The artistic talents of one of Livewell Southwest’s practice teachers are currently on parade in Plymouth.
Lawrence Badman, practice teacher in Adult Social Care is one of just 40 artists chosen to be a part of Elmer’s Big Parade, an art trail by St Luke’s Hospice in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press.
The Elmer parade is made up of colourful elephants each featuring a unique design created by fantastic local and national artists.
The parade leads people on a trail around the city of Plymouth and its surrounding areas and featuring the much beloved children’s character of Elmer, by Devon born artist and author David McKee.
Lawrence’s design was one of 40 chosen from 180 submissions to be featured and his Elmer is proudly on display outside of the Plymouth Pavilions.
In his work as a practice teacher, he teaches, supervises and assesses students and newly qualified social workers in Livewell.
In his free time, Lawrence has become one of Plymouth’s emerging art talents, holding successful exhibitions in the Royal William Yard alongside his mentor, Brian Pollard.
Lawrence took up painting 22 years ago under the pseudonym “Arth Lawr”, finding it a useful meditation tool as part of his mental health maintenance.
Lawrence said: “Since I’ve been painting routinely my mental health has never been better. For me, it’s a meditation which helps me feel better – when I’m painting I’m totally in the moment and I’m not thinking about the rest of the world.
“It’s why I was so keen to work with St Luke’s. When people are going through a tough time, possibly dealing with end of life, they have to somehow try and find peace and deal with their situation. There are lots of ways of being mindful, and I’d suggest that painting is a really helpful way of doing this.”
This time last year, Lawrence was approached to submit an Elmer design by St Luke’s Hospice, and says he immediately knew what he wanted to do.
Lawrence said: “I’d heard on the radio that research showed that older elephants in herds were heavily sleep deprived because they’re having to stay awake to protect the herd from poachers, and that this was really damaging for them.
“I thought that was really sad, and so I started to think about what an elephant’s dream would look like. I wanted to create something really tranquil and peaceful, where an elephant could escape in their sleep.”
Lawrence began painting his elephant in April and after 28 hours, his design was complete.
The parade launched at the beginning of July and the elephants will be on display until 16 September when they will be auctioned to raise funds for St Luke’s Hospice.
But that’s not the end for Lawrence’s talents. He has further exhibitions planned both for this summer and for Easter 2020, as well as workshops so that people can come along and get involved. Watch this space for further news from Lawrence, and check out his Instagram page to see more of his art.
If you haven’t yet seen Elmer’s Big Parade, trail maps are available in St Luke’s Stores, at Elmer’s Big Parade Herd HQ at Toys R Us, and at Tourist Information in the Mayflower Visitor Centre. They can also be downloaded via the St Luke’s Hospice website.