Image: A sneak peek of one of the designs the public will see as part of Derby Ram Trail this summer: ‘Railway Communities’ by Holly Aspinall. Credit Caroline Coates Holly Aspinall.
The unique world-class sculpture trail will take place from 27th May – 22nd August 2021
Excitement for this summer’s must-see Derby Ram Trail is building, as the last of the 30 five-foot ram sculptures – which will form Derby’s spectacular new city-wide free sculpture trail – have returned to the Painting Space at the Derbion Centre (formerly intu Derby) for their final touches.
Local artists have been working hard over the last two months to uniquely decorate each ram, each of which is sponsored by a local business, making the Ram Trail deeply rooted to Derby. The night before the trail starts, all 30 rams will be herded outside and installed overnight, so the city wakes up to this fantastic free, family-friendly walking trail. The Derby Ram Trail will then decorate the city’s streets from 27th May – 22nd August 2021.
With their bold prints and eye-catching colours, each bespoke ram will be on display outside key city landmarks, such as the new Museum of Making, The Council House and Derby Cathedral, attracting both local residents and visitors from far and wide. The flock of rams will showcase a huge range of artistic talent, with all forms of art, from illustration to graffiti, being celebrated. In addition, a free app ‘Derby Ram Trail’, which will be downloadable from the App Store and Google Play, will allow all who wish to take part in Derby Ram Trail create their own bespoke trail around the city. A free map will also be available to help navigate the trail.
Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums says: “The Ram Trail is all about making art publicly accessible, offering something truly unique to all who visit Derby this summer. Walking, cycling – or even jogging – around the Ram Trail will be a fantastic way to discover (and re-discover after lockdown) Derby in a way that’s never been seen before. Be ready for eye-catching colours, dramatic designs and magnificent murals, which sets the stage for a ‘Ramtastic’ summer.”
28 different artists have been busy bringing each ram to life, transforming their 2D designs onto the 3D sculpture. Midlands based MrASingh is known for using mixed media techniques and vivid colour in his work, which often nods towards nature’s beauty and the patterns found within the natural world, and self-taught local artist Sarita Gnaniah focuses on mindfulness, aiming to bring out the healing power of art to her creations.
Once Derby Ram Trail has finished in August, all 30 rams will be brought together again for the ‘Ram-union’, before they’re auctioned off on 9th September to raise money for Derby Museums’ Endowment Fund, helping to secure the future of Derby Museums. All funds raised through the trail will be doubled with match funding from the National Lottery Heritage Endowment Fund.
The Derby Ram Trail is being led by Derby Museums in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art who has been bringing accessible art to cities across the world, from Sydney to São Paulo, since 2008.
Charlie Langhorne, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wild in Art says: “The Derby Ram Trail will be the first of our spectacular sculpture trails to take place after lockdown, making it even more unique. We are looking forward to welcoming people back to Derby, and to see the city’s streets full of art, colour and excitement after what has been a really difficult year for many.”
Derby’s fibreglass ram sculptures are based on the mythical Derby Ram from an 18th century song, which, according to legend, was ten yards high with enormous horns and a huge flowing fleece. The song tells of people travelling from corners of the country to see the huge ram, something which Derby Museums and Wild in Art hope to echo from May – August in this modern-day trail.