Sheep of You! - Ed Sheeran sculpture a hit as crowds flock to art trail
PUBLISHED: 13:49 19 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 20 July 2019
The Blossom Charity
He has sold over 150 million records worldwide but now Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran has also provided the inspiration for one of the life-size decorated sheep on an art trail.
Visitors are flocking to see the first Eye Sheep Art Trail with 24 sculptures sponsored by local businesses and painted by local artists, along with seven decorated lambs, that have gone on display around the town until September 6.
The event has been organised by The Blossom Charity, which is based in the town with the theme chosen in celebration of Eye's historic connection to the Suffolk wool trade.
'Ed Sheeram' has been painted by artist Amanda Church and after hearing about the sheep trail the musician signed a T-shirt adding "Be the best ewe" that can be seen on display in Cafeye on Broad Street.
Other celebrity endorsed sheep include 'Hilda' on which Diss-based musician Rick Wakeman collaborated with the artist Alfie Carpenter.
Suffolk-based Royal Ballet star Gary Avis worked with artist Victoria Sebag-Montefiore on a sheep called 'The Father Shepherd Sheep' based on the folk costume the dancer wears for his role of Father Shepherd in the ballet A Winter's Tale.
Meanwhile a story-book themed sheep 'Storytime' features designs that have been produced by children at Eye Primary School.
Charity founder Bridget McIntyre said: "This has been about six months in the planning. We are quite a small charity but 27 companies have come on board to sponsor the sheep and then we found 30 artists to paint them and we have had some fantastic collaborations, including Rick Wakeman and Gary Avis.
"We used lots of creative ways to engage with people. To reach Ed Sheeran we did a little film on Facebook and someone got it through to him.
"Maggi Hambling was also going to do one but she hurt her arm so instead one of her protégées Chris Newson has done an amazing blue and white sheep called The Ipswich Town Sheep. But Maggi has also donated a picture that we going to auction."
Visitors use a map to discover the sculptures which are on display across the town, while there is a kid's quiz to discover the painted lambs in shop windows.
All the sheep will be auctioned at Kenton Hall on September 12. The money raised will enable the charity, which aims to inspire and increase confidence in women and young people, to continue providing programmes and resources.
- For full details of the trail and to download a map visit eyesheeparttrail.co.uk
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