For most people, having a giraffe round to tea would be highly unusual – but it became ‘the norm’ for one Worcester Stands Tall artist.
Donna Newman, who lives in Birmingham, found the ceilings of her studio weren’t high enough for the 8ft-tall sculpture – so moved her giraffe into her dining room.
The 43-year-old is among the artists chosen to decorate 30 large giraffe sculptures for this summer’s art trail, starting on July 9th and finishing on September 16th.
She is painting a sculpture jointly sponsored by the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council.
Find out more about Donna with our Q&A:
How did you come to be involved with Worcester Stands Tall?
I heard about the trail through the Wild in Art website when there was an open call for artists to submit designs. I submitted two designs which were both shortlisted for sponsors selection and I was fortunate to have one chosen.
How do you feel to be a part of this project?
I feel really proud to be one of the artists chosen to paint a giraffe. These projects are so worthwhile as they help to raise the profile of local artists and are great for the community as well as raising money for a worthwhile charity.
Tell me a little bit about your background as an artist
It was my childhood dream to be an artist when I grew up. I studied Fine Art at University then eventually set up my business ‘Eden-Designs’ 12 years ago. Most of my time is spent painting large scale murals in schools and transforming learning environments but I also paint children’s bedrooms as well as various giant animal sculptures for art trails across the country.
How would you describe your work?
My style is quite varied but I love creating clean, colourful and bold designs. I try to make each piece unique and individual with an element of fun.
Have you painted a sculpture for a Wild in Art (WIA) trail before?
Yes, I’ve been very busy working on sculptures over the past couple of years and have now painted a total of 12 for WIA trails. They include: a bookbench for ‘The Big Read’ Birmingham 2016, four Bears for ‘The Big Sleuth’ 2017, two Nutcrackers for ‘Nutcrackers on Parade’ at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 2017, and a Dragon for ‘Here Be Dragons’ with Blue Peter and HM Royal Palaces, currently at Kew Gardens. I’ve also just completed a robin for ‘Hoodwinked’ in Nottingham and two bees for ‘Bee in the City’ Manchester – both launching this summer.
What has it been like decorating an 8ft tall giraffe?
It’s certainly had its challenges! Unfortunately, the giraffe was far too tall to fit in my studio so I ended up painting it in my dining room. Having a giraffe for dinner was a real talking point!
What are you most excited about for the Worcester Stands Tall art trail this summer?
I can’t wait to finally see all the other giraffes on the trail and to bring my children along to explore Worcester.