Happy Planet highlights the joy of nature
This piece was written by Martlets volunteer Simon Eden.
Designing a Shaun the Sheep sculpture for Shaun by the Sea was ideal for beating the winter blues said Kat Irvine – even though it gave her dots before the eyes.
Her Shaun the Sheep sculpture – called Happy Planet – colourfully highlights the value of sustainability within the environment. Set against a blue and mauve background are simple easy on the eye images designed to highlight to children the joys of nature today. Underlining the images are thousands and thousands of dots.
“There was no quick way of doing the dots. They were all done by hand with a pen. And considering Shaun is about five feet high that’s a lot of dots,” said Kat.
Beating the winter gloom
Designing the sculpture – which is sponsored by Hanningtons – was her first attempt at a major art project.
She said: “I’ve been a beautician, a make up artist and a wig maker. But never an artist. However, I have always been interested in drawing and arty pursuits and took an O Level in Art. And when I saw the advertisement for artists wanted to design Shaun the Sheep sculptures, I thought it would be ideal for something to do during the winter gloom.
“It gave me the opportunity of working on a large ‘canvas’ and getting my message across about sustainability and looking after our planet without being preachy. I wanted it to be playful and sunny.”
Kat worked on her design in a studio in New England House alongside other Shaun the Sheep designers. She admits she found it tough facing a deadline of only two months to complete her design.
Growing in confidence
Kat – who comes from near Durham and has lived in Brighton for 33 years – said: “I’m a shy and nervous type and at first was reluctant to work alongside others. But as the weeks went by, I found myself growing in confidence and I finished it with two days to spare.”
The final touch to Kat’s design can be seen on her Shaun’s tail. It’s a poem she penned to support her ecological theme:
The birds and the bees
The blackbird in the trees
The wild plants and flowers
All surrounding me
Show them love
Cherish and nurture
From here to eternity