Our city rocks
This post has been written by Martlets volunteer Jll Cochrane and artist Francesca Grace McLeod.
One of the things Brighton is famous for is its different subcultures and that’s the inspiration behind Francesca Grace McLeod Shaun sculpture. Anarchy in the Ewe-K needs no introduction as their name says it all.
Francesca returns this year after her involvement with our Snailspace Art Trail back in 2018. Her Shaun design celebrates punk rock, so it’s aptly adorned with studs, chains, tattoos and some iconic symbols embraced by punk rockers and others too.
Francesca says: “I’ve named my Shaun Anarchy in the Ewe-K. When I was part of Snailspace I painted my snail sculpture as a drag queen. This time I wanted to create a character that represents the diversity we warmly embrace in our city. I refer to my Shaun as a ‘them’, so folk can adopt Anarchy in the Ewe-K as whoever they want.
I was eager to embrace the baa-rilliant sheep puns too and wanted my character to be a bit defiant and rebellious. My Shaun gives off kind-hearted vibes, but they are also ready to shake things up a little!”
The participating artists are the creative engine of Martlets’ Art Trails and we’re always bowled over by their commitment, energy and creativity.
“Working on a charity project like this is so fulfilling because everyone is passionate about what they do. I feel very lucky to have met some fantastic artists and we’ve all been supportive of one another. The idea that a group of artists can come together, share a space and work on something so positive for our city felt like the biggest treat ever.”
We’re a few weeks into the Trail and it’s baa-rilliant to know so many people have downloaded our Shaun by the Sea app, are collecting Shauns and sharing their selfies.
Francesca says: I’d love people to snap and share their selfies with my sculpture. I hope Anarchy in the Ewe-K brings a smile to people’s faces, particularly with life being so hard for a lot of people right now. I’d also love to raise a smile from people who might recognise a few of the outfit pieces and iconic symbols from their own wardrobe at one time or another.
People should try to get around and see as many of these magnificent sculptures in real life. What’s great is the variety of designs. There’s something to suit everyone’s taste.”
Hove actually rocks too
Many of the artists and sponsors involved this year have highlighted that the Art Trail is a great way to see different parts of the city. It’s safe to say many places have suffered significantly during and post the pandemic, so getting people to rediscover the city and its forgotten gems is a positive by-product of the Trail.
“I know that often my work-life routine leads me to wander the same routes. It’s easy to forget about the fantastic shops and restaurants across the city. By going out and about to see the Shaun sculptures you’re re-connecting with the community. It gives us all a great opportunity to fall in love with Brighton & Hove all over again.”
Francesca says: “Martlets is such an important charity that supports so many people. As well as it being rewarding work, it must be incredibly sad and challenging too. I have great admiration for those that work at Martlets – and I’m glad in some small way to be able to support the team and the charity.”
Art has the power to change the way we see the world, offering us new perspectives, ideas and values. It can soothe, calm, enlighten and uplift us.
Francesca concludes: “I think community events like Shaun by the Sea are so important to get behind. More so than ever as it seems many people are struggling with day-to-day life. It feels that the arts in general are not always given the credit they deserve. Creativity and engaging in art can boost people’s mental health and it’s baa-rilliant that Martlet’s recognise this.
The concept of the Art Trail and auction not only raises vital funds for Martlets but helps improve the wellbeing of the community – and I think that’s amazing.”
Francesca Grace McLeod’s Anarchy in the Ewe-K is sponsored by Punktured.
Find out more…
Don’t forget to download the Shaun by the Sea app.Download the app
View Anarchy in the Ewe-K and all 120 Shauns from the art trail at our Farewell Event.Get your tickets