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One-tonne willow bull represents region

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
One-tonne willow bull represents region

A ONE tonne wicker Beltie bull, hand sculpted in Dumfries and Galloway, is the centrepiece of this week’s Royal Highland Showcase.

The event, which replaces the usual show, runs until Sunday and is being livestreamed around the world.

And at the heart of it will be the three metre high bull made of willow by Auchencairn sculptor Trevor Leat.

It took him three weeks to build and is made from willow grown by in Scotland and some brought specially from the Somerset levels. In total, he used 22 bundles, each weighing 18kg and woven round a special frame.

Trevor said: “This was a wonderful project to take part in. What I wanted to capture was the character of these truly iconic cattle – the strength, muscle, power and energy of the bull – but also something of the spirit of the Galloway hills where they are bred and which are their homes.”

The artwork project was led by Cathy Agnew on behalf of Fiona Armstrong, honorary president of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), and her President’s Initiative which is seeking to showcase the best of Dumfries and Galloway’s farming, culture and heritage.

Cathy said: “It was fortuitous timing to be able to commission Trevor to construct this fantastic creature for the Royal Highland Showcase. I’ve known Trevor’s work for a number of years and for me he epitomises the very best of craftsmanship and creativity that we have in Dumfries and Galloway. His works have attracted both national and international acclaim.”

Meanwhile, scenes of Dumfries and Galloway have been painted on an underpass near the showground where the livestock are usually led in and out of the main arena.

It was done by artists Ross Blair and Brian McFeely, in collaboration with OutPost Arts, of Langholm.

OutPost creative director Lucy MacLeod said: “We were really keen to reflect the character of the region, its culture, natural environment, wildlife, agriculture and multitude of different landscapes.

“It’s such a brilliant site for a piece of work like this in a truly iconic location where it will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.”

Ross added: “We hope that people will go ‘wow’ as they walk towards it and that they will really enjoy the sheer variety of images and scenes – all inspired by Dumfries and Galloway.”

The mural

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