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Cows about Cambridge art project up and running

Lion Yard in Cambridge became a temporary cow shed recently as an extraordinary art project for the city got under way.

There was much rumination among shoppers as the ungulates were paraded around the shopping centre on Wednesday, March 13, to launch the Cows about Cambridge project.

From from March 30, 2020, to June 7, painted fibreglass cows will form a bovine trail of discovery across Cambridge in one of the largest mass-participation art events ever held in the city.

Creative producers Wild in Art, along with children’s charity, Break, are behind the project, which is supported by inaugural sponsor and principal partner, the Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID).

An official launch was held last Thursday night (March 14) at the Museum of Zoology, where potential sponsors, business people, artists, school representatives and stakeholders chewed the cud.

“There are a number of sectors that we want to engage with with every element of the project,” said Peter Marron, project manager for Cows about Cambridge.

“Wild in Art, the organisation that I represent, and the Break charity, have done these trails before in Norwich, and Wild in Art have done lots around the country and overseas – they are the professionals at it.

We were approached by Ian Sandison at the Cambridge BID to look at the possibility of bringing a trail to Cambridge.”

Peter Marron, project manager for Cows about Cambridge, and Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, at Lion Yard. Picture: Keith Heppell
Peter Marron, project manager for Cows about Cambridge, and Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, at Lion Yard. Picture: Keith Heppell

The organisers are now seeking more sponsors. “We’re aiming for 50 sponsored cows within the city,” he explained, “so over the next few months that’s what our primary focus will be.

“We’re also going to be talking to schools and community groups to get involved in our learning programme.

"So around September time will be when the sponsors start to choose the designs that they’d like to work with – and the artists, who we hope will be predominantly Cambridge-based.”

Each cow will stand on a plinth and all will be painted in different colours. “The artists will submit various designs, and then they’ll be a selection evening where the sponsors will decide if they want to work with a particular design or artist,” said Peter.

“Then they’ll paint them and prepare them for the trail, before our logistics partner will deliver them onto the streets. There’s lots of work involved.”

The corporate cows will be auctioned off in a bid to raise more than £250,000 for Break.

Visit cowsaboutcambridge.co.uk, wildinart.co.uk, cambridgebid.co.uk and break-charity.org for more.

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