Rare breed makes a welcome entrance in St Helier

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An exciting new public sculpture will be unveiled in St Helier this week to celebrate one of the most significant investment projects in Jersey’s retail history. As part of its multi-million pound refurbishment of its store, de Gruchy has commissioned a work of art that reflects its history and will draw delight from people of all ages. It is hoped that the statue becomes a part of Jersey’s rich heritage, forms a legacy for generations to come and establishes itself as a must have ‘selfie’ for all visitors to the island.

The three-quarter life-sized model of a ram will be unveiled by the Store Director of de Gruchy, John Marquis in a brief ceremony on 7th June. Local sculptor Pippa Barrow was commissioned to create a piece that would echo de Gruchy’s history’ its brand values and create a sense of continuity by linking the products sold then and now. The result is a playful reflection of the company’s artisanal past – supplying knitted goods and drapery – and its 21st century brand ethos: ‘Forever Inspired’.

The bronze sculpture is inspired by the rare Manx Loaghtan breed of sheep which is the closest living relative to the flocks that once lived in Jersey, and are now used on the Island’s north coast for environmental restoration. It also draws on architectural features including carved rams’ heads found on the columns of the stores New Street entrance.

An important feature of the ram’s plinth is a slot created to enable visitors to make a charitable donation, in the spirit of de Gruchy’s commitment to supporting local charities and the local community. For 2017 all donations will go to Jersey Hospice, the stores official charity of the year for whom the store have already raised over £2500.

Chris Clifford, who advised de Gruchy on the project said “The modern view of the urban environment is that our streets have become ‘brandscapes’. We wanted to create a work of art that playfully addresses the boundaries between public and private spaces, and which draws its inspiration from the original history of de Gruchy, its people and its products over the centuries.

John Marquis, Store Director of de Gruchy said “Our investment in St Helier’s retail environment is significant both for the company and the community. It was important to us to create a visually striking focal point at the New Street entrance that will invite and welcome visitors to the store. Pippa Barrow has produced a work of art that reflects our proud tradition of delivering an exceptional retail experience and products of the highest quality.”