Earlier this year I was over the moon to have a design accepted for Maggie’s Penguin Parade – a fantastic public art event taking place in Dundee and Tayside this summer. Myself and seventy-odd other artists were sponsored by local companies to realise our designs on giant fibreglass penguins which were to be dotted around the Dundee area before being auctioned off to raise money for Maggie’s Centre. Maggie’s Centre provides practical, social and emotional support for people with cancer and costs £540,000 per year to run. The aim of the Penguin Parade is to keep Maggie’s doors open for a year.
I don’t know anyone who has not experienced the devastating effect of cancer can have on their own lives or those of friends and family. It is so vital for organisations like Maggie’s to keep going so they can continue to make a crucial difference to people’s lives when they are at their most vulnerable. The Penguin Parade has been organised in partnership with Wild in Art who have staged some incredible events across the globe and helped raised an enormous amount of funds for charitable causes.
My design (chosen by my sponsor Thornton’s Law ) is called ‘Penguin Classic’ and is based on one of the iconic Penguin Books book jacket designs. I chose Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ – a tale of endurance which seemed to fit with Dundee’s history and maritime heritage.
One of the lovely things about being involved with this project has been seeing all the wonderful pictures on social media of the public engaging with the Penguins and joining in the ‘Penguin Hunt’; some have actually managed to find all 80 penguins which is very dedicated! When I was there I only spotted about 10 but it was a bit of a flying visit…!
I was completely blown away by the intricate detail and creativity of so many of the designs! The artists have realised their designs with so much love, talent and care, it’s just a wonderful thing to see. You can see all of the designs on Maggie’s Penguin Parade website but really you should make the trip to Dundee if you can to see them in all their glory! The penguins are on the streets until September 7th 2018 before the grand auction will send them off to their forever homes.
Before I go I just want to share some of my favourite shots I’ve seen of Ernest from Instagram – click on the images for the larger version:
Thanks very much Maggie’s Penguin Parade, Thornton’s Law, and the people of Dundee!