‘Jarsberry Ram’ all ready for trail

May 29 2015

SIMON Tozer is one of the first artists to have his Shaun the Sheep announced for Bristol's highly anticipated trail – and it's fair to say that it looks good enough to spread on a thick slice of toast!

SIMON Tozer is one of the first artists to have his Shaun the Sheep announced for Bristol's highly anticipated trail – and it's fair to say that it looks good enough to spread on a thick slice of toast!

The cleverly named 'Jarsberry Ram' will be stationed at the Pump House in Bristol's harbour as part of the Shaun in the City trail, which raises money for sick children and will be coming to our streets in July.

Simon's fruity sheep, which resembles a giant raspberry, follows the same theme as his strawberry painted 'Gromberry', which featured on the Gromit Unleashed trail in 2013.

This year's trail will see 70 giant sculptures of the Aardman character popping up across the city – including in Horfield Common and Gloucester Road – before being auctioned to raise money for the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity.

Gromit Unleashed raised more than £2.3million for the appeal in 2013.

Simon says that it is an “honour” to be one of the first five artists to have his sheep revealed, and is excited to be reunited with Jarsberry Ram again on the trail, which runs from July 6 to August 31.

“I didn't know it was due to be announced, so it was a nice surprise, especially as it has been difficult keeping my design a secret since January,” Simon said. “I've not seen him since he was varnished, so I am looking forward to the glossy makeover.”

Simon, who lives in Bishopston, specialises in making screen prints from his studio at Centrespace in Bristol's city centre. His work, renowned for being quite humorous, draws on influences from popular art and children's illustrations, and often includes bears and cows, or cars and ships.

“When I was thinking about Shaun, I had various ideas, thinking I ought to do something non-fruity this time, but none of them seemed right apart from a raspberry,” explained Simon. “The wobbly shape and the top knot made it an obvious choice.”

He says that he hopes that the Shaun in the City team will produce a special jam for Jarsberry, similarly to what they did for Gromberry.

Simon started painting his Shaun at the beginning of January. It took him around three days to sculpt the 5ft character, and four days to paint.

“My initial design didn't include a stalk on the top of his head, but he seemed to need it so I got permission to do some sculpting on him,” he added. “I'm indebted to model maker Dave Weaver at Centrespace, for helping me alter the armature and showing me how to sculpt the leaves and stalk on the top of Shaun's head.”

The Bristol trail follows the success of the Shaun in the City London trail earlier this year, which saw 50 uniquely designed sculptures flock to the capital for eight weeks.

To see more of Simon's work, or to sign up for a screen print workshop go to: www.simontozer.co.uk