Dundee’s largest ever mass participation public art event has been hailed as a resounding success ahead of a farewell gathering organised to celebrate the hit summer attraction.
The Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, launched in late June, brought the streets of Dundee to life this summer with 70 giant Oor Wullie sculptures displayed across the city while 15 touring Oor Wullies, including VisitScotland’s ‘ScotSpirit Wullie’, spent ten weeks visiting cities across Scotland.
Over 70,000 locals and visitors are estimated to have taken part in the public art event over the summer, either by picking up one of the bucket trail maps or by downloading the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail app.
The trail is also said to have been a contributing factor to a boost in footfall at the Dundee VisitScotland iCentre with visitor numbers up by over 24 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Thousands of people are now expected to gather for the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Farewell Gathering which takes place in Slessor Gardens, Dundee between September 9 - 11. An incredible 8,000 were tickets sold in the first 24 hour with all proceeds from the event set to go to the ARCHIE Foundation Tayside Appeal.
The statues will then be auctioned off at the Dundee Rep on 13 September to raise money for the ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside Appeal for a new twin-operating theatre paediatric surgical suite for Tayside Children’s Hospital.
A collaboration between The ARCHIE Foundation, DC Thomson and Wild in Art, The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail featured 55 sculptures, beautifully decorated by local and national artists, displayed across Dundee between June 27 and August 27.
The project included 15 touring Oor Wullies, which visited Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, and Stirling. 35 mini-statues were also on display at libraries in the city of discovery.
VisitScotland worked with Scottish artist Vanessa Gibson to create a ‘ScotSpirit Wullie’ as part of the Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail set. Using a variety of media including acrylic paint and fine nib markers, Vanessa transformed the blank Oor Wullie statue into a fusion of colour and black and white, representing the Spirit of Scotland and the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
Jim Clarkson, regional director, VisitScotland, said: “We were absolutely delighted to be involved in this innovative project, with our ScotSpirit Wullie proving a great draw as one of the touring sculptures which took over cities across Scotland. The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail has been a phenomenal success, capturing the imagination of locals and visitors in Dundee while also proving to be a huge success across Scotland too.
“The event at Slessor Gardens provides a great opportunity for everyone to catch a final glimpse of the popular sculptures before they are auctioned off for a truly fantastic cause – The ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside Appeal.
“From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is shining the spotlight on our greatest assets and icons, as well as our hidden gems and we would encourage everyone to discover more about Scotland throughout the rest of the year.”
The ‘ScotSpirit Wullie’ is part of the national tourism organisation’s Spirit of Scotland campaign, launched in February 2016. The global campaign is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has a unique spirit – whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people. Everyone who has shared their #ScotSpirit will become part of a special social movement. The campaign has already been hugely successful, with more than 160,000 shares of #ScotSpirit since launch.
To find our more, visit: www.visitscotland.com/scotspirit
To book your tickets for the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail Farewell Gathering, visit http://www.oorwulliebuckettrail.com/goodbye-event/ Tickets can also be bought from the Dundee City Box Office online, or by calling 01382 434940.