Get ready for a brand-new trail to swoop into Scotland this summer, featuring 200 giant sculptures from the classic comic strip, Oor Wullie. For 11 weeks, from 17 June – 30 August 2019, Scotland’s first ever national public art trail will make its appearance across Scotland’s cities, with the aim of raising awareness and funds to support children’s hospital charities.
Because Oor Wullie is such an iconic part of Scottish history, we thought a specially made sculpture to encompass Scotland’s character would be a great addition to this year’s trail – Oor Nevis. A few weeks ago a team of 12 ventured up the challenging Ben Nevis in Fort William, taking with them a giant, colourful sculpture to the summit of the most famous Munro in Scotland. You can now spot this beaming masterpiece outside Inverness Castle in the heart of the city! If you’re a walking enthusiast, now is perfect time to get into the outdoors and enjoy the summer weather whilst scaling this popular endeavour. Make sure you brief yourself first with all the essential equipment and kit before setting off!
Oor Wullie Design
The statues will be as innovative and as diverse as they come, with each one boasting a unique quality or feature. The Dundee-based designer, Douglas Roulston, took his inspiration for the statues from his love for mountain biking and the epic landscapes he experiences when he’s tackling the trails.
‘Scotland is a beautiful place therefore a design that was natural and showed how epic Scotland’s landscape is, was vital to the design. For me, the scene I have chosen captures the true essence of Scotland’s landscape – rugged, remote and colourful.’
The History of Oor Wullie
The Oor Wullie franchise has been a staple in Scottish heritage since it appeared in the Sunday Post over 80 years ago. He’s the iconic Scottish laddie from the fictional town of Auchenshoogle that is easily recognised by his upturned bucket, wearing black dungarees, and sporting a spiky hairdo. Wullie (Scots nickname for William) is known for being full of life, love and laughter, and within the comic strips, even the grown-ups have had to laugh at his energetic and cheeky pranks. He also speaks an interesting brand of Scots language which includes his famous sayings; ‘Jings!’, ‘Crivvens!’ and ‘Help Ma Boab!’.
The character is so loved by the Scots that in 2004 a survey found out that he was voted ‘Scotland’s Favourite Son’, which meant he beat William Wallace, Sean Connery and Rabbie Burns in the process!
If you head to Scotland’s cities, keep your eyes peeled for these creative masterpieces that are dotted around – some may be harder to spot than others! The statues are set to be hosted in five main cities; Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, along with Wullie making an appearance in key locations across Perth and Stirling too.
In each of the cities there will be free trail maps and a digital app made available for locals and visitors alike to help you find all of the sculptures hidden across Scotland.
Our cities are great places to base yourself if you want to explore more of our gems, or head further afield and explore what our coasts, mountains, and forests have to offer. Explore more city breaks!
Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the trail coming soon, and when you do uncover the magnificent statues, share your photos on social media using #OWBBT.