Ellen Loudon

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Not sure how I feel about this…super lamb bananas were bad enough but penguins might push us over the edge. Anyway, this is the press release for the penguin invasion of the city planned for the autumn/winter:

More than 100 six-foot birds will decorate the city centre in a public art event set to rival last year’s popular Go Superlambananas trail.

From mid-November, small groups of penguins will be on display for seven weeks in an effort to attract visitors and spread an eco-friendly message.

Artists are being invited to enter designs for the fibreglass penguins, with the winners chosen by businesses sponsoring the event for £3,000 a piece.

More than 50 schools have already signed up to adopt and decorate a 3ft penguin for £450 each.

They will be displayed in a city centre indoor venue and will be returned to the schools once the trail has finished.

Commissioned by Culture Liverpool, the event is being organised by Wild In Art, the team behind last year’s successful Go Superlambananas.

It is based around a story, written by former Culture Company vice-chairman Phil Redmond, in which a penguin called Patrick is rescued from the ocean by HMS Liverpool.

He said: “Penguins are cute and funny, and everywhere in popular culture.”

Designer Chris Wilkinson, who came up with the basic penguin shape in clay, said: “In the story, the penguins are from the Falklands, where there is a large range of different species, but we wanted these to be generic penguins.

“They are brought to Liverpool to see Patrick with the help of the Liver Birds. We wanted them to look young because Patrick is a teenager.”

Patrick, a rockhopper penguin with distinctive yellow eyebrows, will make his debut as a cartoon character before he is revealed to the public.

The initiative is a highlight of A Winter’s Trail, which runs from November to January

It will see a series of special penguin-themed events take place across the city, with the support of many of Liverpool’s cultural organisations.

Liverpool Council leader Warren Bradley said: “The Superlambananas were the icons of Capital of Culture and we hope Go Penguins will similarly capture the hearts and imaginations of everyone across the region this Christmas.

“Last year showed how cultural events can make a huge impact on the tourism economy.

“I am excited about the plans for the penguins. Everyone is pulling together to create a magical Christmas which will further cement Liverpool’s creative reputation and appeal to visitors.’’

The recyclable Go Penguins, produced by a firm in Kent, were inspired by Liverpool’s Year of the Environment.

The festive trail aims to raise awareness of climate change by reflecting on the melting of the ice caps in Antarctica.

Merchandising opportunities are also being looked at, with miniature versions of the penguins to go on sale later this year.

The deadline for artists’ designs is the end of August.

FURTHER details can be found at GO-PENGUINS.


Written by ellenloudon

July 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Posted in culture, Liverpool

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