The 'Passion' exhibition was a collection of 18 large-scale elephant sculptures, each uniquely decorated by an individual artist, to represent their collective passions.
This outdoor cultural feast really inspired Ruby as she chased around the resort trying to spot them all and discussed each one, trying to work out her favourite.
There was also an interactive sculpture on the central square which children were invited to add their hand prints to in exchange for a small donation to charity.
I loved the accessibility and approach to art at Martinhal and it really sparked Ruby's enthusiasm. So much so that I agreed to her repeated requests to try and reproduce the sculptures (on a much smaller scale obviously!) when we got back home.
It became something of a labour of love, with lots of stages and drying time, but it was lovely to have a project that we could keep coming back to, and watch the progress as it developed.
I can't take credit for the milk bottle elephants - that has been around for a while, but it fit our purpose perfectly. Simply cut the top section of a plastic milk carton just below the bottom of the handle (this forms the trunk). Then cut out semi-circular shapes to form the legs and re-use two of these off-cuts to trim down to make the ears. Finally, cover in papier mache of newspaper and watered-down PVA.
Ruby quickly decided that the preparation stage was toooo boring, and could I please let her know when it was time to decorate them. I can't say I blame her really, I'm the same with DIY. Filling; sanding and priming? Pfft. Gimme a shout when it's time for colour charts and scatter cushions.
Just like the exhibition, we made each elephant unique, with Ruby deciding on different methods of decoration and embellishment. First, each one was painted with a background colour. If you're going to try this, I'd recommend getting some proper acrylic paints as they covered so much better and gave a better finish than poster paints.
More waiting between coats, and finally they were ready to decorate. Time for Ruby's favourite activity - sticking!!
Now they're all done, we're having fun moving them around the house, and finding different locations for them to brighten up.
We LOVE our sculptures. Our favourite is the shell one -we've named her Michelle (geddit?). Covered in seashells we collected on the beach, this might not be the most aesthetically pleasing one of the bunch, but it's a fabulous lasting reminder of our wonderful holiday.
Why don't you have a go at your own elephant parade - you may never throw another milk carton in the recycling bin again!