BA Fine Art student designs giant elephant to raise awareness around young people and finance

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A BA Fine Art student has designed a giant inflatable elephant for Citizens Advice to encourage young adults to talk about finances.

India Buxton’s colourful six-metre-tall creation was unveiled in Exchange Square, Manchester on Saturday 17 February after winning a competition by the charity organization.

Her piece aims to create a talking point by adapting the literal ‘elephant in the room’ analogy and addressing the worries surrounding financial discussion among young people.

According to Citizens Advice, with soaring living costs, rising rents and high inflation affecting young people, the need for more support has doubled since 2019. The charity, which supported 66,000 under 25s last year alone, says 20 per cent of young adults seeking its advice need help with debt.

Despite this, many young adults still feel uncomfortable to discuss finances, preferring to avoid the topic altogether.

India, who received £500 prize money for her efforts, said: “It feels fantastic to win the competition. Many young people, myself included, are in the dark about finances and don’t know where to start, or who to ask for help.

“It can feel like an embarrassing conversation, but it’s so important to do it, and hopefully this artwork will get people talking.”

The giant elephant is decorated with key quotes that the charity has received from young people accessing its services, notably around their struggles to make savings and the debt that they are accumulating.

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