Local artists urged to ‘hop to it’ and submit their designs for new sculpture trail

Clan Cancer Support is urging artists from across the north-east, Moray, Orkney, and Shetland to submit their designs for The Big Hop art sculpture trail in 2023.

The north-east’s leading cancer support charity has partnered again with Wild in Art for the trail which will feature 40 spectacular hare sculptures across the region as part of the charity’s 40-year anniversary.

Artists can now enter their designs for the chance to decorate the 2m tall fibreglass sculptures, with applications open until December 9, 2022.

The shortlisted entries will be presented to event sponsors early next year with the chosen artists then given time to work on their sculpture before it is displayed to the public when the trail goes live in July 2023.

Clan has once again enlisted renowned Aberdeen-based artist Mary Butterworth to engage and support artists throughout their design application and beyond. Ms Butterworth previously supported Clan in the charity’s sculpture trail in 2021, Light the North, which raised more than £324,000 for the organisation.

She said: “I’m delighted to be supporting Clan again for The Big Hop and can’t wait to see what the artists’ imaginations come up with for the hares!  The trail always bring a lot of joy to the community, it’s wonderful seeing everyone get involved and the many benefits of art and creativity in action.”

The Big Hop Trail will take the public on another cultural tour of the north-east and the islands from July to September in 2023, letting them discover and engage with the area.

Following the public trail, each of the individual sculptures will be sold at auction, funding vital support services provided by Clan Cancer Support.

Teresa Bremner, Clan’s sculpture trail project manager, said: “This is a very exciting phase of the project where we invite artists to share their visions for these stunning sculptures. The hare is very symbolic to Clan and what the charity means to the many people we support.

“The animal is found in all parts of Clan’s geography and must navigate difficult terrain, much like our clients during their cancer journey. They also have long ears and incredible hearing, signifying our lifeline listening and support service and the importance of being heard.

“We are very excited to see the creative ideas submitted as we begin to bring these very special pieces of art to life, before they are publicly displayed and celebrated across the region next year.”

The locations of the hares will be confirmed in the coming months and an education programme for local schools – which includes a leveret (a baby hare) for pupils to design – is also due to be unveiled.

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