Friday, 15 December 2006

London's Elephants - No 12 in the series

This one is high up on Africa house in Kingsway - very redolent of the turn of the century. I'm not too sure about the guy with the rifle, though. All I can say is that the elephant still looks alive.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

London's Elephants - No. 11 1/2 in a series

I love London. If this was a book launch in Paris, there would have been a clever, artistic interpretation of mammoths in pre-history. New York? Hey, let's sell everyone a Mammoth Burger. Here? Come on folks, let's put a woolly mammoth in Trafalgar Square.

Don't you just love Garef (Gareth) the mamef (mammoth)?

Follow this link to find out what it was all about, or just enjoy the sight of a woolly mammoth in London.

Gareth has sadly been downgraded to 0.5 of an pachyderm because you don't have the opportunity to see him (except here,of course).

It was Dan the Elephant man that alerted me to this event. Do explore his site if you'd like to daydream about what it might be like to earn youn way through life working with these magnificent animals.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

London's Elephants - No. 11 in a series

The series had to have an image of Ganesha, the elephant god. This rather unusual dancing Ganesh is in the British Museum and dates from 750 AD. It was pillaged brought back from Uttar Pradesh and can now be seen amongst the entirely wonderful Indian collection.

You may find it interesting to know that Ganesh, one of the favourite Hindu gods is the lord of beginnings and the placer and remover of obstacles. In the myth, he lost his human head when Shiva cut it off in a temper. He swore to replace it with the head of hate first creature he met, which was an elephant,

Monday, 9 October 2006

London's Elephants - No 10 in a series

Another week, another elephant (or two). First, this elephant spotting comes to you courtesy of the excellent Kitten Heels, for which much thanks. Location is the old Elephant & Castle pub in Vauxhall. I had forgotten it - last time I was there it was a dive, now it is a Starbucks and I have to confess for once that's an improvement.

Keep reading for another of my favourite London trivia. The Russian word for station is Vokzal (or вокзал in cyrillic - thanks Julia!) One of the reasons given for this is that at the start of the railway revolution, the Russians sent a delegation over to England to see what it was all about. Unfortunately, They didn't speak a word of English. They were shown Vauxhall station (one of the earliest ones) and went away assuming that the word for station was Vauxhall. Isn't that beautiful?

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

London's Elephants - No 9 in a series

Todays elephant post is going to be a small quiz as well. If you are a Londoner, or even if you have visited London you have probably seen this elephant without realising it. But where is it, do you know? A London Daily Photo Postcard Prize to the first with the right answer. A second Postcard prize to anyone who knows the four letter word associated with this. More general pic and info tomorrow.

Friday, 4 August 2006

London's Elephant's - No. 8 in the series

The elephant series again! This is one of a pair in Thomas Goode's shop in Mayfair, and they are extremely special.

This magnificent pair stand over six feet tall and were created by Minton
for the Paris Exhibition of 1889. They are the largest majolica items ever made; London Cabbies know these elephants as a landmark.

You can buy your own candlesticks inspired by these elephants for £3,045 here.

The price tag? £6,000,000. I don't think they want to sell them.

Monday, 10 July 2006

London's Elephant's - No.7 1/2 in the series

I can't get away from the feeling that I'm cheating a bit here. After all, they are nowhere you can go and visit, but I liked them so much I thought they had to join the party. I'll compromise and post this as an extra to the series, hence the "7 1/2".

They were on sale at the Hampton Court Flower Show (see yesterday), and they appear to be having a wonderful time splashing about. I didn't dare ask how much they were.

Monday, 26 June 2006

London's Elephants - No. 7 in the series

London's Elephants again! This one has to be the least known, tucked away in Crouch End. This topiary elephant is so quintessentially british, I love it. Somewhat difficlut to get a clear shot with all the cars and the roadworks, here is another view.

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

London's Elephants - No 6 In the Series

There really was only one way to mark the six month point - the Elephant series! This one is in the Jubilee Line entrance for Waterloo Station. Incongruous though it is, I think it is a hangover from one of the London Transport Art programs.

Saturday, 6 May 2006

London's Elephants - No. 5 in the series

Anyone who has been tuned in to London News would have guessed that I would bring you the Sultan's Elephant today.

For those that can't get here. let me briefly sum up the experience. This is street theatre at its best. It involves and touches people in thousands of different ways. The sight of the buckled road where the spacecraft has landed astonishes the viewer and sets the expectation that something great is going to happen. When the alien girl appears, spontaneous applause breaks out, and she is off on her exploration.

Meanwhile, the magnificent elephant, who has been sleeping for some time, is waking and is walking around Horse Guards Parade, looking realistic in every way including the ability to squirt water! The story will unfold over the weekend. I think it is particularly fun that this french troupe started the show - invasion? - in Waterloo Place.

I should mention that the Londonist put me on to this som edays ago, and they have a video of the elephant here. Lots of bloggers love the elephant!

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

London's Elephants - No 4 in the series

This chappie is on top of the gates to Ivory House in Tobacco Dock. He's not lonely because he is one of a pair. It is obvious what they are doing there, harking back to the 17th Century East India Company and the ivory trade.

I'm also pleased to say that the mystery of why No. 3 in the elephant series is outside a casino has been solved courtesy of Robert Elms' London program (see yesterday). Simple really, John Aspinall, the owner, has a private zoo. In this context, there is something strangely poignant about this story.

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

London's Elephants - No. 3 in the series

If you venture into the deepest reaches of Mayfair, you'll find this chappie outside Aspinall's Casino, in Curzon Street. They've made sure he won't escape but if you look at his ear, it looks to me like he gets a few pats for luck on the way in!

Friday, 10 February 2006

London's Elephants - No 2 in the Series

You'll find this cheekie chappie in a alleyway behind the Aldwych. Doesn't he look as if he's been caught short? I've no idea at all why he is there.

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

London's Elephants, No.1 in the series

There are a surprising number of elephants in London, in the oddest corners. I thought it would be nice to have an series of them from time to time - here is the first. There is a Dali exhibition in the South Bank and there are constructions of some of Dali's painted creations in a lot of public places. For example, the "drawer lady" in Waterloo Station (look for it as you get off Eurostar), the melted watch and this elephant on the South Bank, near the London Eye.