Community and social change

return to front page

Illuminated Sheep Virtual Arts Trail, October-November 2022

In the autumn of 2022, the Lindisfarne Gospels travelled from the British Library to Northumberland. The Illuminated Sheep idea was inspired by The Gospels’ themes of light and pilgrimage. A flock of forty life-sized sheep appeared all over the county. The sheep were created by the artist Deepa Mann-Kler who works primarily with neon.

A group of locals from Cornhill put in an application for one and were successful! The sheep is housed in the ‘quiet room’ in The Cornhill on Tweed Centre (former Cornhill First School). Villagers suggested names for our sheep on a poster in the village shop and on our social media sites.

On 15th October, a major clean-up of the Centre was carried out by twelve willing volunteers. We had no electricty connection and we definitely needed vacuum cleaners. Clive came to the rescue and lent us his generator for which we were extremely grateful.

On 18th October, Elizabeth and Martin went to the Auction Mart in Hexham to collect our Cornhill sheep. It was an amazing day - the flock were assembled in the auction ring and a ‘mock’ auction took place. Finally our sheep was loaded into the car and, the following day, she was delivered to her ‘pen’ (the quiet room in the old Cornhill First School). She has Teresa’s garden sheep and lamb to keep her company. Joan and Jim made her a shepherd, Sue provided the hay and feed and Carol decorated the ‘pen’

On 22nd October, we held our Open Morning and Sheep Naming Ceremony Elizabeth gave a short summary of the conversion of the building from the school to the Centre and then Chrissy (CCA trustee and Parish Councillor) drew a name from all those suggested. Our sheep‘s first name was CurlyAnn Woo-Lee. Anne (CCA trustee) then drew her second name which was Lindy Lu. Of course, we did not realise when we decided to have two names that both would be double-barrelled!

Rob then said a blessing for our sheep and for the part she will play in bringing the community closer together.

Finally, Colin Hardy (our NCC County Councillor) said a few words about the fact that the building and the playing field now belong to the Parish Council and so to everyone as a Community Centre and Village Green.

Members of the WI knitted tiny coloured sheep, put them into bags with some information and hid them around the village and surrounding area. People were delighted when they found them.
On Sunday 30th October, CurlyAnn joined the joint service at St. Helen's Church for Carham, Branxton and Cornhill.

On 31st October Curly Ann dressed up for Halloween

On 4th November Maggie and Elizabeth re-dressed Curly Ann in her autumn outfit, lifted her into a wheelbarrow and wheeled her round the village on walkabout.

On 13th November, CurlyAnn was the star attraction of the Illuminated Sheep Craft Fair. She stood with her shepherd in the entrance hall of the Cornhill on Tweed Centre and greeted everyone as they came in.

On 29th November, CurlyAnn visited Longridge Towers Junior School. She attended Assembly where Elizabeth explained how the Lindisfarne Gospels were created and how the Illuminated Sheep Arts Trail was inspired. The children were amazed at all the tiny entangled fish and birds on some of the pages in the manuscript.
CurlyAnn spent the day at school and was dressed up in lots of different outfits. The children enjoyed her visit very much.


On 30th November, CurlyAnn said goodbye to Cornhill. She was taken to Hexham Abbey on 2nd December where she joined the rest of her flock for the Festival of Flame.