One of the most iconic members of the Herd will be making a welcome return to Sheffield after its new owners pledged to display it in the city centre.
The AM elephant, which was sponsored and signed by Sheffield legends the Arctic Monkeys, was bought at auction last week by Counter Context and sister company, Quality Context. The local companies have committed to returning AM to the city centre in the hope it will attract visitors to Sheffield and raise awareness of The Children’s Hospital Charity.
Originally based outside Sheffield Town Hall, AM was one of the most popular sculptures on the trail, which was organised by the charity and Wild in Art. The 6ft sculpture is now destined for a new home in the Winter Gardens, where local people and tourists alike can visit it for many years to come.
As committed supporters of The Children’s Hospital Charity, Counter Context and Quality Context also sponsored two of the Herd’s elephants along with one of the £25,000 rooms in the hospital’s new wing, due to be opened soon. Alexis and Kate Krachai, owners of the two companies respectively, set their sights on AM after first seeing it at a preview event. Kate explained,
“We loved AM from day one. It represents two of the city’s most important cultural assets; the Arctic Monkeys and the fantastic legacy of the Herd. As local companies, we want to celebrate everything that makes our city great and this elephant does just that.”
Alexis added, “Kate and I felt strongly that it wouldn’t be right to keep AM tucked away. The city loved this elephant and the city deserves to see and enjoy it. We want to give visitors an opportunity to make a donation when taking photos with the elephant, raising vital funds for this important charity. We are also thinking about the local visitor economy – we very much hope that people will continue visiting Sheffield to see AM.”
Rebecca Staden, Fundraising Manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity said: “The Herd of Sheffield was a huge collaboration of companies, artists, schools and individuals from across Sheffield, all working together to create something special for the city and to fund lifesaving equipment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. I am absolutely delighted that AM is returning to the city as a legacy to the project. Huge thanks go to Counter Context and Quality Context for their generosity and for publicly exhibiting the elephant for the whole city to continue to enjoy.”
Counter Context and Quality Context are working closely with Sheffield City Council and The Children’s Hospital Charity to arrange the move and it is hoped that AM will be on display in the Winter Gardens within the next month.