Thirty life-size Clydesdale horse sculptures are expected to draw thousands of visitors to a Scottish town next summer in a special art project.
“Ready Steady Gallop!” will see the creation of a trail of 30 uniquely painted, 1.9-metre tall horses throughout the South Lanarkshire town of Hamilton and surrounding areas.
The 10-week project is being led by the Hamilton Business Improvement District and Wild in Art, a company that specialises in producing award-winning, mass participation art events across Britain.
Artists from across Scotland are being invited to come forward and lend their creative flair to the project by designing and painting the horses. Local schoolchildren will be inspired and guided to get involved with their own versions of the sculptures.
The concept of painting a series of sculptures for an arts event has proved successful in several other centres, with Bristol staging sculptures of Gromit – an animated character – while Norwich came up with gorillas and Liverpool went with penguins.
Locals and visitors to Hamilton will be able to get involved by seeking out each of the horses, which will be placed in prominent locations throughout the town and surrounding area.
By following the trail, participants will discover public art as they have never seen it before, the organisers say.
Hamilton businesses are being encouraged to sponsor a horse and, at the end of the project, the sculptures will be auctioned, with proceeds going to Kilbryde Hospice.
“This is the first event of its kind in the west of Scotland and it is going to be something really special for locals and visitors to get involved with,” said Gareth Walker, who heads the Hamilton Business Improvement District.
“The spectacle of the horses will hopefully draw people from far and wide, and we hope to raise fantastic sums for Kilbryde Hospice.
“Wild in Art have created some amazing events in other towns which have drawn thousands to see their sculptures and we hope that our Clydesdales will be just as popular.”
Wild in Art director Charlie Langhorne said: “Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to thousands of people while offering new ways to explore a host town.
“We hope the industries and businesses in Hamilton will recognise the cultural benefits of sponsoring a sculpture as well as the positives for their own community. It will be a fantastic spectacle for the people of Hamilton and is an excellent way to raise vital funds for Kilbryde Hospice.”
The Clydesdale was chosen as the central theme due to Hamilton’s proximity to Clydesdale Valley.
Organisers want to celebrate the role of Clydesdales in the livelihoods of people who worked the land throughout Lanarkshire.
More information: www.readysteadygallop.com.