A Ram of pride and hope for the Council House
Published: 27 May 2021
Derby’s Ram Trail begins today, and the City Council’s very own rainbow ram is in pride of place outside the Council House.
It is one of 30 five-foot-high sculptures of rams forming a family-friendly public art trail throughout the city until late summer, with rams waiting to be discovered outside city landmarks such as Derby Cathedral and the Museum of Making.
Brightly decorated with wide bands of the colours of the rainbow, ‘Pride in Derby’ is the first large-scale sculpture by Marie Arroyo Lopez. It celebrates LGBTQ+ social and self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights and pride.
Marie is a Puerto Rican illustrator currently living in the UK. She also writes and illustrates a children’s comic about the ocean called Seasick, and created ‘Remember with Patches,’ a campaign to help children deal with the loss of a loved one.
Visitors to Derby Market Place had a sneak preview of the ram during its opening weekend in April, but now it will stay in place until 27 August.
Councillor Ross McCristal, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said:
Our ram is just one of 30 which capture the spirit of Derby, bringing brightness and colour to the city centre for everyone to enjoy this summer.
We chose this as our ram back in 2019 to recognise the diversity of our city, and how all our communities play a part in making this a great place to live. As we know, the Ram Trail was one of the many events which couldn’t go ahead last year, and since then its rainbow colours have taken on the meaning of hope as well as pride.
The Derby Ram Trail has been organised by Derby Museums, together with Wild in Art, a leading producer of creative outdoor events, and Presenting Partner, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID). All the rams have been sponsored by local companies, organisations and charities.
Visitors can explore the trail using a free map, or by downloading the free Derby Ram Trail app. Alongside the trail, 30 mini rams designed and decorated by Derby school children will also be on display at the Museum and Art Gallery.
Derby Museums were thrilled to have 21 Derby schools and colleges (Primary, Secondary and SEND) take part in this cross-school art competition. The theme was ‘What is important to me, right now’, and saw entries that featured friendship, nature and thanking the NHS for their ongoing work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Each school then selected their own age category winners to decorate a 3D ram, which were judged from a shortlist of 78.
The four winners are:
- 5-7 years: Brynnlee, age 7 (Cavendish Close Infant and Nursery School)
- Brynnlee’s ram (called ‘Patty’) shines like gold to echo those who are kind and helpful to each other. This was inspired by the children being back in the classroom together post Covid, talking about what is important to them now.
- 8-10 years:Devdeep, age 9 (Dale Primary School)
- The bright colours used on Devdeep’s ‘Friends & Family Ram’ represents the enjoyment he feels when playing with family and friends. The detailed illustrations include friends and family, trees, homes, sunshine and sports teams.
- 11-13 years: Miles, age 11 (St Peter’s Junior School)
- Miles’ ‘Mr Ramington’ celebrates - and was inspired by - all things Derby! The city, the wider countryside and county, which perfectly reflects with the ethos of the main Derby Ram Trail.
- 14-16 years: Jennifer, age 14 (Derby Cathedral School)
- Jennifer’s ‘My Life in Derby’ ram links the thinkers and innovators of Derby, Derbyshire landscape and the nature of the Peak District with Derby Cathedral.
These four winning designs will be on display as part of the Mini Ram Trail, which has been brought to the city by Derby Museums and its education partner, Rolls-Royce.
Tony Butler, Executive Director at Derby Museums said:
We were delighted by the wonderful ideas and creative approaches that were put forward and it was really hard to pick the four winners as the standard was incredibly high. Thanks to everyone who got involved across all the different age categories as we know it has been a difficult time for schools, young people, educators and families. These colourful Mini Rams are going to be a delight for visitors across the summer at the Museum and Art Gallery and a great complement to the Ram Trail across the city.
Gill Fennell, Community Investment Manager at Rolls-Royce said:
We were really impressed by the imagination and ideas that shone through in all the entries. Creativity is such an important skill in developing new ideas for absolutely anything and everything, so we are delighted to be the Education Partner for Derby’s Ram Trail. The standard of entries suggests that the young people of Derby have all the creative talent needed to be the innovators of the future and I can’t wait to see their Mini Rams in the Museum and Art Gallery.