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Artist chosen for Ipswich shopping centre's Elmer's Big Parade elephant sculpture

Artist Deven Bhurke has been commissioned to paint Sailmakers' Elmer the Elephant Picture: SUPPLIED

Artist Deven Bhurke has been commissioned to paint Sailmakers' Elmer the Elephant Picture: SUPPLIED

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A top artist whose work has adorned sculptures in major UK cities is set to create the design for a shopping centre's Elmer the Elephant.

Artist Deven Bhurke has been commissioned to paint Sailmakers' Elmer the Elephant Picture: SUPPLIEDArtist Deven Bhurke has been commissioned to paint Sailmakers' Elmer the Elephant Picture: SUPPLIED

Deven Bhurke will be producing the Sailmakers Shopping Centre’s very own version of the much-loved children’s character as part of Elmer’s Big Parage Suffolk in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

The art trail, which includes 55 individually designed elephant statues located throughout Ipswich between June and September, marks the 30th anniversary of the hospice and Elmer.

Mr Bhurke, an artist and graphic designer, has worked on similar projects in London, Norwich and Manchester and will be painting Sailmakers’ Ladyphant sculpture.

The 46-year-old, from Southampton, said: “Ladyphant is inspired by the one of the most common ladybirds, the black-on-red markings. Ladybirds are beneficial insects, managing garden pests, and with her striking red colour is bound to attract people of all ages.

Artist Deven Bhurke has been commissioned to paint Sailmakers' Elmer the Elephant Picture: SUPPLIEDArtist Deven Bhurke has been commissioned to paint Sailmakers' Elmer the Elephant Picture: SUPPLIED

“I have worked on several Wild in Art projects and it gives me tremendous joy and satisfaction. I am looking forward to painting Ladyphant for Sailmakers and cannot wait to see how vibrant she will look.”

The trail is expected to attract thousands of visitors to Ipswich.

Mike Sorhaindo, manager of Sailmakers, said: “We’re delighted to be involved again with St Elizabeth Hospice and with having our very own Elmer here in Sailmakers.

“The hospice is such an integral part of life in the area and I’m sure the trail will be a big success in showcasing what a great place Ipswich is and in helping raise funds for a wonderful charity.”
Each elephant in Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk will be sponsored by a business and individually decorated by an artist.

It will then be auctioned off to raise money for the hospice which is organising the trail in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing Deven’s design come to life; it was such a striking design on paper, it is sure to be a treat to see when completed and is bound to be a family favourite.

“It is great to be working closely with Sailmaker’s Shopping Centre as part of the trail and we really appreciate their support.”

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