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Great moos: The Cows About Cambridge art trail of 40-plus sculptures is coming in June



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Follow the herd into Cambridge this summer to spot a new art trail – an invasion of colourful cows creating a feel-good factor in the streets and public spaces of the city.

Cows About Cambridge will have people hoofing about the city this summer in search of more than 40 sculptures.

Back, from left, Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge Bid, and Tom Morgan, of Thameslink, with Pete Marron and Ellie Edge, from the charity Break. Picture: Richard Marsham
Back, from left, Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge Bid, and Tom Morgan, of Thameslink, with Pete Marron and Ellie Edge, from the charity Break. Picture: Richard Marsham

After being postponed due the the pandemic last year the trail, organised by Wild in Art, is now launching on Monday, June 28 – supported by the Cambridge Independent.

Visitors will be encouraged to visit each of the cow sculptures, individually painted with different designs by artists, and an app will be available to unlock details about each.

Some 40 decorated cow sculptures and 45 mini moos will be put out to pasture for 10 weeks so that residents and visitors to the city can enjoy moo-vement and exercise, as they navigate the free trail to discover the inspirational designs that regional artists, schools and community groups have painted and collaged on to these 3D canvases.

Sir Isaac Moo-ton, the Cambridge Independent’s cow. Picture: Richard Marsham
Sir Isaac Moo-ton, the Cambridge Independent’s cow. Picture: Richard Marsham

Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder of Wild in Art explained: “Our cow sculptures are modelled on the Red Poll cattle that graze Cambridge meadows. They’re much more than simply works of art that will be enjoyed for years to come – they will inspire people to enjoy the city in a Covid-friendly way, and they’ll also stimulate important discussions about the environment and climate change. The team is delighted to be back in Cambridge, working with the city, its businesses and the creative community to produce this event.”

Produced by global public art event producers Wild in Art in partnership with children’s charity Break, and in association with principal partner Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) and travel partner Thameslink, the trail was all set to go live in March 2020 when the first lockdown hit. Since then, the decorated fibreglass cows have been waiting in the stalls, ready to support the city’s recovery from the pandemic.

The discovery trail, which incorporates many outdoor locations, will offer a family-friendly and socially distanced form of exercise. It will help locals to reconnect with their city, while also promoting climate conversations, and supporting the arts - a sector hugely impacted by Covid.

Some of the mini-moos. Picture: Richard Marsham
Some of the mini-moos. Picture: Richard Marsham

After the trail closes on Saturday, September 4, 2021, the large cow sculptures will be auctioned to raise money for Break, while the mini moos will find forever homes back with the schools and community groups that created them.

The Cambridge Independent is the media partner for the trail – and one of the herd is our own cow-respondent. We will also have Isaac Moo-ton out on the trail for visitors to enjoy.

Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, said: “It’s terrific to have this art trail to look forward to – we think it will be great fun for families.”

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, added: “There’s no doubt that the past year has been exceptionally difficult for many of our city businesses and households. As we begin, finally, to look to the future, we hope that this spectacular art trail will bring some colour and creativity to our streets, and a sense of optimism.”

Cows About Cambridge will be great for families. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cows About Cambridge will be great for families. Picture: Keith Heppell

Some of the designs have already been announced, such as one created by anonymous local street artists, Dinky Doors. They have made the MooMoo-o-Tron III – an armoured cow that is helping to save the world. And Stardust, by Natalie Guy, which takes inspiration from the infinite cosmos and the stars, crossed with a mirrorball, and is covered in dazzling mirror tiles. Other cow sculptures are still waiting to be discovered.

Tom Moran, managing director of Thameslink & Great Northern, said: “We’re proud to be supporting the City of Cambridge and this event. The design on the sculpture we have sponsored ‘Strength in Numbers’ demonstrates the mental resilience and support each individual brings when linked together, and reflects how many people are feeling right now. We hope this piece brings happiness and look forward to seeing people when they’re out and about on the trail this summer.”

Cows About Cambridge is coming. Picture: Richard Marsham
Cows About Cambridge is coming. Picture: Richard Marsham

A limited number of cow sponsorships are still available. Contact Julie Gaskell, head of partnerships at Wild in Art, on 07768 038912 or julie@wildinart.co.uk.

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