Giant Rams – and lots of them – will be dotted round Derby this summer and Hansons Auctioneers is joining the Derby Museums fundraiser by sponsoring a Royal Ram in conjunction with Wild in Art.
Hansons, which has its headquarters in Etwall, near Derby, has thrown its weight behind efforts to breathe artistic life into the city when lockdown lifts by supporting a spectacular public artwork trail to help secure the future of its museums.
Derby Museums and Wild In Art, which organises public art events, are bringing the Derby Ram Trail to the city’s streets. The event - delayed a year by Covid - is finally coming to fruition. From Thursday May 27 to Sunday August 22 a flock of 30 Rams will be positioned along the free trail delivering a feast of colour and creativity.
Charles Hanson and just a glimpse of The Royal Ram.
Each unique 5ft Ram has been decorated by a different artist and the sculpture is based on the mythical Derby Ram from the 18th Century song, which according to legend was 10 yards high with enormous horns and huge flowing fleece.
The Royal Ram, designed by artist Donna Newman of Eden Designs, caught the eye of Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons and a Derby Museums ambassador, thanks to its celebration of the colours and artistry inspired by Royal Crown Derby ceramics.
He said: “Royal Crown Derby is part and parcel of the city’s rich heritage with roots dating back to 1750 and Donna’s design truly does the firm justice. As a man who is passionate about history and art, this project is something I am proud to be involved with.
Previous Wild in Art sculptures painted by Donna Newman. Credit Donna Newman
“Any Derbeian will be familiar with the colour, decoration and vibrancy of Royal Crown Derby ceramics. It’s something we see a lot of at Hansons as there are lots of keen collectors, both in Derbyshire and across the world. To see its beauty celebrated in the Royal Ram sculpture will be very special.
“I have only seen the early designs but I can tell you that the Royal Ram will be absolutely stunning. Donna, who specialises in bespoke murals, has excelled herself. Together with all the other decorated Derby Rams, this trail will brighten up people’s lives.
'At last we've got something to look forward to'
“It’s going to be ramtastic! After a year of lockdowns, a major public art installation like this, something new for Derby, is just what we need to lift everyone’s spirits. At last, we’ve got something good to look forward to. I can’t wait to see it and I hope people will flock like sheep to enjoy the trail and activities associated with it.”
Artist Donna Newman. Credit Donna Newman
Donna Newman said: "Inspired by the beautiful Royal Crown Derby porcelain paperweights animals, my design features rich reds, blues and gold characteristic of the pieces. It will take around a week for me to complete. I'm due to start painting on March 8.”
Other Derby Ram Trail events will include an art competition and mini-Ram Trail involving schools. Then on September 9 the Ram sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for Derby Museums’ Endowment Campaign to help secure the future of the museums for years to come.
Jenny Cuadrado, head of fundraising at Derby Museums, said: “Derby Museums has secured match funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund which, until September 2022, has pledged to match every pound donated to Derby Museums’ Endowment up to £1 million to create an Endowment of up to £2 million. This means the profit raised at the auction will be doubled, making the legacy of the Derby Ram Trail even more amazing.”
To find out more about the Derby Ram Trail visit. www.derbyramtrail.org.