The first ever nation-wide public art trail is coming to the streets of Scotland's cities this Summer: Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail will run for 11 weeks from 17th June until 30th August 2019 across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness, raising vital funds for Scotland's children's hospital charities. The trail is a Wild in Art event, and would not be possible without the support of DC Thomson Media.
The Oor Wullie comic strip first appeared in the DC Thomson newspaper The Sunday Post more than 80 years ago (1936), with drawings by cartoonist Dudley D. Watkins, featuring a playful, mischievous, but overall good natured character named Wullie Russell, with spiky hair and dungarees. Wullie's most famous accessory is his bucket, hence Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail depicts him sitting astride his upturned bucket, laughing. In a 2004 survey, Oor Wullie was voted 'Scotland's favourite son', beating William Wallace, Sean Connery and Rabbie Burns in the top four! Wullie is evidently a much loved and enduring part of Scottish heritage.
Ipswich artist, speed-painter and Wild in Art veteran Lois Cordelia is very excited to have been commissioned to paint two of the Oor Wullie statues for Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail. She will travel to Edinburgh later this month (April 2019) to bring her two designs to life, both of which feature her characteristic silhouette illustrations. Lois studied Arabic at the University of Edinburgh from 2002 - 2006 and held several of her earliest art exhibitions in Scotland's capital, so she is doubly proud to be involved in the trail and looking forward to returning to Edinburgh. She has called her two designs: Dance in the Rain and Wullie Gone Wild. Both pieces will ultimately be auctioned in support of the life-affirming work of Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity (ECHC).
Above: A tiny teaser of Dance in the Rain - N.B. Lois cannot reveal the full design until the trail goes live on 17th June. Watch this space!
Dance in the Rain
Directly inspired by the playful, laughing character of Wullie sitting on his bucket, combined with Lois's memories of Edinburgh weather, this design imagines Wullie tipping a bucket full of paint over his own blank canvas, reminding us all to laugh, dance and surround ourselves with colour and beauty. As the saying goes: Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain. Always carry a bucket full of paint to throw at the blank canvas of life! Lois is sure that Wullie would approve.
Lois writes: "I lived in Edinburgh for 4 years while studying Arabic at the University of Edinburgh, and often danced in the rain! I must confess, I learned to dance because the heating in my first year student digs didn't work, and dancing round my room was the only way to keep warm. But I swiftly realised that dance was liberating, uplifting and fun. I've never looked back. Dance is a huge influence in every aspect of my artwork. I dance most of my creations into being."
Dance in the Rain is kindly sponsored by an anonymous donor - Lois would like to express her gratitude for their generosity in making this possible and for their support for Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail.
Above: Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia will travel to Edinburgh (where she studied Arabic at the University of Edinburgh) to bring her two designs to life later this month (April 2019).
Wullie Gone Wild
A pan-Scotland art trail would be incomplete without a celebration of Scotland's rich heritage of wildlife, hence Wullie Gone Wild. This title is also a homage to creative event producers Wild in Art, whose sophisticated public art trails have inspired and benefited millions of people of all walks of life over the last decade. Wild in Art will always be wild at heart. Exploring the rich biodiversity of Scotland's beautiful and distinctive fauna and flora, Wullie takes a walk on the wild side. Recent re-wilding conservation programmes have successfully reintroduced species such as the beaver and wolf, and there are plans afoot to bring back the lynx to Scotland. How many species will you spot in this design?
Wullie Gone Wild is generously sponsored by Standard Life Aberdeen. Lois is very grateful for their support for Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail. Standard Life Aberdeen are proud investors for a better future: "We do it to make a difference – to the lives of our clients and customers, our employees and our shareholders". The firm's involvement in Scotland's first nation-wide public art trail confirms their commitment to making a difference in the lives of countless families, trail visitors, tourists, local businesses, and children's hospital charities.
Below: a tiny teaser of Wullie Gone Wild - N.B. Lois cannot reveal the full design until the trail goes live on 17th June. Watch this space!
Below: Special thanks to Adele for the loan of these Oor Wullie annuals! :-)
Wild in Art
Creative event producers Wild in Art (founded 2008) have successfully facilitated the raising of more than £10 million for charitable causes to date, and made art accessible and engaging for millions of people.