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Bull scarf attached to ‘raise awareness’

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: March 03, 2014

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A UTTOXETER charity has come clean about ‘yarn bombing’ the town’s bull statue - to raise awareness about mental health problems.

The Advertiser reported two weeks ago that the bull monument in Town Meadows Way had been adorned with a fetching purple neckerchief.

The clothing - described by some residents as ‘vandalism’ - was attached months after graffiti artists painted the bull’s private parts were painted red.

But now bosses at Uttoxeter’s Art and Soul Friendship Group have admitted being behind the move.

They said they did it to ‘bring a smile to people’s faces’ and start a discussion about mental health.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Members within the organisation often come up with some inspiring ideas involving art and creativity.

“Members enjoy individual art work and group participation to help them build on their self esteem, self worth, and confidence to improve and sustain good mental well-being.

“Art & Soul and its members do not support graffiti or vandalism and hope that the bull remains in its original state and our publicity stunt does not encourage further or more serious acts.

“As a result of discussions had with the sculptor, Andy Scott, we were pleasantly surprised and grateful for his words of support and his generous donation towards art materials.

“The experience has inspired members to shortly create their own art pieces, collaboratively, about the bull, as discussion with the artist has led to a greater awareness of his work and the commemorative nature of his piece.”

The bull statue was built to represent Uttoxeter’s rich agricultural heritage.

Art and Soul had initially intended to keep quiet about its involvement.

But criticism from Uttoxeter residents about its yarn bombing prompted charity bosses to come forward and explain their reasons. The spokesman said: “From my own experience, when you suffer from depression, you don’t see anything good in yourself.

“Putting a scarf around a bull’s neck was an act of raising awareness and for showing others how much people working together and supporting each other can achieve even when you feel unwell.”

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