FAQs

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Q. What is Cows about Cambridge?

Cows about Cambridge is a stunning, free, public art trail of 50 individually designed Cow sculptures in Cambridge. Crafted by regional professional, emerging and, as yet, undiscovered artists, it weaves its way across Cambridge during the spring of 2020, encouraging local people to explore and enjoy their city from an exciting new perspective.

Forming a trail of discovery, the sculptures provide an exceptional, creative opportunity to engage people in important topics – from environmental issues and the natural world, to citizenship, and health and wellbeing, to name a few.

An inspirational Learning Programme gives schools, colleges and community youth groups the chance to take part with their own mini moo Cow sculptures.

After entertaining and getting people outdoors, walking more, and sharing their stories, the herd of sculptures come together for a special farewell event. It gives everyone a last chance to see the Cows, meet some of the artists involved, and maybe choose one to bid for at the charity auction!

When the art trail ends the legacy of Cows about Cambridge continues as many of the sculptures take centre stage at a glittering auction to raise vital funds for Break (Registered Charity No 286650). Break make life better for vulnerable young people and families across East Anglia.

Q. When is it and where?

The art trail is live in Cambridge for ten weeks from 30 March – 6 June 2020.

We’ll be working out the trail route over the next few months, so expect to be able to tell you more about sculpture locations soon. A map and mobile app will help people navigate around the trail.

Q. How can I get involved?

Businesses, community groups and education establishments are invited to sponsor a blank Cow sculpture – the 3D canvas!

Schools and colleges also join in the fun, adopting and designing their own smaller Cow sculptures – the mini moos – while taking part in a county-wide Learning Programme. After getting creative in the classroom, they will see their moo-ving masterpiece on the art trail and afterwards it is theirs to keep.

Community groups have the opportunity to work with a regional artist to decorate a Cow with artwork to reflect their stories. It will be displayed as part of the trail, before being returned to its forever pasture in the local neighbourhood.

Q. Why is the sculpture a cow?

The Cow sculpture has been specially commissioned and created just for Cambridge. It is inspired by the rare Red Poll cattle breed, which in the warmer months you can find grazing on Midsummer Common.

It’s an unusual 3D canvas for artists and young people to transform with beautiful artwork. The sculpture is also a platform to encourage debate and discussion; each design will tell a story and it’s an exceptional opportunity to start conversations about important topics – from environmental issues and the natural world, to citizenship, and health and wellbeing, to name a few.

Q. Who is behind Cows about Cambridge?

Wild in Art and Break are producing Cows about Cambridge. They are supported by inaugural sponsor and Principal Partner, Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID).

Wild in Art and Break are responsible for delivering all aspects of the event, from securing the sponsorship, running the Art and Learning Programmes, the operations and logistics, event management and marketing. The charity beneficiary is Break (Registered Charity No 286650).

Q. How is it being funded?

Staging large-scale events requires a lot of upfront investment. The support of companies to take up sponsorship packages is critical.

The private sector funds the event by purchasing sponsorship packages ranging from £7k to up to £50k.

Sponsorship is a business development opportunity offering the chance for companies to raise their profile, gain access to new customers and generate sales, develop new key stakeholder relationships and realise their corporate social responsibility. It’s also an opportunity to engender employee loyalty, help promote health and wellbeing, and to be a part of a fun and family-friendly initiative that promotes community cohesion and showcases the creativity of Cambridge.

The money from the purchase of sponsorship packages goes towards covering the cost of manufacturing the sculpture, paying the artists who decorate the sculptures, and the entire event infrastructure, operations and logistics for putting the sculptures on the streets, and all Cows about Cambridge associated events.

Q. How does the event work?

A feel-good campaign we can all be proud of, Cows about Cambridge connects corporate, public and community partners around the city, providing a new and uniquely creative avenue for collaboration. All while supporting a local charity.

Businesses, community groups and education establishments are invited to sponsor a blank Cow sculpture – the 3D canvas!

New and established artists were invited to submit designs to transform the blank Cow with individual artworks. Design ideas will be presented to sponsors in September 2019 who each select their favourite. Successful artists are commissioned to apply their designs – ranging from traditional to new media, fine art to illustration, graffiti and mosaic – to the sculptures.

Once all the Cows are decorated, they appear in our streets, parks and open spaces in spring next year to form a free 10-week art trail. Residents and visitors, young and old, will explore the trail using a bespoke Cows about Cambridge map and mobile app. These help them navigate around the city, discover new places and unlock exciting rewards and discounts provided by sponsors.

After entertaining and getting people outdoors, walking more, and sharing their stories, the herd of sculptures come together for a special farewell event. It gives everyone a last chance to see the Cows, meet some of the artists involved, and maybe choose one to bid for at the charity auction!

When the art trail ends the legacy of Cows about Cambridge continues as many of the sculptures take centre stage at a glittering auction to raise vital funds for Break (Registered Charity No 286650).

Q. What happens to the Cow sculptures at the end of the art trail?

The Cows come together for a special farewell event. It gives everyone a last chance to see the Cows, meet some of the artists involved, and maybe choose one to bid for at the charity auction!

Many of the Cow sculptures take centre stage at a glittering auction in June 2020 to raise vital funds for Break (Registered Charity No 286650).

The Learning Programme’s mini moo Cows and the sculptures decorated by community groups will be returned to the schools and communities that created them. They are a permanent reminder and legacy of their achievements.

Q. How much is likely to be raised for the charity and what will it be used for?

It is anticipated that Cows about Cambridge will raise significant funds for the charity. The money will be used by Break to support young people moving on from care in Cambridgeshire.

Break actively supports them to live independently after leaving the care system at only 18 years old. This is key because care leavers have traditionally been some of the most vulnerable people in society, experiencing high levels of homelessness, isolation and mental health issues.

Break aims to address these issues and fulfil the role of an extended family for care leavers, supporting them as they make the transition to adulthood.

Q. What are the Cow sculptures made of?

Wild in Art sculptures are designed as a canvas for art and are made of lightweight, fire-resistant fibreglass.

Q. What do the Cow sculptures measure?

The large Cow is approximately 1.34m tall, 2.13m in length and 0.55m wide. A mini moo is approximately 0.75m tall and 1.6m in length

The large Cows weigh approximately 45kg. Mini moos are approximately 25kg.

Q. Is the Cambridge Cow a new sculpture for Wild in Art?

Yes. Although we’ve created Cow sculptures before, the Cow for Cows about Cambridge has been specially designed for this event. It is inspired by rare Red Poll cattle breed, which in the warmer months you can find grazing on Cambridge’s Midsummer Common.

Q. Who painted May-Belle and Etheridge?

May-Belle and Etheridge were the first sculptures to be painted and were revealed in March 2019.

Lucy Gough painted the Etheridge Cow. Lucy Is currently living and working in Cambridgeshire and has been practising as an artist since graduating from Norwich School of Art and Design. She has exhibited widely in the UK and Internationally as well as completing commissions for several institutions including Soho House, University College Hospital London and Central Saint Martins. Lucy’s prints have been selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2012, 2016 and 2018.

Her most recent work draws inspiration from a variety of sources including architecture and geometry. The use of colour, shape and form is a thread that consistently runs throughout her artwork and defines her practise.

Translating Lucy’s trademark geometric artwork onto an undulating three dimensional surface was a challenging prospect. Lucy took inspiration from the geometry of the iconic Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College and the Cow is named after its designer, William Etheridge. Her chosen design worked with the natural curves of the Cow, almost dictating its own pattern. The use of colour is an integral part of Lucy’s practice and she has chosen a harmonious palette for the sculpture which encourages the eye to move from shape to shape. The playful balance of shape, colour and form combine to create a unique composition.

Dario Fisher created the Cow, May-Belle. The design portrays two immediately recognisable landmarks as simple and striking sunset scenes. Red Poll cows know how to photobomb a great tourist spot, like the depicted scenes of The Backs, and the river heading out towards Granchester at the Mill Pond. Even though the city centre is bustling with people, the cows’ gentle migration through the city’s iconic green spaces gives Cambridge a unique, peaceful sense of being out in the country.

Dario arrived in Cambridge after graduating from Swansea University with a BA Hons in Illustration, and has since worked in the city as a Graphic Designer. In his spare time, Dario creates illustrations and prints, drawing inspiration from Japanese woodcut prints, depicting natural scenes. He is always on the lookout for an iconic skyline, of which there is no shortage in Cambridge.

Cows about Cambridge 2020

Cows about Cambridge 2020