This spring, the National Trust’s Petworth House and Park welcomes Elmer the Patchwork Elephant™, on a colourful sculpture trail through the Pleasure Gardens.
From 27th May, visitors can enjoy Elmer’s Art Parade, inspired by one of the world’s most widely read and loved children’s books, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant™ by writer and illustrator David McKee.
In Partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press, the iconic character of Elmer, whose stories explore and celebrate friendship and inclusivity, has been recreated in ten large scale sculptures.
Each sculpture has been individually designed, inspired by the work of famous artists from across the world including William Morris, Yayoi Kusama, Frida Kahlo, and JMW Turner.
Throughout the summer, this colourful and joyous trail will ‘parade’ through Petworth’s gardens. The original classic, patchwork Elmer designed by David McKee will stand proud in the beautiful eighteenth century stone Rotunda, presenting the perfect photo opportunity for Elmer fans.
Joining the herd will be a JMW Turner-inspired Elmer. Turner was a regular visitor to Petworth, and 19 paintings by the artist are on display in the house. Petworth is known as the ‘house of art’, and has a world class art collection, inspiring artists for generations.
The trail invites visitors to explore the winding paths, ancient trees, and colourful flowers around the gardens. Visitors can pick up a free trail map to discover the ten Elmer sculptures.
Elmer’s Art Parade launches on Saturday 27th May, coinciding with Elmer Day. Elmer’s arrival at Petworth will be celebrated with a day of crafts, storytelling and a meet and greet with Elmer himself.
2023 is a celebration of colour at Petworth House and Park, with a programme of colour-themed activities and events throughout the year. Drawing on its famous art collection and celebrating nature’s changing colours in the park and Pleasure Gardens, Petworth will offer new ways to experience this world-famous ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, and create moments of joy, curiosity, and inspiration
Sarah Taylor, Senior Programming and Partnerships Officer at Petworth House: “We’re so excited to welcome Elmer’s Art Parade to Petworth. A sculpture trail that celebrates inspiring art and colour while promoting friendship and inclusivity is going to be perfect for Petworth. The trail is a great reason to visit Petworth this summer, with Elmer being known and loved across generations.”
Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Andersen Press and the team at the National Trust to bring Elmer the Patchwork Elephant to Petworth House and Park. Wild in Art passionately champions the importance of art and being creative for everyone and it’s wonderful to see how our artists have been inspired by the work of some of the world’s greatest artists. We hope that everyone will enjoy discovering the Elmer sculptures”.
Elmer’s Art Parade runs from 27th May to 3rd September, 10am–5pm. Normal admission charge only, free to National Trust members.