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Meet the artist behind our Bear of Sheffield

19 July 2021

Supporters can now visit our Sheffield Wednesday-themed bear which is proudly on display in Weston Park.

The statue is part of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s ‘Bears of Sheffield’ project, which sees local businesses sponsor a bear to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital Charity.

Our Owls-themed bear was designed by local artist Ella Osborne, and we caught up with Ella to discuss her involvement with the project:

Can you tell us about your background as an artist?

I mainly work in illustration. I find ideas all over the place, in nature, pop culture, packaging design, folklore etc.

Bear_Weston-Park2.jpg

I do commissions for clients, as well as making designs for my own products, many of which I screen print and sew myself.

I’ve done larger scale works, such as drawing on shop windows and I took part in the last sculpture trail, Herd of Sheffield. My elephant was called ’Sheffield Botanical’ and sat outside City Hall for the duration of the trails.

What was the thinking behind the artwork and how did you decide upon it?

I came up with a design based on owls as quickly as I could, using Sheffield Wednesday blue as the background colour. I love to draw birds and animals, so I jumped at the chance to cover a seven-foot bear with majestic owls!

Bear_Weston-Park1.jpg

How long did it take to complete the project?

All in all it took about a month. It was more challenging than you’d think to find paint to match Sheffield Wednesday blue! It was a busy month with quite a few late nights! It was a great feeling to see the bear all finished.

How pleased are you to be supporting the project for the Children’s Hospital Charity?

It’s so great! The Children’s Hospital charity do invaluable work, not only on the medical side, but in striving to make the experience of being in hospital as positive as possible for children, in what must be a scary time for them.

The Bears of Sheffield is such a great initiative, as it supports artists, as well as the charity, and that has a knock-on effect on the local economy.

Bear_Weston-Park4.jpg

You can see more of Ella's work by CLICKING HERE.


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