Colchester to be taken over by 10ft tall giraffes in summer 2013

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Mass art event to celebrate 50 years of Colchester Zoo -- Giraffe sculptures to be painted by local artists -- Funds raised to benefit zoo charity, Action for the Wild.

Nicola Wood (CBBC Presenter and Sandsculptor) and Anthony Tropeano (Zoological Director of Colchester Zoo

Stand Tall for Giraffes is an excellent way to raise vital funds for the conservation work carried out by our charity Action for the Wild, and what better way to celebrate our 50th birthday.

In celebration of their 50th birthday, Colchester Zoo, presents Stand Tall for Giraffes, a huge public art event, in partnership with their charity, Action for the Wild, and global leaders in mass participation art events, Wild in Art.

For 10 weeks in the summer of 2013, Colchester’s streets, parks and open spaces will be taken over by some unusual visitors - 2.5 metre high giraffe sculptures.

The giraffe sculptures will engage local professional artists who will design and paint them, and celebrate the creativity of Colchester.

The event will culminate in an auction of the sculptures to raise funds for global conservation projects through the zoo’s charity Action For The Wild, including the charity’s UmPhafa Reserve in South Africa.

The project is being developed in partnership with Wild in Art, an experienced arts, events and education company who are the team behind successfully staged similar events in the UK, Europe and Africa.

The giraffes will be seen throughout Colchester and its surrounding areas from 2nd June 2013, followed by a farewell tour back to the zoo on the 26th August. The auction will take place in September 2013.

Stand Tall will be launched at Colchester Zoo on Wednesday August 1st 2012, by Nicola Wood, World sand sculpting Champion and presenter of CBBC’s Deadly Art Show. She will be working to create a sand sculpture of a giraffe from 15 tonnes of sand, which will form the centrepiece of a garden to celebrate the 50th birthday.

Anthony Tropeano, Director of Colchester Zoo says, “We are thrilled to be launching this exciting event at Colchester Zoo. Stand Tall for Giraffes is not only a fantastic spectacle for the people of Colchester, it is an excellent way to raise vital funds for the conservation work carried out by our charity Action for the Wild, and what better way to celebrate our 50th birthday! This is our gift to the people of Colchester and the surrounding area for their support over the years. We are dedicating our 50th anniversary celebrations to the memory of my mother, Mrs Angela Tropeano, who was Director of Colchester Zoo from 1983 to 2011.” “Stand Tall will be Colchester’s highest profile event in 2013 and we expect a surge in visitors to the town, which will lead to a welcome boost to the town’s economy. We are extremely grateful for the sponsorship and support we have received so far, and would welcome more. So keep your eyes peeled for the outstanding art work that will be appearing around town in the near future and get ready for the magnificent sight of the giraffes in the summer of 2013.” he added.

Celebrities are lending their support to Stand Tall, including Steve Backshall, British naturalist, writer and television presenter. He says, “Over the last few years I've been lucky enough to get involved with a few projects linking my chosen subject of natural history and art, and have found much common ground. Art is one of the great ways of expressing what it is to be human, biology does much the same. I wish you all the very best with this wonderful project - I just wish you let me do one of the giraffes myself!” Michaela Strachan, Wildlife TV presenter says, “I remember when they painted elephants to raise money and awareness for wildlife. They looked amazing leading the way to Covent Garden in London. I'm sure the giraffes will look equally fabulous in Colchester. Wildlife and works of art are always a great combo although painting them must be a tall order for the artists! Happy painting and happy birthday to Colchester Zoo."

A preview 'Road Trip' tour has been taking place this summer with one of the giant giraffes as he visits various locations throughout the town and county to promote next year’s activity.

A colourful Stand Tall mural is currently in situ at Roman House and further ones are planned at The Mercury Theatre external walls and Sainsbury’s Tollgate imposing glass front of store. If you would like more information on how to get involved please contact standtall (at) katcreativ (dot) co (dot) uk

Stand Tall has already gratefully confirmed the sponsorship of firstsite, University of Essex, Heart FM, Newsquest, Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council, The SVC Group, Clarke Infinity, Sainsburys, Cofunds, Kent Blaxill, Martin & Co and many more, all of whom will attend an exclusive sponsor's reception at firstsite on 27th September 2012.

Further sponsorship and support is being sought from local businesses and organisations. Those wanting to get involved can download the Sponsorship Information Pack and the Sponsorship Order Form from

Remember, the giraffes are coming....


Notes to Editors

  •     Constantly evolving Colchester Zoo is an award winning wildlife attraction which stretches over 60 acres, in the heart of the Essex countryside. It has nearly 300 species in modern, naturalistic enclosures; many are which are part of vital international breeding programmes. In 2013 Colchester Zoo celebrates its 50th anniversary with “Stand Tall for giraffes” a mass appeal, large-scale public art event which culminates in a high profile auction for its charity Action for the Wild. The funds raised will help to assist conservation projects all over the world including the charity’s UmPhafa Reserve in South Africa.
  •     For more information on Sandsculptor and CBBC presenter Nicola Wood, visit
  •     For a full list of locations that the promotional Stand Tall giraffe sculpture will be visiting during the ‘Preview’ tour this summer of 2012, please go to the official Stand Tall website
  •     Wild in Art is the UK’s leading arts and education company, brings the creativity and enjoyment of public art to thousands of people through its high profile and popular events. Working with host partners, artists, communities and schools together with public and private sector organisations, Wild in Art produce mass participation events that animate cities and towns around the UK and beyond. Through inspiring partnerships, Wild in Art events bring immense pride to communities while offering extraordinary social and economic benefits as thousands of residents and tourists alike discover the wonderful world of creativity in a truly memorable shared experience. Conservation and citizenship are at the heart of Wild in Art’s education work which includes the provision of unique art education resources which engage young people to unleash their creative talent, and enhance learning across the curriculum. In 2012, you can find Wild in Art in Northampton, Newport, London and Melbourne, Australia. Find out more at

Media enquiries (including requests for hi-res images and footage):
KAT Creativ
Katie Skingle
Email: katie (at) katcreativ (dot) co (dot) uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1206 765544 Mob: +44 (0)7786 165656

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