Sculpture has the ‘feel-good’ factor

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MOTORISTS have had their heads turned by the installation of what is intended to be a “feel-good” sculpture on the A165 near Reighton.

The Dotterel Shepherd, as it has been named, is the creation of Bridlington-based artist Ronald Falck – albeit one that has been compromised by his struggle to obtain funding.

The fibre-glass sculpture depicts a shepherd and his dog battling the elements as he guards his flock of five sheep and a lamb, which he holds protectively under his arm.

Mr Falck said: “Viewed from a distance, as an aesthetic, the Dotterel Shepherd was intended to be a powerful and a distinctive silhouette against some magnificent skies. He is meant to be a significant heritage sculpture for this area with a message about the dedication and caring shown by the farming community to their animals.”

The sculptor, who studied under Henry Moore and has been artist-in-residence at Castle Howard, said it was also intended to capture a past era when sheep were “not cruelly marked through their ears by Defra labels”.

Although he would have preferred to create the work in bronze, he said he was forced by financial constraints to adopt the unconventional technique of working with liquid resin and soaked fibre-glass matt material placed on a wire support. The pieces were then fixed to a strong welded metal armature.

Mr Falck has been supported in his project by Reighton Parish Council and funded to the tune of £3,000 by Scarborough Council, but the rest of the cost has been borne by himself. The sculpture was erected this week by the county council.

“In sculptures the quality of the product is dictated by the funding resource. Sponsorship has been difficult to obtain. There are people locally who offered funding for the idea initially, but withdrew when they could not display advertising on the sculpture,” he said. Asked if he was satisfied with the work, he said: “It is what it is. I’ll just wait to see what other people think.”