Almost exactly 800 years since King John put his seal to Magna Carta, Lincoln is set to welcome a reincarnation of his 25 barons into the city’s streets.
The Lincoln Barons’ Charter Trail will see 25 2m-tall sculptures decorated by renowned artists from Lincolnshire and beyond. Local businesses and organisations have worked with the artists to devise a different theme for each baron, including a Squadron Leader Baron, the Mayor of Lincoln Baron and the Steampunk Baron.
The finished sculptures will be placed around the city centre, creating a colourful and fun trail for visitors to follow. Each one is marked with a letter – when all the letters are collected, they form a phrase that can be deciphered in exchange for some of King John’s gold (chocolate!) coins.
Designed and created by Wild in Art’s Creative Director Chris Wilkinson in the style of a Lewis chess piece, the baron sculpture is the perfect canvas though which to unite visual art and this celebration of the country’s legal history. The Baron’s Charter Trail is a Wild in Art event brought to Lincoln by The Trussell Trust and Lincoln BIG.
Matt Corrigan, Chief Executive of Lincoln Business Improvement District said: “The barons give Lincoln the chance to celebrate not only the creativity of its artists, but also the diversity of Lincoln’s heritage. The designs showcase the city’s religious and military history as well as its vibrant subcultures, industry and sport and are a real opportunity for us to show Lincoln’s strengths and unique character to the world.”
The finished works of art will be unveiled to selected guests at a launch event on May 20, 2015 in the Waterside Shopping Centre in Lincoln City Centre, where all 25 barons will be on display together for the first time.
The sculptures will be displayed for three months from June 13, before being auctioned on behalf of The Trussell Trust, the national foodbank charity.
King John’s Barons: In Focus
The People’s Baron – William de Lanvallei
Sponsored by Waitrose and set to be displayed outside the Usher Gallery, The People’s Baron was painted by Cynthia Harrison from Retford. Combining medieval history and modern technology, people can Tweet the baron and he will automatically tweet back.
Cynthia said: “I was looking at portraiture and painted a contemporary miniature on a bottle top to serve as a jewel for the baron. The paper dolls signify chain mail and the strength of the people standing together.”
The Baron Mayor of Lincoln – William Hardel
Lincoln artist Leah Goldberg is responsible for The Baron Mayor of Lincoln, which is sponsored by the City Of Lincoln Council and will be on show outside the Guildhall. Leah took to the streets to paint her baron, which was completed in front of the crowds at Lincoln’s market.
Leah said: “I wanted to represent this ancient and historically important public office – and as an illustrator, the bold contrasting colours of the Mayor’s robes proved irresistible.”
Red Arrows Baron – Robert Fitzwalter
This bold design, sponsored by Virgin East Coast trains, celebrates Lincoln’s association with the Red Arrows. This baron is the only sculpture to be painted by community groups, with community artist Ruth Pigott overseeing children from Framework, a homeless charity.
Ruth said: “My design is inspired by the wonderful union jack flag tail fin that the red arrows have just unveiled on their famous jets. I am very proud to have worked with these inspiring children on the baron and I am sure that this will be one of the most iconic and popular artworks of the whole trail.”
The Red Arrows Baron will be displayed at St Mary le Wigford church.
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