Fibreglass goats ‘are not toys’

DECORATED fibreglass goats located around the island as part of a fundraiser are fragile works of art and must not be used for sitting on or climbing.

GSPCA manager Steve Byrne and animal care assistant Beckie Bailey with a decorated goat called Baaarbara at Saumarez Park. 
(Picture by Emily Hubert)
GSPCA manager Steve Byrne and animal care assistant Beckie Bailey with a decorated goat called Baaarbara at Saumarez Park. (Picture by Emily Hubert)

One at Saumarez Park was damaged within a day and another at art studio Iris & Dora in under 12 hours.

After the trail ends in August the painted sculptures are due to be auctioned to raise funds for Autism Guernsey and the Guernsey Adult Literacy Project.

‘Please, please do not allow your children to climb on the goats,’ said Mandy Rowlinson, Autism Guernsey fundraising manager, adding that the Saumarez Park one will now be moved away from the children’s play area.

Paint was chipped, which could cause the fibreglass to weaken in the rain.

Significant damage would also reduce the value of the sculptures when they are sold off.

‘The artists have spent many, many hours painting these goats for our charity in order that they may be auctioned in September to raise much-needed funds for our charities, so please don’t ruin this for us and them by allowing children to chip all the paint with their shoes. Also the goats’ horns and ears are extremely fragile.’

Another one was located outside Iris & Dora for half a day when its horns were cracked and had to be reinforced, Mrs Rowlinson said.

‘Therefore they are really delicate. I’m dreading what they will be like by the end of August.’

Beckie Bailey, GSPCA animal care assistant and a former art student, spent more than 230 hours painting her goat with characteristic Guernsey creatures. She had to fit that in between working.

‘I thought I wasn’t going to be able to sleep to get it finished, and had to ask Steve [Byrne, GSPCA manager] for a “goat day” a few times,’ Mrs Bailey said.

‘It’s had probably five coats of varnish and three coats of paint, which I thought was pretty robust.’

She said all the animals looked fantastic, with artists each adopting their own style.

‘It is a little bit heartbreaking,’ she said of the damage. ‘I’m certainly not angry at anyone, but at first I was upset.’

She recognised that kids would be kids but there had to be an understanding that the goats were pieces of artwork, and not toys.

n Please visit: https://www.goldenguernseygoattrail.co.uk/ for more information.

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