The long-awaited Elephant Parade public art exhibition has opened at Docks Bruxsel, as 28 beautifully decorated elephant statues bring vibrancy and excitement to the city centre - and encourage the public to learn more about the importance of elephant conservation.
The arrival of Elephant Parade is a further statement about the ethical ethos and principles of the centre which, in recent years, has established itself as a shopping centre with a conscience. With environment, conservation and supply chain issues shaping the consumer's relationship with retail in the 21st century, Docks Bruxsel believes that ecological considerations can be at the heart of modern enterprise – and that doing so makes sound business sense.
Elephant Parades are about positive engagement and, through art, the ability of consumers and businesses to unite in the belief that they can paint a brighter future. And literally so at Docks Bruxsel – given that two brand-new, hand-painted elephants will appear for the first time at the new Elephant Parade. Furthermore, they will remain as permanent exhibits at the centre. One of these art pieces was finished live on-site on Saturday 21 September when visitors were be able to watch the artist at work painting the elephant.
Elephant Parade and Docks Bruxsel share a vision of enterprise having a heart. A 30% donation of the sales price of the life-size baby elephant statues and 20% donation of all Elephant Parade net profit will go to the exhibition’s dedicated charities, Elephant Family and Friends of the Asian Elephant, who champion the conservation work that Elephant Parade is proud to support.
The arrival of the elephants signals a complete commitment by Docks Bruxsel to be a committed leader in championing environment issues. The centre is 100% powered by renewable energy (an annual equivalent saving of heating 1,300 homes), has 4,500m² of solar panels on the roof, natural ventilation and air conditioning through an automatic aeration system in the canopy, filtered rainwater to supply public toilets and irrigate the green 'living walls', plus waste compactors to reduce the volume of waste and two beehives on the roof – home to 15,000 honey bees. As a result, Docks Bruxsel is the first shopping district to obtain the 'Excellent' BREEAM certification.
Docks Bruxsel is an important part of the Brussels economy, with around 600 people having worked on-site during construction and more than 1,200 jobs created by the day-to-day running of the centre. It has brought exciting new stores to the region and continues to attract and welcome new retail brands for local shoppers to enjoy.
Shopping Center Director for Docks Bruxsel, Mathias Blot, said: "Elephant Parade is important to everyone at Docks Bruxsel, as it embodies issues that we are keen to support. The exhibition fits in perfectly with the centre's ethos and is exactly the sort of ecological movement that we want to represent. Since construction, Docks Bruxsel has tried to provide shoppers with an exciting and contemporary retail destination that also prioritises the wellbeing of our city and the wider world. For example, through our recent initiative to help reduce plastic with our branded canvas bag. Elephant Parade is representative of this approach, and we hope our visitors will enjoy and appreciate it accordingly."
Elephant Parade Managing Director René de Wit added: "Over the last 12 years Elephant Parade has set the benchmark for public art around the world. We have been fortunate to visit so many vibrant and colourful destinations and to connect will people of different cultures. This new expo at Docks Bruxels is a bit special though. Beyond the stunning aesthetic of the elephants looking fantastic against the distinctive backdrop of The Docks, this location is the embodiment of a thriving community where art, business and charity can unite to support the big conservation and environment issues of the day. And it's done with such positivity. In terms of mindset, it is the perfect location for an Elephant Parade – and we are delighted to be coming to town."
About Docks Bruxsel
Docks Bruxsel is a unique shopping and leisure destination located on the banks of the Brussels canal. With over than 100 tenants, Koezio, the indoor adventure park brings a leisure concept unlike anything seen before in Belgium. 15 restaurants offer a culinary voyage, the Docks Dôme event space can host up to 1,500 people and the Godin Museum, retraces the industrial history of the site. There is indeed something for everyone. Unlimited in- and outdoor pleasure, in a remarkable and sustainable building that holds a BREEAM excellent certification and benefits from a great accessibility.
About Elephant Parade
Elephant Parade® is a social enterprise and runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need for elephant conservation.
Limited edition, handcrafted replicas and a select range of products are created from the exhibition elephants. 20% of Elephant Parade net profits are donated to elephant welfare and conservation projects.
Elephant Parade is the world’s largest open air art exhibition of decorated elephant statues that seeks to attract public awareness and support for Asian elephant conservation. Created by local and international artists, each elephant is a unique piece of art. Parades have been run in the following cities:
Emmen Zoo 2010
Dana Point, California 2013
The UK National Tour 2013-14 - a 14-month non-stop tour, visiting:
London, Manchester, Gateshead, Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham, Norwich, Newcastle, Uxbridge, Lakeside, Stoke, Watford and Bromley.
Chiang Mai 2016
Sao Paolo, Brazil 2017
Belo Horizonte 2018
Rio de Janeiro 2018
Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam 2018
Brazil National Tour 2019