Kirklees based charity, The Kirkwood, revealed the sculpture that will form the centrepiece of their public Art Trail in 2022 at an exclusive launch event on Tuesday 5th October. Held at the Manor House in Lindley, organisers gave guests the chance to meet the Snowdog sculptures which will be popping up in towns and villages across our region in Autumn 2022.
The large-scale sculptures are based on the canine character featured in The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, the classic animated story by Raymond Briggs, with Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees set to bring the magical character to life in a vibrant and creative new way.
The ambitious project is a collaboration between The Kirkwood and events firm Wild in Art, which has worked on high profile public art events across the world, including at the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Thirty uniquely designed Snowdog sculptures, all hand decorated by talented artists from across our region and beyond, will form the basis for the Art Trail, bringing a fun and innovative event to our towns and villages and celebrating the best of our local culture.
At least thirty smaller Snowdogs will form part of a mini-trail, which will run alongside the main event, giving schools and local groups an opportunity to get involved in a fun creative learning and design project.
Local businesses are being encouraged to get involved too, with opportunities to sponsor one of the Snowdogs and other exciting packages available.
Event organisers believe Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees will benefit the whole community, bringing our region together to enjoy the great outdoors and increasing visitors to urban areas right across Kirklees.
The Kirkwood also hope the free eight-week will help to connect the charity with local communities and increase awareness about the many ways the charity helps people affected by life limiting illnesses across Kirklees.
Michael Crowther, Chief Executive with The Kirkwood, is delighted that the tightly guarded secret has now been revealed and is excited to see how the art trail will develop.
He said: “Everyone connected with The Kirkwood should be immensely proud of this exciting project. It is a huge thing for us as a charity to get involved in. The last 18 months have been really difficult for everyone, and this is just the sort of event that will pick people up.
“It’s the perfect excuse to visit our great towns and villages next year and we hope it will inspire hundreds of thousands of people to get outside and explore their local communities again.”
The Snowdog character, featured in timeless animation, The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, is loved by adults and children alike. The classic short film is a heart-warming story about love, loss, friendship, hope and kindness – themes familiar to those who experience care and support from The Kirkwood. It makes the Snowdog sculpture an important talking point, and The Kirkwood team hope the art trail will help them to reach out to people who aren’t currently aware of the many ways the charity helps local people.
Michael said: “The trail will help spread The Kirkwood name throughout the whole of Kirklees in a vivid, creative and positive way. As a charity our aim is to reach more people in need, support more families and carers who don’t know where to turn and support the most vulnerable in our community. We truly believe Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees will raise awareness about how we Support Life for people affected by any life limiting illnesses.”
Trail-goers will be able to discover every sculpture on the trail using an interactive trail-app (or a paper map for the more traditional amongst us) and earn rewards every time they tick them off their list. They’ll also discover more about the artist who designed each sculpture and learn about the care The Kirkwood provide through fun facts and stories.
Charlie Langhorne, Co-founder at Director at Wild in Art said: “We want to create smiles on people’s faces and make sure those smiles turn into positive experiences for everyone visiting our sculptures. We hope it will help visitors to learn new things about their area and come together as a community to view some amazing free art.
“Kirklees is a fantastic area, full of distinctive towns and villages which people are proud to call their home. They have a brilliant sense of community and we at Wild in Art are proud to be building these sculptures here.
“I think the Snowdog is a brilliant choice particularly with how it connects with The Kirkwood through its themes. The Kirkwood do unbelievable work all across Kirklees and hopefully this Art Trail will help people to discover more about the care they provide.”
Among the first supporters to pledge their support for¹ Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees are DHL Supply Chain, Huddersfield based creative agency Redbak, the Huddersfield BID and locally based global scalp cooling technology firm Paxman.
If you’re an artist, represent a business, school, college or local community group and want to be involved, or are simply interested in finding out more about Snowdogs Support Life, Kirklees visit: www.snowdogskirklees.org.uk
Some facts from other trails show why this will be a huge success for Kirklees.
- 68% of people taking part in the Plymouth Art Trail said it helped them to spend more time with their family.
- 80% of visitors to the Manchester Art Trail said it had encouraged them to get outdoors more.
- 90% of visitors to the Plymouth Art Trail spent more than one day exploring the local area.
- Two-thirds of people in Plymouth said the Art Trail had taken them to places they’d never been before.
- 676,056 people visited the Art Trail in the North East.
- £10.2m Gross Value Added to the Manchester economy during their Art Trail.
- 85% of people felt the North East Art Trail brought a sense of community to their area.
- 99% of people said they felt proud to have an Art Trail in Manchester.