First fully completed sculpture unveiled at Clan’s sponsor event in Aberdeen

Date published: 2 February 2023

Local businesses in the north of Scotland have been picking the designs they’d like to see featured in Clan Cancer Support’s public art trail this summer.

More than 25 sponsors attended an art selection event for The Big Hop Trail at Maryculter House Hotel last night (Thursday, January 26) to help choose the 40 hare sculptures to go on public display from July to September this year.

The exhibition featured 80 shortlisted submissions from local and national artists with designs including folklore and whimsical creations inspired by the symbolism of the hare in Celtic mythology, to scenes of nature and local landscapes inhabited by the animal.

As well as seeing the designs, sponsors were given information about the artists’ motivation and inspiration for their submissions with Aberdeen-based artist Mary Butterworth, the project’s art consultant, on hand to answer any questions.

Teresa Bremner, Clan’s sculpture trail project manager, said: “Following a huge response to our call for artists, our art selection event allowed sponsors the opportunity to consider which sculpture and artist they’d like to be aligned with throughout the trail.

“We’re thrilled the businesses attending the event had such a rich variety of designs to choose from, allowing them to select artwork which supports their company values and ethos.

“This is a very exciting stage of the project as we begin to see how the trail will look for the public and we’d like to thank all of our sponsors for their support so far and each of the artists who took the time to submit an entry for consideration.”

The Big Hop Trail is supported by headline sponsor Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and presenting partners Colin Lawson and DC Thomson. A further 25 companies from across the north-east, Moray, Orkney and Shetland have sponsored a six-foot hare sculpture to be displayed on the trail.

Sponsors attending last night’s event were also given a preview of the trail’s first completed sculpture ‘Night and Day’ by award-winning Banff based printmaker and painter, Bryan Angus.

Commissioned by Clan Cancer Support, the sculpture features scenes of iconic Aberdeenshire beauty spots Bennachie and Tap O’ Noth during the day and at night.

Bryan said: “I wanted my design to show the landscape the hare lives in and the other wildlife it shares space with. Bennachie and Tap O’ Noth are two hills I have been up many times and they are part of the fabric of Aberdeenshire to me, and many others.

“I was keen to get involved in The Big Hop Trail this year because my own family has been affected by cancer and I’m well aware of how people need support when going through difficult times.”

Clan Cancer Support will deliver The Big Hop Trail in partnership with Wild in Art. Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world, including Manchester, Auckland, Sydney, Cape Town and São Paulo and worked with partners to create trails across Scotland including the Clyde mascot trail for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Wild Dolphins in Aberdeen, Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail, and more recently the Lighthouse trail in the North East of Scotland.

Fiona Fernie, Clan Cancer Support’s CEO, added: “When it came to considering another trail with Wild in Art, for me, it was an absolute no brainer. The benefits for the trail are so far-reaching and go beyond the fundraising potential.

“The trail lets us demonstrate our commitment to the 11 communities we serve across the North-east, Moray, Shetland and Orkney and raises awareness of the important role Clan plays in people’s lives before, during and after a cancer diagnosis.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from our sponsors, many of whom previously supported our Light the North trail, demonstrating the connection local businesses have with their communities and Clan.”

The art selection process for The Big Hop Trail is due to be finalised in February with successful artists commissioned to work on their sculpture in March. Following the completion of the trail, each of the sculptures will be sold at auction to raise money for Clan Cancer Support.

A very limited number of sponsorship opportunities are still currently available for businesses looking to support The Big Hop Trail. For more information, please contact thebighop@clancancersupport.org

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