Home Blogs Public art trail Flock to the Show heads to its penultimate locations in Glasgow and Strathclyde featuring designs by local artists
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Public art trail Flock to the Show heads to its penultimate locations in Glasgow and Strathclyde featuring designs by local artists

FTTS 2 42 scaled
FTTS 2 42 scaled

The Flock to the Show campaign celebrates the return of Golden Shears, the world sheep shearing and woolhandling championships to the Royal Highland Show this June.

5May, Glasgow – The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland’s(RHASS) ‘Flock to the Show’ public art trail has landed in locations across Glasgow and Strathclyde until 14 May.

The campaign celebrates the return of the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing & Woolhandling Championships to the Royal Highland Show, (22nd-25th June 2023), sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The art trail features 38 striking sheep sculptures, decorated by artists from across the UK and transported around the country by H&R Gray Haulage. Designed to engage visitors of all ages, the trail will also raise awareness of different causes related to farming, including regenerative agriculture, rural isolation and climate change.

Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow will be showcasing 19 of the flock on this leg of the tour. Each member of the flock in  Buchanan Galleries has a letter attached to it, crack the secret code and you could be in with a chance of winning a VIP family day out package to the Royal Highland Show 2023. For more information and to enter visit royalhighlandshow.org/Buchanan-galleries-competition

Glasgow-based artist Daria Zapala was inspired by Scottish flora in creating her sheep ‘Scottish Wildflowers’. Daria’s sheep symbolises the benefits of wildflower meadows and how they can play an important role in the conservation of both flower and animal species threatened by the destruction of their natural habitats.

Fellow Glasgow-based artist Kath Pender designed ‘V-ewe from the Bothy’, inspired by the ever-evolving landscape of Scotland. Kath’s sheep pays homage to the long and rich history of the original drovers, and the wild and challenging routes they travelled with their flocks.

‘Tartan Storm’, designed by Cumnock-based artist Jan Laird, was inspired by the famous Scottish weather. The tartan was inspired by the iconic blue of the Royal Highland show logo – which complimented the grey tones used to represent a cloudy day. 

Hamilton mural artist Megan Reilly designed ‘Shepherd’s Delight’, a sheep that symbolises the ever-changing weather that farmers have to face today. Megan found her inspiration from observing the local farmer one evening tending to his sheep during what she describes as ‘the most beautiful sunset of fiery warm reds and yellows’.

After many holidays to the Berwickshire coast, Glaswegian artist Paul Kennedy painted the island of Lindisfarne onto his sheep, as it’s an environment where sheep are never far away. ‘A View from Lindisfarne’ was designed to highlight the picturesque beach of Lindisfarne, it’s iconic castle as well as one of Paul’s signature boats.

‘Stone by Stone’, created by Glasgow-based artist Victoria Randlo, presents a scene of the Scottish hills and dry-stone walls. A strong monument of Scotland’s agricultural heritage, dry-stone walls are filled with life, providing a vital habitat for animals and plants.

If you can’t make it to Buchanan Galleries there is also the opportunity to win a VIP Royal Highland Show family experience which children and adults of all ages can enter. Budding artists can download a sheep outline from the Royal Highland Show website and create their own design to be in with a chance of winning. Information on how to enter can be found in the Flock to the Show section of the Royal Highland Show website.

Following the tour, the flock shall return to the Royal Highland Show during the Golden Shears in June this year, which will be the only time the sheep sculptures will gather together in one location.

The flock will then be auctioned later in the year to raise funds that will support the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland Bicentennial Fund, which supports projects in the rural sector dedicated to mental health, sustainability, succession and women in agriculture. You can register your interest in attending the auction and any of the sheep here – royalhighlandshow.org/flock-to-the-show

The art trail features a diverse range of designs, from abstract works to spectacular Scottish landscapes. The trail is free to follow, and people are encourages to take photos and share their experiences of social media using the hashtag #FlockToTheShow.

The tour covers four main areas – Northern Scotland; Dundee, Fife, Perthshire and Central Scotland; Strathclyde and Dumfries & Galloway; and Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Details of the tour areas can be found below.

Strathclyde, Glasgow, and Dumfries & Galloway: 2nd – 14th May*

  • Buchanan Galleries
  • Glasgow Queen Street Station
  • Gretna Green
  • Harrison & Hertherington
  • Dumfries House
  • Dumfries ICentre
  • SRUC Barony
  • Lawrie and Symington Country Store
  • National Museum of Rural Life
  • Lock Arthur Farm Shop
  • Gallie Craig
  • Ardardan Estate
  • Eden Mill Café and Garden Centre
  • Cornwaite Group (Dumfries)
  • Murray Farmcare
  • Dowhill Farm
  • Castle Kennedy Gardens

Lothians and the Scottish Borders: 17th– May – 5th June

Locations to be announced soon.

*Dates and locations are subject to change.

Full details of the Flock to the Show tour can be found on the Royal Highland Show website: royalhighlandshow.org/flock-to-the-show

The Royal Highland Show takes place 22 – 25 June 2023, tickets are on sale now at: royalhighlandshow.org

David Alexander at Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), and Royal Highland Show organiser, commented:

“We can’t wait to see our flock out and about across the region. Not only does Flock to the Show celebrate the return of the Golden Shears to the Royal Highland Show, but it also shines a spotlight on important causes in the agricultural and rural sectors – not to mention some incredible local artists.

“We encourage everyone to join in and try to spot as many of our flock as they can – with such a brilliant and diverse range of designs from talented artists, visitors won’t be disappointed!”

Annette Paterson, Commercial Retail Manager at Buchanan Galleries, said, “We’re delighted to be hosting The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland’s ‘Flock to the Show’ public art trail of colourful and quirky sheep.

“The city of Glasgow is renowned for its vibrancy and is home to plenty of talented local artists and designers, including our very own artist, Michael Ferns, of John Lewis & Partners here at Buchanan Galleries, who submitted his uniquely expressive sheep, Wallace, to be part of the trail.

“We hope our visitors enjoy discovering all 19 sheep that have been meticulously placed inside the centre and take part in the opportunity to win 4 VIP Royal Highland Show tickets by completing the art trail, all the while supporting the return of its largest event this summer and raising awareness of farming related causes.”

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