If you've ever visited Apex City Quay Hotel in Dundee, you've probably seen the baby elephant sculpture as you enter Metro Restaurant. Her name is Priti (pronounced pree-tee). The name ‘Priti’ comes from the Indian word which means ‘Love’. Priti was created by sculptor Chris Groombridge in 2011, for the charity event ‘Jungle City’. Priti was then purchased by Apex Hotels at auction, where all proceeds went to charity.
What was Jungle City?
Jungle City was a 100% charitable event which supported a variety of charities and helped raise awareness to the plight of many endangered Asian animals. The event took place in Edinburgh between 16 August, 2011 and 27 September, 2011. For 6 weeks, Edinburgh was turned into a jungle, as nearly 130 sculptures of endangered Asian animals were placed throughout the city.
A variety of endangered animals featured in the event. Included were sculptures of elephants, hornbills, crocodiles, orangutans and tigers. Many of these sculptures were painted by artists, celebrities and even children from local schools.
The sculptures were created to help fund the work of Elephant Family and six UK conservation charities including WWF Scotland and Traffic. Elephant Family is a movement which aims to prevent the extinction of the Asian elephant and other endangered animals in the wild.
We got in touch with Priti's creator, Chris Groombridge, to find out more about the beautiful sculpture:
Why was Priti created?
Priti was among a group of animal sculptures created for the Jungle City event to raise awareness and funds for endangered species. This took place in Edinburgh in 2011.
What made you pick the name ‘Priti’ for the sculpture?
The name Priti was chosen by the Jungle City organisers along with other named elephants.
How many sculptures did you create for the Jungle City event and how long did they take to complete?
I created the initial sculpts for all five of the Jungle City animals - orangutan, hornbill, crocodile, tiger and elephant. Each of them were created as an initial miniature model in around three days and then scaled up to the larger versions which took around two weeks each.
What sculpture have you particularly enjoyed creating in recent years?
The sculpture I have enjoyed creating recently has been my ' Landscape of Churchill' relief piece which is an exploration of Winston's face as a landscape (hills and valleys, rough and smooth contours etc). Various casts of this are now for sale.
What are your thoughts on where she ended up?
Priti looks stunning in such a setting; stylish and beautiful, strong and graceful, for guests and visitors to enjoy. Hopefully this will inspire awareness for the elephants' survival.
Jungle City Charity Auction
Priti wasn’t the only sculpture purchased by Apex Hotels during the charity auction. Various other sculptures were purchased and can now be spotted throughout the different hotels.
Find out where the other sculptures reside below:
A similar event was held in London in 2012, when Elephant Family placed over 260 animal sculptures across the city. It was a fantastic way of raising public awareness of the plight of endangered animals, not only in Asia but across the world. It also allowed various sculptors and artists to showcase their work in what was a very much public affair.
Pitri now proudly stands on display at Apex City Quay Hotel. Make sure you stop to say ‘hi’ the next time you visit.