Artist Commission Inspired by Fremlin Elephant

Keeping true to the roots of Maidstone, we have commissioned local artist Suzie Dafforn  to create a piece of art work inspired by the Fremlin Elephant. The elephant is decorated with hops in reference to Kent’s brewing history. There is also a reference to Maidstone’s Nepalese community as elephants are native to Nepal and are sometimes decorated in this fashion at festivals.

Fremlin Elephant, Suzie Dafforn
Fremlin Elephant, Suzie Dafforn

About the Artwork

Taking the Fremlin elephant as a starting point, Dafforn looked for references to Maidstone’s brewing and agricultural past, hops featured large and  wanted to incorporate them into her design.

The Gurkhas have long been a part of the town and there is a thriving Nepalese community here. Asian elephants are native to Nepal and play a complex role in many aspects of the culture there. For some events & festivals elephants are colourfully decorated, these bright designs inspired me to use images of hops on the elephant.

The wavy line or fess and  roundels on the elephants head can be found on the town’s coat of arms. The line signifies the River Medway and the 3 spots are from the arms of Archbishop Courtenay, who built All Saints Church at the end of the 14th Century.

“I hope my elephant brings together elements of Maidstone’s past and present, celebrating the cultural history and diversity of the town”

This piece of art work will be available on the day where you can print your own piece of work. Also there will be the opportunity to win a limited edition print by entering our free prize draw on the day.

About the Suzie

Suzie is a wildlife artist living and working in Maidstone, Kent. Taking inspiration from Nature, drawing and making prints of the birds, plants and animals Dafforn sees  around her everyday and sometimes those that are a little harder to find. Sketching from life is the starting point of everything  she does, it feeds both her drawing and printmaking.

Dafforn has gained recognition through exhibiting and selling her work locally and nationally. She was awarded a highly commended at the Bentlif Art Prize for her stunning bird drawings, which was selected and presented by Ralph Steadman and Graham Clarke.

you can see more of her beautiful prints and drawings here on her website.