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Giraffes on the loose

Stop the press – there’s a giraffe on the loose! But fear not, it will be very welcome at printing firm Fuller Davies and Isaacs on the Quay this week, as it will be there on official Colchester Zoo business.

The Ipswich printing firm is one of the sponsors of the zoo’s Stand Tall for Giraffes art project which is the focus of its 50th birthday celebrations this year. The campaign will see a herd of 2.5m giraffes, each painted with a different design, dotted around the streets, parks and open spaces of Colchester this summer.

Each of the 30 giraffes has been sponsored by a regional business, which picked their chosen designs from over 100 submissions. Stuart Silkstone from Fuller Davies explained that the firm had plumped for Cam by artist Cyndi Speer – and the finished sculpture will pay a visit to the printing presses this week.

He said: “We were very taken by Cyndi’s design, which links Colchester’s Roman heritage with the concept of future conservation, with animals forming an integral part of the artwork. It’s a wonderful way to illustrate Colchester’s rich history alongside the ethos of the zoo and looked fantastic on our premises this week.

“We’re very happy to be playing a part in the zoo’s 50th birthday celebrations and wish it many more happy and successful years in the future.”

Suffolk-based artist Cyndi’s work, which is usually oil onto canvas, often has historical significance which is developed from observing the natural history around her.

Colchester Zoo Director Anthony Tropeano said: “Cam represents the zoo very well, with its wider historical context and firm focus on nature and conservation. Cyndi’s design is very striking indeed.”

Cam will be located at Isaacs on the Quay throughout the 12 week campaign and will be welcomed by regulars and visitors to the eating and drinking establishment.

Tanya Hart, Marketing and Event Manager for Isaacs, said, “She’s beautiful! And we’ve been inspired by her design in all that we do over this summer; from our change of menu designs to our new exciting Zoo Days venture that will take place over August bank holiday. We’ve gone wild in art to celebrate Colchester Zoo’s big birthday.”

Local children have also been doing their bit for the celebrations, with 80 local schools designing their own smaller giraffe sculptures. These will be placed in internal locations during the 12 week display, before being returned to their respective schools for posterity. Some will be on display within the John Lewis and Waitrose stores in Ipswich.

Stand Tall’s souvenir guide detailing all the history of Colchester Zoo and also the giraffe sculptures of this summer’s event is now available to purchase in the Zoo’s shop. It has been produced by Fuller Davies and carries the World Land Trust logo indicating that the production and paper used has been carbon balanced. In addition, the paper is FSC certified and the book was printed using vegetable based inks on low alcohol presses.

Stuart said: “Carbon balancing of this paper has been achieved through land purchase by the World Land Trust of ecologically important forests under threat of clearance. Carbon is locked that would otherwise be released and these forests are then able to continue to absorb carbon. We believe strongly in environmentally conscious printing and print buying and want our customers to feel they are in safe hands when they entrust their work to us.”

Anthony added: “Assisting the environment and thereby supporting the survival of our endangered species is at the forefront of everything that we do. We are delighted that it has been possible to produce Colchester Zoo’s Souvenir Book so that it is carbon balanced and therefore has as little impact on the environment as possible.”

The Stand Tall for Giraffes project is being run in partnership with art event specialist Wild in Art which has successfully staged similar events in other parts of the UK as well as in Europe and Africa. Event sponsors include Marks and Spencer, Cooper MINI and Martin & Co Letting Agents. After being on show for 12 weeks, all of the giraffes will be auctioned off to raise money for the zoo’s charity Action for the Wild.

For more information about Stand Tall for Giraffes, visit www.colchester-zoo.com/standtall.

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