[ WARNING: PUNS AHEAD! ]
If you go down to the woods today, you’ll be sure of a big surprise!
After submitting a proposal all the way back in 2019, I was sponsored by South Yorkshire Police to design a bear for the Bears of Sheffield Sculpture Trail. My bear is called BEARTANICAL and is inspired by the beautiful botanical gardens in Sheffield, as well as the amazing array of parks and wonderful woodlands that surround it. I’ve had the pleasure of spending lots of time in South Yorkshire and it’s great to make it even more bear-utiful! This is definitely the cuddliest exhibition I’ve ever been involved with!
As well as being great fun, this artwork also supports a great cause. This sculpture trail raises money for the Children’s Hospital Charity who want to open a new cancer and leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. This hospital treats children from 0-19 from South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and even as far as Northampton. They aim to create a new home from home for their patients, who still have to come on site for treatment even during the pandemic. This means single patient rooms with space for mum or dad to sleep beside them, plus lots more light and room for all their toys. How bear-illiant!
There has been lots of prep from planning to designing to sanding my bear’s belly (never thought I’d say that!), but whenever I’m working on something like this, I find that my best marks always come from allowing myself to interpret and be free in the moment. This was such an enjoyable project and I can’t wait to see all the other bears this summer, including a bear by one of my art heroes! I hope I don’t get em-bear-assed!
This trail is designed to be enjoyed by everyone in the community, even during social distancing, and my bear has already been bringing people together. My neighbours came out to enjoy some sneak peeks during the process and came out to wave him off – they’d never seen a doorstep delivery like this! It made for a bear-y lovely lockdown.
For safety, the trail was postponed but will now take place this July 2021 so keep an eye out for further updates on here and the Bears of Sheffield Instagram – if you can bear the wait!
If you want to donate to the Children’s Hospital Charity, click here: