This Thursday 27th May, residents of Derby will wake up to a delightful sight as a flock of 30 colourful ram sculptures appear across the city, marking the start of the much-anticipated Derby Ram Trail.
Using the symbol of Derby, The Derby Ram Trail is a spectacular new city-wide free sculpture trail that will see 30 five-foot ram sculptures on display outside key city landmarks, such as the new Museum of Making, which opened for the first time last week, Derby Cathedral and The Council House.
The trail starts on Thursday 27th May and runs until Sunday 22nd August. Organiser Derby Museums, in partnership with Wild in Art, and together with presenting partner Cathedral Quarter BID, hopes the flock of uniquely decorated rams will attract both local residents and visitors from far and wide to discover, and re-discover the city, after lockdown as well as making art accessible to all.
With their bold prints and eye-catching colours, each ram has been decorated one of 28 local, national and emerging artists and each is sponsored by a local business, making the trail deeply rooted to Derby. The flock of rams will showcase a huge range of artistic talent, with all forms of art, from illustration to graffiti, being celebrated.
Since March 2020, the artists have been busy transferring their 2D designs onto their five-foot 3D sculptures. Here’s a flavour of some of the rams you can discover on the trail:
Football Word Cloud: sponsored by Derby County Football Club, artist Melanie Hubbard
- One of two football themed rams on the trail, this sculpture was inspired by the memory of Melanie’s late father, using words and memories of Derby CFC in the form of a ‘word cloud’
- Location: near Willow Sports Centre / Joseph Wright College
Bee Happy: sponsored by the University of Derby, artists Rachael and Phillippa Corcutt
- Derbyshire based illustrators and twin sisters have created this bright and uplifting design which highlights the importance of bumblebees in Derby’s parks and gardens
- Location: near Derby Train Station
Captain Stone: sponsored by Marketing Derby, artist Liam Sharp
- Liam is a Derby-born comic strip writer and artist living in California, who is currently working for DC Comics and Warner Brothers. Captain Stone is a character in the graphic novel ‘Captain Stone is Missing…’ from Titan Publishing
- Location: on Traffic Street
It is easy for everyone to take part and see all 30 rams, as visitors can either pick up a free map up from the Museum and Art Gallery (the trail’s ‘herd-quarters’!) on The Strand, or download one from derbyramtrail.org. There is also the free ‘Derby Ram Trail’ quest style app, which is downloadable from the App Store or Google Play. Visitors will then be able pinpoint which rams they want to see, in what order and where in the city they can be found. This allows bespoke trails to be created, so whether you’re looking for a fun family day out or have an interest in specific city landmark, there is something for everyone.
Tony Butler, Executive Director, Derby Museums says:
“The Derby Ram Trail offers something unique to all who visit Derby this summer, and really celebrates the artistic talent we have in this region. Our partner Wild in Art has created trails all across the globe, in world cities such as Sydney and São Paulo, so I’m incredibly proud that this summer Derby will be home to a world-class sculpture trail too, and what better way to celebrate all things Derby than by seeing 30 huge rams in the most iconic parts of our city. Be ready for eye-catching colours, dramatic designs and magnificent murals, which sets the stage for a ‘Ramtastic’ summer.
“I am really grateful to all of the local businesses who got behind this project and sponsored a ram, we couldn’t have done it without them. As well as celebrating creativity it also shows the resilience of Derby that we have all come together at this challenging time to put on a great show for residents and visitors alike to enjoy over the coming months.”
Charlie Langhorne, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wild in Art says:
“Excitingly, the Derby Ram Trail is the first of our free sculpture trails to take place as the Covid-19 restrictions in the UK ease, making it even more special to us and all who visit between now and August. We can’t wait to see the city’s streets decorated with such colourful art forms that everyone can see, admire and enjoy.”
Martin Langsdale, Chair of Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) says:
“We are delighted to be the Presenting Partner of what promises to be a fantastic event for the city. We look forward to welcoming the Derby Ram Trail to the award-winning Cathedral Quarter, providing an invaluable boost to the economic, social and cultural life of the city.”
The 30 ram sculptures are based on the mythical Derby Ram from an 18th Century song, which, according to legend, was ten yards high with enormous horns and a huge flowing fleece. The song tells of people travelling from corners of the country to see the huge ram, something which Derby Museums and Wild in Art hope to echo this summer, in this modern-day trail.
Once the Derby Ram Trail ends on Sunday 22nd August, all 30 rams will be brought together for the ‘Ram-union’ weekend, 3rd-5th September before they are auctioned off on 9th September to raise money for Derby Museums’ Endowment Fund, helping to secure the future of Derby Museums. All funds raised through the trail will be doubled with match funding from the National Lottery Heritage Endowment Fund.
To find out more about this fantastic free, family-friendly trail, visit: derbyramtrail.org. And, if you’re on social media, don’t forget to tag your photos using @derbyramtrail, and using #DerbyRamTrail!
Image: Installing the Derby rams into the city (6). Credit Derby Museums