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Parvati the Elephant

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Parvati the Elephant was created for Jungle City, a charitable event of major conservation impact. The event, launched in Edinburgh, celebrated the magnificence of Asia’s endangered wildlife, generating mass awareness of their plight and making everyone smile at the same time. Purchased by Apex Hotels at a charity auction, she is now on display at the Apex Temple Court Hotel in London.

We interviewed the sculptor who created her, Chris Groombridge, to find out more ...

Parvati the Elephant at Apex Temple Court Hotel

How did you get involved in the Jungle City Project?
I was invited to do the sculptures for the Jungle City project through a company that was awarded the contract to manufacture them for the event. I had previously worked on pieces for its forerunner, the Elephant Parade in London.

What was the inspiration behind Parvati?
Parvati was supposed to embody all the characteristics of an Indian elephant with a balance of a friendly warm expression and the graceful power and stature of the animal. Realistic proportions and detail but with an ever so slightly stylised, cartoon edge. The green covering only adds more softness to this appeal.

How long did the sculpture take to complete?
The design took several months of making and adjusting macquettes (small models) before approval was granted. The full version took about two weeks to sculpt in clay (below) and probably the same to mould and cast by a separate team.

Parvati sculpted in clay, before being moulded and cast

What are your thoughts on where she ended up?
I am so pleased that she has ended up in a space where she can be enjoyed; not shut away in a collection. After all these animals should have a right to space and it looks like she has been granted a grand one!

What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on an application for a joint proposal for a sculptural trail project for some woods in Hertfordshire. This, if approved, will involve workshops with the local community using natural materials. I have also just finished a large commissioned piece of architectural detail for a palace in Qatar.

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