My latest blog post for the People’s History of the NHS website looks at the recent development of summer public art trails and charity auctions in towns and cities around the UK.
This evening will see an auction in Dundee. Following the summer’s Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, with 55 statues of the iconic Sunday Post comic strip character on display all over Dundee (as pictured above), the statues will be auctioned off to raise money for the ARCHIE Foundation’s charity appeal to support a new theatre suite at the Tayside Children’s Hospital.
In just a few years it’s become surprisingly normal to see these public art trails around Britain. The script is always more-or-less the same. A big fuss is made as a huge number of roughly person-sized statues go up all over local landmarks, shopping areas and in well-known public buildings. Each one is from the same mould, but has been painted by a different (usually local) artist. Families pose for photos as they try to find them all. Then, after a few months, they’re auctioned off to raise money for charity.
We may have gotten quickly used to seeing all these statues, but where did they come from?
Surprisingly enough, the answer is Switzerland (via Chicago)…