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Posted 23.04.18

Commercial photographer captures Elmer the Elephant

By Phillip Buchan

Third-year BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial student, Aleks Khotilovski, is volunteering with St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth as Project Photographer for Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth, a family-friendly art trail created in collaboration with Wild in Art and Andersen Press.

2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of the publication by Andersen Press of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, by celebrated children’s author and artist, David McKee. An alumni of the college, McKee first enrolled at Plymouth College of Art in 1950, and was born and brought up in nearby Tavistock. Elmer the Elephant remains one of the most iconic and widely-read children’s book series of all time, selling over eight million copies since it was first published in 1989.

As part of Elmer’s 30th birthday celebrations, St Luke’s Hospice is working in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press to create Elmer's Big Parade Plymouth, a trail of 40 brightly-coloured elephant sculptures around the city of Plymouth in the summer of 2019.

Each sculpture will feature a unique design, created by a mixture of local and international artists, both well-known and emerging. This mass-participation, family-friendly art trail will navigate visitors around Britain’s Ocean City, as well as providing an opportunity for artists in the South West to showcase their exceptional collective talent, and to raise funds for St Luke’s Hospice to continue to provide outstanding compassionate care.

Third-year BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial student Aleks Khotilovski

BA (Hons) Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial student, Aleks Khotilovski, who graduates from the college this summer, is working with Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth Project Manager, Emma Milford, as the official Project Photographer for the duration of the project.

Aleks’ photography has already been featured across St Luke’s website and sponsorship packs for businesses sponsoring sculptures as part of the trail. His generous commitment of free time to the hospice will extend for any marketing needed until the culmination of the trail in 2019, and will be seen by artists and businesses across the world.

Emma Milford, Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth Project Manager, said: “We are so excited to be bringing Elmer's Big Parade to Plymouth next year. Not only will we be creating a fun and engaging trail for all the family to enjoy but also through it, we can raise awareness of the work of St Luke's and showcase the amazing creative talent that we have here in the region. I am so proud to be working with Plymouth College of Arts and having Aleks on board as my project photographer. Being able to nurture students, enabling them to hone their skills and giving artists a platform to shine is another wonderful opportunity. I look forward to working with other students from Plymouth College of Art throughout the project.

Photographer Aleks Khotilovski said: "After graduating this year I’m planning to stay in Plymouth and freelance across the South West. As such, I wanted to give something back to the city of Plymouth. I was very happy when I spotted the chance to volunteer for a charity as important as St Luke’s, on a long-term project running until the end of 2019.

“Emma is a brilliant Project Manager who has been very supportive and gives me a lot of freedom in my work. Working with St Luke’s, I’ll have the opportunity to photograph not only the sculptures themselves, but also most of the people involved in the project. I’m looking forward to photographing the artists that are selected for the trail."

Last year St Luke’s nurses were able to care for more than 3,480 patients living with life-limiting illness at home, in hospital or at the hospice. The money raised through Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth will help the charity to continue to provide the care and support to patients and their families throughout Plymouth and the surrounding area.

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