Sheep Project 2011 (part 1)

Rod and his creation Daisy the bicycle sheep.

The Sheep Project

“Back in March 2011 I had a curious delivery to the Avoca Studio Gallery. It was a sheep, but not a woolly one, this was a steel sheep. This how my Sheep Project began. Twenty Five artists of TAG (Tinahely Arts Group) each got a 2-D life-sized sheep template to create their own individually styled art-sheep. They will make up a public art display around the town of Tinahely, Co. Wicklow. They will be on display through out the summer and be taking part in various events, including the Tinahely Walking Festival and the Tinahely Agricultural Show.

As a painter I knew I would be out of my depth working with metal. But I devised a plan and enlisted some help… ” – Rod Coyne.




The birth of Daisy

My original idea was to fuse a racer bicycle with my sheep template. I thought the handlebars as horns would make a handsome ram.

Two basic sheep templates…the journey begins.

While rooting through skips and dumps I turned up a couple of little girls bikes and started to rethink my plan A. Considering I live in a house of women I decided to get in touch with my feminine side. Here the raw materials.

I was lucky enough to get my friend Jeremy, a top class custom bike builder to do my welding for me. He saw the humor in it and did quite an artistic job.

I started preparing the surface on a hot April afternoon. Photos by lola.

I was advised to invest in a good quality primer. The instructions on the tin told me two coats with 24 hours between them, so I did as I was told.

Finally I’m painting, I knew this project was going to more labour intensive than painting any oil on canvas.

All primed and ready for some real colour. Daisy is finally taking shape, I have an idea of how she might eventually look.

I needed to mix up a nice shade of pink to echo the Daisy bike’s original colour. I took advise from two girlie experts.

It is such a relief to see a colour other than grey rust primer.

Deciding against black the legs and head were painted ivory. The original bike had cream coloured tyres.

It took half a day to cut contact and create the all important daisy stickers…

…and ten minutes to stick them on.

Late into the night I replaced the saddle and added sheep-eye-stickers and the girlie tassels.

A happy artist. Daisy is ready for transport to Tinahely where she’ll be mounted on a base and the placed in her summer grazing place along with the rest of the flock.


Here is the text from our Press Release:

Hung for a Sheep Project as a Lamb

The Sheep Project: A curious flock of sheep and lambs will be descending upon Tinahely this summer in time to join the annual Trail Walking Festival at the May Bank Holiday, 2011. These art-sheep, created by the members of TAG (Tinahely Arts Group), will be “grazing” around the town and surrounding area. Each artist, starting from a uniform steel template, has worked through the winter to create their own individual take on Wicklow’s familiar woolly friends. The results promise to be as diverse as they are quirky, while adding a new dimension to the renowned Tinahely Trail Walking Festival.

Tinahely Arts Group is a collective of artists and craftspeople, all living and working in the Tinahely area. Members and their work represent a wide and diverse range of disciplines and media, including painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, textiles and ceramics, glassware and metalwork. Formed in June 2010, the group seeks to share knowledge and techniques, pool resources, and work together on projects to promote awareness of the wealth of creativity in the region. In addition, members combine to ensure that the arts and crafts heritage of South Wicklow is visible in as many local events and tourism initiatives as possible, and to contribute their talents to community enhancement projects.

About TAG

The Tinahely Sheep Project will be comprised of approximately two dozen 2 and 3 dimensional metal sheep (almost one meter in length and more than half a meter tall, with some smaller lambs), each of which will be customized by individual artists in a variety of styles and materials. The flock will celebrate Tinahely’s history as a vibrant market town and will be unveiled at Market Square, Tinahely on the Festival Weekend, on Friday April 29th 2011 at 7.00 pm. Each sheep will have an ear tag identifying its designer, and the flock will make a striking visual display for this busy weekend. For the rest of the summer, the eye-catching sheep and their lambs will be situated out and about in Tinahely in unexpected locations around town, to be enjoyed by residents and visitors sampling our wonderful location and outdoor pursuits. In the autumn the sheep will return to the Market Square, and will be taken home to over winter with their artist owners. It is hoped that they will increase and multiply over the winter, as well as getting some refurbishment if needed, and will return to the roads and hills around Tinahely as an annual event.

Details of TAG and our members can be found on the group’s website at:

https://tinahelyartsgroup.wordpress.com/category/sheep-flock/