One the of things we love about living in Melbourne is that there’s ALWAYS something cool happening. Like a few weeks ago, when colourful elephant statues started popping up all over the city.
This year is the 150th anniversary of Melbourne Zoo, and as part of the celebrations the zoo folk created a fun public art project, named “Mali in the City” after Mali, the first elephant calf ever born at Melbourne Zoo.
Fifty life-sized (baby) elephant statues were created, decorated by different artists, and then dotted around the city. The whimsical elephants were a fun addition to public spaces, with the aim of brightening up the city as well as raising awareness of (and funds for) the Zoo’s elephant breeding programme.
For people who wanted to play the ultimate elephant scavenger hunt the Zoo created a supercool iPhone app to track all 50 Malis, with a description and exact map location for each. The app only lets you tick off each elephant as ‘found’ if you are actually in the correct GPS location – so no cheating was allowed.
Brence and I took it upon ourselves to not only visit each Mali but to also photograph all fifty of them, which turned out to be a lot of fun. A friend of ours suggested we wear pith helmets on our adventures, which we totally would have done if we owned any.
All the Malis will be auctioned off later this month to raise money for Melbourne Zoo. I kind of wish they could just stay out on display – who wouldn’t want a herd of colourful elephants grazing around the place all year round?
Here’s our photo record of the 50 Mali sculptures – click the images for a larger view.