Schools join Elmer’s Big Trail

Pupils from two local primary schools are delighting art-loving residents and tourists visiting Belfast, as part of the city’s feel-good event of the summer.

Hathi by Crumlin Integrated Primary School
Hathi by Crumlin Integrated Primary School

Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail – which includes the work of pupils from Crumlin Integrated Primary School and Ballymacrickett Primary School in Glenavy – has seen a herd of “elephant-astic” sculptures make a colourful splash by popping up in iconic locations, landmarks and open spaces throughout Belfast city centre.

Crumlin Integrated Primary School teacher Emma Lambe said: “Our sculpture is called ‘Hathi’ and was inspired by the importance of being ‘Climate Clever’. Now, more than ever, it is important to protect our planet. The children were inspired by their topic ‘Eco Warriors’ and artist Henri Rousseau. They wanted their Elmer sculpture to bring to life the oldest and most impressive ecosystem in the world, rainforests and all the animals that call it home.”

Mrs Majella Clarke, P4 teacher and Literacy Coordinator in the school, said: “Our sculpture, ‘Buddy’, was inspired by our school motto – Happy Together Learning Forever. Every pupil in our school designed their very own elephant. We were so impressed with their wonderful efforts that we couldn’t just pick one winner, so we decided to use elements from several different designs.

Buddy by Ballymacrickett Primary School

“Buddy is a mixture of all the things we learn in school, our ethos, and all the fun we have! The idea of helping others is a huge part of our ethos in Ballymacrickett. We have a visual of helping hands on our school crest so it is a quality which we hold dear.

“We like to see the children experiencing and appreciating sculpture in the environment and using their ideas creatively. I really think this is something the children will love and remember forever!

“When we read about the Elmer sculpture project in collaboration with the NI Hospice, we knew that this was a project in which we would love to get involved. Elmer is such a popular children’s story character and it was important for us to highlight the importance and value of the NI Hospice.

“Our children have also benefitted from open and meaningful conversations about the work of the NI Hospice. It is a huge help to so many children and their families when they are feeling unsure of the situation which, sadly, many may find themselves in.

“We would hope that our Ballymacrickett Elmer would help to brighten the journey for many and as a school, we look forward to seeing all the mini Elmers!”

The free, family-friendly art trail runs until August 31, and features over seventy uniquely decorated sculptures designed by artists, local schools and community groups.