An Oscar® nominated film star is heading to Tyneside – where a much-loved charity hopes fans will flock to see him.
Newcastle’s St Oswald’s Hospice – which brought Great North Snowdogs and Elmer’s Great North Parade to the region – has announced it is to hold its third, free, public art trail. And the ‘star’ of the trail is none other than the baa-rilliant family favourite, Shaun the Sheep.
Created by multi award-winning animation studio, Aardman, and celebrating his 15th birthday this year, Shaun, who was recently spotted in an open top bus in the Platinum Jubilee pageant, has been nominated for two Academy Awards® for his starring roles in Shaun the Sheep The Movie and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmadeddon
And next summer he is coming to Newcastle, for Shaun the Sheep on The Tyne, when around 50 individually decorated sculptures of the character will be placed in streets, parks and public areas for 10 weeks, from Monday 17 July to Friday 22 September 2023.
St Oswald’s Hospice, which is presenting the trail in partnership with Wild in Art and Aardman, is now inviting groups and individuals to sponsor a Shaun the Sheep sculpture.
Sponsors will then be matched with an artist, who will decorate it ensuring that each sculpture is completely unique.
Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne will also be supported by a region-wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups with smaller Shaun sculptures forming a second trail across Tyne and Wear.
As with the Elmer and Snowdogs, the event will culminate with an autumn auction of the Shaun the Sheep sculptures to raise funds for Gosforth-based St Oswald’s Hospice.
The Hospice’s Chief Executive Steph Edusei said the trail will showcase the wealth of artistic talent in the area, whilst positively contributing to the economic, social and cultural life of the region.
“But above all it will be fun,” she said. “And our way of saying thank you to the people of this region for all the love and support they have shown St Oswald’s Hospice over the years.
“We exist to help them, but we couldn’t do that if they didn’t help us – and we are immensely grateful.”
Tens of thousands of people engaged with Elmer’s Great North Parade in 2019 and most visitors spent extra time and money exploring Tyne and Wear, boosting its economy by an estimate £1.2m.
Newcastle City Council is headline sponsor of the Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne trail and Cllr Nick Kemp, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said it was “proud to support such a fantastic initiative and worthwhile cause.”
He said: “St Oswald’s Hospice is a fantastic organisation providing brilliant support to individuals and families at the most difficult times. The impact of what they do is incredible and I can say this from a personal experience. I am genuinely in awe of what St Oswald’s do – it is quite simply incredible.
“I am incredibly proud of this Newcastle institution and love that they not only provide the hugely beneficial services and support they give directly to families, but also play such a significant role in the wider community.
“Previous trails have been a brilliant addition to the city, and I’m sure Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne will provide just as much enjoyment for families and visitors taking part, while introducing more people to more of what Newcastle has to offer.
“Ultimately, this comes down to raising money for a vital institution in our city, and I hope everyone can get behind next summer’s trail and help raise the essential funds that St Oswald’s relies upon.”
Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder Wild in Art said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Aardman and to be working with the team at St Oswald’s Hospice once again, on this exciting art trail which will bring this internationally-renowned character to Tyneside.
I have no doubt that Shaun the Sheep will capture the imaginations of residents and visitors alike, while helping to raise vital funds for St Oswald’s. With your support we can create an event that will have significant impact during the summer of 2023.”
For more information about Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne including corporate and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.shaunonthetyne.co.uk or follow the trail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ShaunOnTheTyne