A tale of three jumpers

Joanna Osborne is a new artist for Shaun by the Sea. She tells us more about our ‘Shaun in the Sheep jumper’ design and why she thinks you should visit the trail.

When I heard about Shaun by the Sea, I knew I had to submit the sheep design. Shaun in the Sheep Jumper is inspired by our ‘Warm and Wonderful’ jumper, designed by Sally Muir and myself in 1979 and worn by Princess Diana on two occasions.

I thought that ‘dressing’ Shaun in the famous Diana sheep jumper, with its light humour, would appeal to Shaun’s nature too. How lovely for a sheep to wear a jumper covered in sheep. Equally it’s an honour to be able to support Martlets Hospice, the most wonderful charity, helping people when in greatest need.

Princess Diana in the jumper. Photo from Somerbys

A tale of two jumpers and a jumper for sale

When Princess Diana first wore our jumper on 1981 our business changed, not quite overnight because of no internet. But over the next few months press coverage and orders followed. Originally on a green background, the sheep design seemed a natural idea, grass = sheep = wool = jumper, plus one black sheep for amusement. Diana’s was on a red background and naturally became the most popular colourway.

Three years Diana’s iconic sheep jumper returned. We have licensed the design and our label to a US brand, Rowing Blazers and with our co-operation they have raised the profile of the sheep, introducing it to a whole new generation of fans.

In February this year, I found Diana’s original sheep jumper in an old box in my attic.

Princess Diana had two sheep jumpers. She accidentally damaged her first one, Buckingham Palace asked us to repair or replace her jumper and considering who she was naturally we replaced it. Until this amazing discovery we assumed we had either lost the jumper or in a desperate effort to fulfil orders sent it to someone. Suddenly this jumper became important and rather than take on the responsibility for it, we are auctioning it at Sotheby’s New York in September.

My hopes for my sculpture

I hope my ‘Shaun in the Sheep Jumper’ makes people smile, reminds them of Princess Diana who died so prematurely. Perhaps they might identify with the black sheep – someone who stands out from the crowd, a maverick or even perhaps a rogue.

I’ve spent much of the past month working alongside about 40 other artists painting their own Shauns. The variety, inventiveness, talent, creativity is astounding, I’m in awe and I’m sure you will
be too when you visit all the Shauns.

Get involved

Joanna’s design is under wraps until September. Until then you can:

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