Artists needed! Could you provide a unique design for The Great Tail Trail?

Calling all artists!  Would you like to see your own original artwork feature on the design of a giant mermaid tail during The Great Tail Trail next spring?  

If you can turn a blank canvas into a fun and inspiring sculpture that will engage audiences across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP), trail organiser Julia’s House wants to hear from you.  Artists can create designs in their own style and to themes that resonate personally with them or take their inspiration from elsewhere – the heritage, landmarks and natural beauty of the local area or from Julia’s House and the special moments and magical memories its care helps create for local children and their families.   

There will be around 40 sculptures displayed at key locations across BCP from 5 April to 1 June 2025, and each design will need to stand out in a crowd and be able to work at scale – the giant-sized mermaid tails are 1.8m high!   The sculptures will each be sponsored by a local business or organisation.   

Creations and colours
“We’re so excited to see the designs that are submitted,” reveals Laura Maidment, Public Fundraising Manager for Julia’s House. “We’re expecting a whole range of themes, and not all of them water-based. Artists can let their imagination run wild and celebrate what’s important and meaningful for them on their design, or choose to reflect a genre or style they like working in.  We hope to have a real variety of different designs, themes, creations and colours that will stand out on the trail next year.  It’s going to be an amazing local spectacle and a must go event – each artist’s design is going to be seen by thousands of people!” 

The closing date for design submissions is 1 July 2024.  The designs will then be shortlisted for sponsors to choose the design they would like painted on their mermaid tail sculpture.   The artists whose designs are finally selected will have the option to paint their sculptures in their own art studio, or to use a shared painting space, where they will be able to meet other artists involved in the project.  All sculptures will need to be completed by 16 December 2024.  

So, swim over to The Great Tail Trail website  where you can download an Artists’ Pack and discover information on how to submit your mermaid tail design. It’s going to be a mer-mazing community art adventure that will raise vital funds for Julia’s House, and a wonderful way to give back through your art.  

About The Great Tail Trail
The sculptures will form a free, family -friendly walking trail through the towns, parks and coastline of our beautiful region, encouraging residents to re-discover the places they love. The public art spectacle is also expected to attract thousands of visitors from outside the BCP area, providing a welcome boost for local businesses. 

Once the trail is over there will be a grand farewell weekend at the Bournemouth International Centre from 14 – 15 June 2025, where all the giant mermaid tail sculptures will be brought together under one roof. The one-of-a-kind pieces of art will then be auctioned to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice charity.  

The Great Tail Trail is brought to BCP by Julia’s House and Wild in Art, the leading producer of spectacular public art events. Wild in Art trails can be found across the UK and worldwide, bringing communities together and leaving a lasting legacy. Julia’s House and Wild in Art have collaborated on art trails previously, in 2011 with the Pride in Bournemouth lion trail and in Swindon last year with The Big Dog Art Trail, both of which raised awareness and funds for the children’s hospice charity. 

As Dorset’s local children’s hospice charity, Julia’s House cares for the most seriously ill children in the county, many of whom need 24-hour care for their complex and often rare medical conditions.The charity receives just eight per cent funding from the Government and relies on public support and donations to continue its lifeline of care.  

If you want to find out how your business can sponsor a mermaid tail sculpture and join The Great Tail Trail, please visit

Key dates for The Great Tail Trail

1 May 2024                                    Open call to artists for design submissions
September 2024                             Art selection event – sponsors choose their sculpture’s design
October-December 2024                Sculptures are painted
25 January 2025                             Sponsors’ activation workshop
5 April – 1 June 2025                      The Great Tail Trail is live around BCP for 8 weeks
14-15 June 2025                              Farewell event at the BIC with all the mermaid tails in one place
19 June                                            Giant sculptures are auctioned to raise vital funds for Julia’s House

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