Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, Dundee’s largest ever mass-participation public art event has ended on a high raising £883,000 for The ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside Children’s Hospital Appeal. The funds will go towards creating a brand new twin operating theatre suite in the children’s hospital at Ninewells.
The one-of-a-kind project, which brought over 70 individually designed Oor Wullie sculptures to the streets of Dundee and across Scotland, culminated in an international auction yesterday evening, Tuesday 13th September, at the Dundee Rep Theatre where local businesses, individuals and sponsors bid on their favourite sculptures.
Oor Original, a design based on the classic Oor Wullie character, proved to be the most popular Oor Wullie sculpture of all, selling for £50,000 to businessman and The ARCHIE Foundation patron Garreth Wood and being the highest bid of night.
Minecraft, an Oor Wullie sculpture inspired by the popular game, sold for £34,000 to an online bidder after a nail-biting bidding war. Several sculptures were bought by online bidders with over 100 registering with I-Bidder from all over the world in the run up to the auction.
Tangerine Terror, an Oor Wullie sculpture inspired by Dundee United FC, was bought for £16,000 by the football club’s chairman, Stephen Thompson.
Proceedings were kicked off by a special ‘Wullie’s Bucket Trail Auction’ poem written and read by Morris Heggie. Executive Chairman of DC Thomson Publishing, Ellis Watson, then spoke of the incredible success of the Bucket Trail for Dundee and appealed to the audience to get bidding. Ellis was followed by Dawn Cowie, an ambassador for The ARCHIE Foundation who explained the amazing work that The ARCHIE Foundation do to make a difference to sick children, having been helped by the charity when she was seriously ill as a child.
Charity organisers The ARCHIE Foundation, along with partners Wild In Art and DC Thomson, have been working tirelessly for many months to bring the project to fruition, and all this culminated in last night’s crucial auction. This followed a fantastic Farewell Event in Dundee’s Slessor Gardens last weekend which saw over 20,000 people visit to grab one final glimpse of the sculptures before the auction.
Cassie Thompson, Head of Fundraising for The ARCHIE Foundation, commented:
“We have been overwhelmed by the incredible amount raised at our special auction and the generosity of so many people who bid here in Dundee and online from around the world. Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail has captured the hearts of the people of Dundee and, as organisers, we are proud to have been able to bring the public art project, along with out wonderful partners Wild In Art and DC Thomson, to the city over the summer.
“All proceeds from the auction go towards The ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside Children’s Hospital Appeal, making a real difference to the lives of sick children and their families across the area. This appeal is the reason that Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail came about and we couldn’t be more delighted by the result of yesterday’s auction.”
Andrew Thomson, Chairman of DC Thomson, added:
““We are absolutely delighted to have been able to play a part in this hugely successful initiative. The Oor Wullie sculptures were well loved by everyone in Dundee whilst they were on tour, and the incredible amount of money raised last night will go a long way to supporting local children through the Archie Foundation at Tayside Children’s Hospital.”
Andy Lothian, CEO of Insights, successfully bid on ‘Oor Wai O’ Spikin’, the Oor Wullie sculpture that his company sponsored. Andy commented:
“The ARCHIE Foundation’s Oor Wullie Bucket Trail encompasses so many things that I love about Dundee; charity, creativity and community. We were delighted our sponsored sculpture, titled ‘Oor Wai ‘O’ Spikin’, had temporary residence in Technology Park. The sculpture, who is adorned in our organisational purpose statement translated into conversational Dundonian spelling, will remind everyone who passes through our doors to ‘Git ta ken yersel, git ta ken ithirs and dae guid in the world.’”
For further information about Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, visit www.oorwulliebuckettrail.com