Wild Dolphins take over Aberdeen as charity tourist trail is launched

Aberdeen’s eagerly awaited Wild Dolphins have made their official first appearance all over the city – and Millstream’s Funky D has taken up residence in a city park!


The city is hosting the Wild Dolphins tourism and charity project, which has seen 50 life-sized fibreglass sculptures of bottlenose dolphins - usually spotted off the North-east coast - popping up all over town.


Millstream has sponsored Funky D, which was designed by artist Ishy Walters and can be seen in Johnston Gardens.


Tim Williams, managing director of Millstream, said: “Funky D looks fantastic and we were also pleased to visit Cultercullen School, which has taken part in the education programme as part of our sponsorship, to see a smaller dolphin the children have designed and painted.


“I studied marine biology at university so this is of great personal interest but as a company we were very keen to get behind this fantastic scheme, which I know will bring a lot of visitors to Aberdeen over the summer while raising awareness of the work of the charities who are to benefit.”


Organised by Wild in Art with The ARCHIE Foundation,the official charity of the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), the dolphins can be seen until the end of August,before being auctioned to raise money for the two charities.


Other locations on the trail include the beach,Aberdeen Harbour, parks, city centre, shopping centres and golf courses as well as Torry Battery, a known hotspot for watching real dolphins.


Each of the brightly coloured dolphins has been sponsored and then designed by an artist, commissioned from across the UK to create a one-off design specifically for Aberdeen. Mary Butterworth of the Butterworth Gallery at Ballogie was employed as the project’s art co-ordinator.


The finished designs include a pirate, a diver and Spiderman, and dolphins made of mosaics, wool and willow. Artists have also taken inspiration from the sea, trees, birds, space, local industry, the Northern Lights and the media.

Aberdeen is the latest city to benefit from the successful Wild in Art sculpture projects, which have previously seen giant cartoon Gromits in Bristol, GoGoGorillas in Norwich and SuperLambBananas in Liverpool.


Wild in Art specialises in mass-appeal public art events and local people will be encouraged to become tourists in their own city over the summer.


Trail maps are available from shops, libraries, community centres, hotels and other attractions and a smartphone app can be downloaded, which includes incentives and rewards for visitors who scan different Wild Dolphins on their phone.