephants’ back and legs - inspired by the cattle egrets and other birds which can often be seen flying around herds of wild elephants. The birds represent freedom, and also celebrate the interconnectedness of all of nature - they are helped to thrive by the continuing survival of wild elephants.”

The Elephantastic safari trail, organised by Horsham Rotary Club in partnership with Billinshurst-based PMW Communications, Horsham District Council, the Horsham Unlimited Traders Association and the Born Free Foundation, will hit Horsham Town Centre and the surrounding areas from 26th July to 31st August.

With over 150 elephants adopted by local businesses, the 2015 event has already eclipsed the success of the Giraffe Trail of 2013.

Locals can get a glance at a selection of the decorated elephants on Sunday 12th July at Sparks in the Park in Horsham Park for the initial unveiling as elephant herds gather around the ‘watering hole’, before the event kicks-off in time for the school holidays at locations all throughout the area.

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Report and pictures contributed by the Born Free Foundation.