New Art Trail Announced for City of Southend on Sea

June 28, 2022

An art trail that leaves an impression has been officially announced for summer 2023 in Southend on Sea.

Herd In The City – created by Havens Hospices and Wild in Art - will see more than 30 large elephant sculptures dotted around the city, including Shoeburyness and Leigh-on-Sea, each one sponsored by a local business and painted by a professional artist in varying styles.

Alongside these will be ‘mini herds’ of baby elephants, adopted and decorated by a school or community group, making art accessible to all.

At the end of the trail, the elephants will be sold at auction, once again raising money for Havens Hospices. This follows the success of the charity’s ‘Hares About Town’ trail in 2021 which raised more than £447,000 for local hospice care.

To mark the official launch of Herd In The City on Friday 17th June, renowned local artist John Bully has made his mark on the large wall underneath the train line in Southend High Street, supported by fellow artist Karen Mitchell, with a bespoke elephant mural promoting the trail. John says, “It’s an honour to officially launch Herd In The City through the most appropriate way – a live, public art installation.

“Making art accessible through trails such as Herd In The City is crucial, especially now Southend is officially a city. I’m looking forward to seeing the local art community get involved and support this brilliant initiative which will raise crucial funds for hospice care.”

Colleagues from Havens Hospices were also on hand to engage with passers-by about the trail and the opportunities it will bring for local people, businesses, schools and groups.

The decision to focus on elephants for this project was made by colleagues working and volunteering at Havens Hospices.

They felt that elephants depict many of the values of hospice care - they never forget, much like the families making treasured memories together and saying goodbye to loved ones at Havens Hospices. Elephants are also sensitive, caring and nurturing, much like the Care Teams who work tirelessly, ‘Making every day count’ for the hospices’ patients and families.

Rachel Hawksworth, Project Manager for Havens Hospices, said: “We are so excited at the thought of a parade of elephants standing proud amongst Southend-on-Sea’s iconic attractions, bringing colour and fun to the city.

“Herd In The City will offer everyone a great day out, exploring parts of the city they may not have visited before, as well as raise thousands of pounds for the free, specialist hospice care Havens Hospices provides for local adults, children, and their families.”

Herd In The City is made possible thanks to Presenting Partner Southend on Sea Borough Council. The Official Event Partners include BTMK Solicitors, Method IT, Ayers & Cruiks and c2c. Rickard Luckin is the Learning Programme Partner. sixredsquares is the Creative Partner, which has produced the brand for the project.

Wild in Art is one of the leading producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events, which connect businesses, artists and communities through the power of creativity and innovation.

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder, Wild in Art said, “We are delighted to be working with the team at Havens Hospices on this exciting second sculpture trail.

“Building on the excitement of ‘Hares About Town’ I have no doubt that this trail will capture the imaginations of residents and visitors alike. With your support, we can create an event that will have significant impact during the summer of 2023.”

Applications to be part of the Learning Programme or an Official Artist are now open. Visit for more details.

To keep up to date with developments, follow the trunk and trail on Facebook and Twitter @herdinthecity and on Instagram


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