southampton elephant parade artist sam hiscock west quay

Bringing a little colour to this rainy Spring season, the World Famous Elephant Parade has made its way to Westquay. Between May 22nd and June 20th you can follow the trail and hunt for the 25 elephants. Created and designed by artists and celebrities they are in aid of raising awareness for the conservation of elephants.

We chatted to Sam Hiscock, a local artist commissioned to paint the Southampton themed elephant displayed in Westquay to talk about how he got involved in the project.

So what are the Elephants for?

The elephant statues in West Quay are part an exhibition by ‘Elephant Parade’. Elephant Parade is a social enterprise, running the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities around the world, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation.

How did you get involved in designing one?

I am from Southampton and studied illustration at Solent University, so I suppose you could say I am part of the art scene in the City. Elephant Parade and West Quay approached me and asked me to come up with a design for this elephant to celebrate the exhibition coming to Southampton. 

Tell us about your design, how did you come up with the idea?

The design simply reflects Southampton. The rich history as one of the South’s most important ports and the recognisable landmarks of the city. The simple colour palette of red and white mirrors the cities colours. 

What happens to them after the installation?

Most of the elephants in the exhibition are from other parts of the world, (Dubai, Hong Kong to name a few City’s the exhibit has been) and will continue to tour with Elephant Parade to raise awareness for the conservation of elephants. The one that I have designed will likely be auctioned, the money going to charities that the cause supports. Anyone fancy an elephant in their garden? 

Have you done any other artwork for the city?

Yes, although not much in the last year because of you know what! I was part of the Marwell Zoo project ‘Zany Zebras’ a few years back, which was a similar project where life-size zebras where designed by artists and exhibited across the city. Aiming to paint a life-size giraffe one day… I have also had the opportunity to exhibit my work at the Showcase Gallery in the city centre, and outside of Southampton the Willis Museum in Basingstoke and Portsmouth Guildhall. Though my work usually just involves paper and pencils, I enjoy getting involved in bigger projects that centre around public interaction. 

See Sams work here: @sam_illustrates

Make sure to check out the Elephant Parade until June 20th, snap a photo with ‘Sotonia’ and tag us! We’d love to see!

southampton artist west quay sotonia elephant parade


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