Surrey Hills CowParade

  • Surrey Hills CowParade

An exciting, and somewhat unusual, project I had the chance to work on whilst freelancing for one of my regular clients, Storm12, was to come up with a visual design for a life-sized cow taking part in the Surrey Hills CowParade 2016.

CowParade is the largest and most successful public art event in the world, born in Switzerland in 1998. Since then has been staged in more than 80 cities and towns worldwide. Over the years 3,000 cows have been decorated by more than 5,000 artists and over $30million has been raised for charitable organisations at the auctions which take place at the end of each CowParade.

Why cows? According to CowParade this is a popular question. “Simply, the cow is a universally beloved animal. The cow represents different things to different people around the world she’s sacred, she’s historical, she connects us to our past but the common feeling is one of affection.”

The fiberglass cow was delivered in an actual livestock trailer (much to our amusement) to the company in Handcross, West Sussex. Covered in bubblewrap it enjoyed it’s first few weeks grazing in the shed whilst I came up with some concepts on the design for the client, Gatwick Airport, the cow’s sponsors.

I came up with about half a dozen different concepts all revolving around travel and Gatwick’s flight destinations. My personal favourite was a pilot design which I was inspired by some prints my parents used to have on our toilet room wall. It was a collection of different animals dressed up in Wrangler Jeans, I was visualising these as I was designing how the cow would look. I’m really pleased they went with this idea as the finished design looks really eye-catching!

The cow was named Amoolia Earhart (Amelia Earhart) after the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928. She was on display at Gatwick South Terminal over the Summer until her auction.