Meet Sheep Ahoy! Newcastle Cathedral's Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne
If you’ve been out and about in Newcastle this summer, then you will likely have encountered at least one of the Shaun the Sheep sculptures dotted around the city. These four-legged fellows are part of a Wild in Art sculpture trail, encouraging people to explore the region and find all the installations, all while raising money for St Oswald’s Hospice.
The trail runs until 27th September and includes 45 big Shauns and 70 little Shauns. Among the flock is my very own Sheep Ahoy! - a nautical-themed big Shaun who sits proudly inside Newcastle Cathedral.
About the Trail
Eagle-eyed explorers will note that this isn’t the first sculpture trail to arrive in Tyneside. In fact, this is the third time I have been selected as a trail artist for a Wild in Art sculpture trail.
In 2016, I painted two sculptures for the Great North Snow Dogs trail: Skipper for DFDS and Tails of the Sea for Primary Times. Then, in 2019, I contributed another two pieces for Elmer’s Great North Parade: Elephish for First Class Supply and Eleonora the Explorer for Tyne Tunnel 2. One sculpture was enough for me this time around!
These events are such a fantastic addition to the city in the summer. Not only is it a great excuse to get the kids outdoors and follow the trail, but the project itself raises vital funds for St Oswald’s Hospice. This charity has supported individuals and their families in Newcastle and the surrounding areas since first opening its doors in 1986.
Personally, I love participating in these events as they are such a fun and different way to support a wonderful cause. I’m also a massive Shaun the Sheep fan, as my two boys loved to watch the show when they were younger. So much so that Fraser has been inspired to make his own animations and has joined the Animation Club at school! Another artist in the family, perhaps?
The art trail is free and accessible to everyone. So, if you haven’t already, then I highly recommend grabbing a trail map and/or downloading the app and following the trail - you can find all the information you need at the Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne website.
Meet... Sheep Ahoy!
Of course, any Joanne Wishart artwork wouldn’t be complete without a sprinkle of seaside inspiration. Sheep Ahoy is painted in the hues of Phthalo Blue, which you’ll know well if you’re familiar with my paintings. Finished off with swirling waves (mimicking his curly wool), white-sailed boats, pesky seagulls and even eyes inspired by lifebuoys, this Shaun is truly a nautical piece.
Sheep Ahoy! is both sponsored by and located in Newcastle Cathedral. You might be wondering what the location has to do with the seaside themes, but did you know that the cathedral used to be a lantern tower guiding safe passage to seafarers along the River Tyne? So, this seafaring Shaun is a great addition to such a historic spot in the toon
Want to see behind the scenes of painting Sheep Ahoy? Watch the video below.
At the end of the trail, there’s a farewell event and auction to help boost funds raised for St Oswald’s. I’m really looking forward to this! Last time, Elephish sold for £10,000, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we have some generous bidders for Sheep Ahoy!
So, if you haven’t seen Sheep Ahoy! and his flock yet, then head into town in the next few weeks. If you do visit my seafaring sheep, then snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @joanne.wishart.art with the hashtag #ShaunOnTheTyne.