Cities are often compared to a jungle, and we were already used to Trafalgar Square’s lions. But it seems that another exotic species is currently invading London: the elephant (which is, as you already know, one of my favourite animals – see my post on the Natural History Museum).
Over the night, two weeks ago, more than 250 pachyderms popped up throughout central London. Painted with bright colours and often flashy patterns, London’s elephants are much more eye-catching than their wild cousins, as the pictures show.
In fact, these elephants decorated by artists constitute one of London’s greater outside art venue, designed to raise public awareness of the Asian elephant conditions, which are facing extinction. The sculptures will be on display until the end of June, and then auctioned to raise money for charities working for the protection of Asian elephants.
Location: everywhere in Central London
The Unilever series is an annual exhibition where an artist is invited to create a work of art for the Tate’s monumental Turbine Hall. The installations are among the most innovative sculptures of recent years – previous artists include Louise Bourgeois (2000) or Anish Kapoor (2002) – while their playful nature means that they are still accessible to the layman.
Last year installation, TH.2058 by Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, depicted a nightmarish vision of London in 2058, filled with Sci-Fi books on colourful bunk beds, giant animal skeletons and a massive screen showing strange films.
This year, Polish artist Miroslaw Balka has designed a huge box of 13 metres high and 30 metres long, filled with darkness, where visitors can enter. The pitch-dark interior is designed to alter the sense of space and create a sensation of excitement and unease.
View from the inside of the box:
The Unilever series change every year and works are displayed from approximately October to April every year. Access is free.
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark
Tate Modern Unilever Series website