The auction was held on 9th September at the Mercure in Maidstone - the culmination of a three-year project in the Kent town. Fifty-one sculptures based on David McKee’s colourful elephant character Elmer were decorated by a variety of artists and formed a free, public trail over the summer, before being sold in aid of the hospice charity.
The highest lot was local artist Ralph Steadman’s piece "Elly-do, Elly-don’t, Elly-dance!" which sold for £15,500.
Since the partnership started in 2019, it has raised £1,072,000. The art trail project will continue into 2022, with funds being raised for the Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast, when a new herd of Elmers will feature on the streets of the Belfast.
Paul Black, PR and brand director at Andersen Press, said: “When we set out with our friends at Wild in Art to stage Elmer’s Big Art Parades we could have only dreamed of raising these incredible amounts of money – to cross the £1m mark in Maidstone was a brilliant achievement, and we hope we can continue to raise lots of much-needed money for charities as the art trails land in towns and cities all over the world.”
Wild in Art creates events that inform, enrich, entertain and leave a lasting legacy in host towns and cities. It has famously presented similar events across the UK including Snowdog Art Trails in Newcastle and Brighton with Penguin Ventures, Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail alongside DC Thomson, The Big Hoot in Birmingham, Gromit Unleashed in Bristol and Go Superlambananas in Liverpool, attracting worldwide headlines. Elmer will sit in Wild in Art’s existing portfolio of sculptures inspired by animals, mythical creatures, well-known characters and books.