Designs based on famous faces, paintings, nature and pastimes have been picked to line Scotland’s streets for the country’s largest ever public art trail.
Business owners and philanthropists gathered in Aberdeen last night to pick the statues they want to sponsor for Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail.
In June, 200 differently-decorated models of the famous DC Thomson character will form a trail across the country’s five major cities, with 30 planned for Aberdeen.
The 5ft statues will then be auctioned off for a trio of children’s hospital charities, including The Archie Foundation, in September.
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Hundreds of design proposals were submitted by artists from across Scotland, and the Bucket Trail team will now get to work pairing up sponsors with their favourite designs ahead of the launch.
Artist coordinator Suzanne Scott said: “We’ve got Oor Wullies designed as other characters, lots inspired by nature, and some really abstract ones.
“There really is something for everyone.
“It’s exciting for the artists and it’s for a really good cause.”
Public art trails have caught the north-east’s imagination in recent years.
The Wild Dolphins campaign in 2015 raised more than £500,000 for charity, while Oor Wullie fronted a smaller version of the upcoming Big Bucket Trail in Dundee in 2016.
Last night friendly rivalries blossomed between different sponsors, who were all vying for their favourite designs to be chosen.
Aberdeen University has signed up to sponsor four statues and staff member Mel McCann was tasked with picking her favourite designs for the Oor Wullie who will sit in the botanical gardens.
She said: “I’m sticking with a nature theme for my picks but there are lots of great, distinctive designs so I’ve been spoilt for choice.”
“It’s a really good cause and hopefully the Big Bucket Trail will raise a lot of money for the charities involved.”
Bon Accord Centre manager Craig Stevenson said: “We’re delighted to support the Big Bucket Trail and believe it will help bring in more visitors and give them the opportunity to explore the whole city.”
Cassie Thompson from the Archie Foundation said: “We’re urging any companies to get in contact as soon as possible as there’s only a handful of sponsorship packages left.
“They will help to transform experiences for children when they’re in the hospital – and it will benefit the artists too.”