How Shaun the Sheep helped Laura hit the comeback trail

This piece was written by Martlets volunteer Simon Eden.

AFTER putting her creative ambitions and achievements on hold for a number of years, Laura Bowden has made a spectacular return to the world of arty endeavours – with thanks to Shaun the Sheep.

Laura has created Masquerade – one of 42 Shaun the Sheep designs that are providing a cavalcade of colour throughout Brighton and Hove as part of this year’s Martlets’ art trail, which started on September 9 and ends on November 5.

A design in memory 

The design – which is dedicated to Laura’s late mother – is loosely based on the butterfly.

“I used iridescent and metallic paints and a textured finish to suggest the wings of a butterfly and hope the colours change with different levels of light. The original idea was for a costume, creating a disguise for Shaun”

Laura currently lives in Exeter but is originally from Bristol where her first job was working briefly as a graphic assistant before taking on private commissions and freelance signwriting.

Picking up the brushes again 

She said: “I then moved away from art but gained some valuable experience in many other fields – hospitality, in-store demonstrating, fashion retail and even the Civil Service. I put my creative pursuits on hold to raise a family but after the kids went off to Uni’ I felt it was time to ask myself “What do I want to do now?”

“There were some health issues and other setbacks along the way but now I’m back doing what I love – designing, creating and painting again. During COVID I painted some designs on a few small 3D pieces and started experimenting with fabric paints but i’ve never done anything as ambitious as a 5 foot Shaun the sheep Sculpture! I feel very privileged and humbled to have had my design selected for the art trail from the many designs submitted. It still feels a little unreal though”

Laura’s absence from arty activities did not prevent her from supporting a range of causes. “I’ve always been up for activities like abseiling or tackling military assault courses to support the work of brilliant organisations like Martlets. Going forward I hope I there will be more opportunities for me to paint more sculptures and get involved in other fundraising events and activities.”

Find out more…

Visit our sculptures
See Masquerade at our farewell event
Trail Sponsors Charity Contact