Fine brush strokes on Steve Slight's airbrushed swan, Gloria

The giant flock of magnificent swan sculptures was decorated by a fleet of talented professional artists in studios across the West Country and beyond.

For a full list of artists and their swan sculptures, with links to their websites, please see the Sculpture Page of this website.

Swans of Wells Artists
An enormous thank to all of the Swans of Wells artists who dedicated weeks, if not months, of their lives to painstakingly decorating their swan sculptures to transform them from identical blank fibreglass creatures into beautiful, contemporary works of art.

We hope you have enjoyed the enormous range of styles and subject-matter of the 60 strong flock. It's a testiment to the artists' talents and vivid imagination that all the swans are so completely different!

Artist Laura Lian (centre) with 'Celestial' and sponsors  Bella Beads
and  Studley Jewellers.  Celestial sponsors also include
The Laundry & Irene Dickson
We all got to know and love the flock over the summer and now that they have left, the streets of Wells, seem decidedly empty!

They looked magnificent displayed in the stunning grounds of the Bishop's Palace for the Swansong Auction Preview weekend and also at the live Swanong Auction where they were inspected one last time before they were bought and flew off to their new homes.

The whole flock of 60 swans (plus The Swanderer!), were enjoyed by tens of thousands of swan fans who used their Swans of Wells trail maps to follow the flock around the giant sculpture trail during the summer holidays!
Please see the Sculpture Page of the website for details of all the swans, their artists and sponsors, with links to artists' websites where available.

Swan artist Ruth Ames-White spent hundreds of hours painstakingly creating her magnificent mosaic swan, Arcus.

Junior Toys in Wells are the sponsors of Arcus, which represents Noah's Ark and the animals who boarded the ancient vessel two by two.

Thousands of tiny mosaics were cut out and stuck individually onto the fibreglass sculpture to create a stunning work of art.

The swan was displayed in the window of the toy shop where it was admired by thousands of swan fans and Wells shoppers over the summer.

There were a number of stunning, airbrushed swans in the flock, including Diamond, painted by SpZero76 and sponsored by Digiprint of Bath, Avalon, created by Sean Sepr and sponsored by the Wells Leisure Centre and Gloria, created by Steve Slight from Joeby's Airbrush Art in Wells and sponsored by Unwin's Funeral Directors.
Steve started his artistic life by painting bike helmets for his friends, and now travels far and wide spray painting incredible images on bikes, trucks, cars, surf boards and even on giant swan sculptures!  

Steve was also responsible for The Swanderer - the swan sprayed a beautiful 'Diamond Silver' to represent the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which was signed by hundreds of residents and visitors to Wells.

The Swanderer was raffled, and was won by a Wells resident - great value for £1!

Shops and business in Queen Street in Wells were joint sponsors of the fabulous Bohemian Rhapsody, the swan which sat proudly and musically at the end of Queen Street - seen here with a keen swan fan, who tracked im down with the help of her Swans of Wells trail map.

The swan was painted by artist Kate Davies, who transformed the blank sculpture into an ode to the group Queen and their famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Bohemian Rhapsody is now enjoying life in her new home in Kent!

Louise having just completed Flight of Fancy for
Clarks Village in Somerset
The famous Clarks Village shopping destination in Somerset sponsored Flight of Fancy, which was painted by Bath artist Louse Rushford from ArtHouse Originals

Flight of Fancy was displayed in a prime spot outside Wells Town Hall where she had commanding views over the ancient Market Place in the heart of the city.

Artist Emma Rose and her Queen's Diamond Jubilee swan, Majesty, sponsored by the 15th century The Swan Hotel, was featured in Majesty magazine.

The magazine is read by Royal family fans around the world, with several copies delivered to Buckingham Palace and a copy is often to be seen on Her Majesty's table.

Majesty was bought by her sponsors at The Swan Hotel in Wells.

Two of the swans in the Swans of Wells flock were completely covered in beautiful mosaic tiles, involving hundreds of hours of painstaking work by their artists.

'Arcus', created by Ruth Ames-White was displayed at Junior Toys and the other was 'Odile-The Black Swan', sponsored by Chubb Bulleid solicitors by talented mosaic artist Kate Rattray (who also decorated lions and pig sculptures in Bath - see here for Kate's amazing video of the creation of Zillion, her Lions of Bath masterpiece!)

Helen Stanfield painting scrolls on
The Crown Hotel's 'The Crown Jewels'

Artist Helen Stanfield, who also painted one of the Lions of Bath, was just the right size of artist for swan-painting!

Helen, seen here painting the fabulous historic scrolls inside the swan's wings, was chosen by her sponsors, the 15th century Crown Hotel and Anton's Bistro in Wells to create a royal, crown-themed swan, which was displayed outside the pub on Market Place, where The Crown Jewels enjoyed great views of the twice weekly Wells Market.

Swan'derful artwork at All Hallows

Pupils at All Hallows school helped artist and sculptor Fiona Campbell to decorate the All Hallows swan sculpture, which was displayed in pride of place by the Bishop's Palace moat.

This was the swan's first day in the art studio where it was transformed into a fabulous work of art! 

Candela is a very popular swan, with so many tactile bits and pieces attached to his fabulous feathered form.

Candela was bought by All Hallows school at the auction, so will be returning home to nest!

Tesco 'Design a Swan' Competition - winner chosen!

Swans of Wells 2012 event sponsors Tesco, launched a major in-store 'Design a Swan' competition for customers and staff to create their ideal swan design for one of the two Tesco sculptures.
Catherine greets shoppers at Tesco, Wells

The competition was won by one of Tesco's customers, Sadie Jayne Smith, and the winning design was transferred on to one of Tesco's two swan sculptures by professional West Country artist, Jane Skuse. 

Catherine welcomed some of the store's 25,000 customers a week as they wheeled their trolleys past her during the course of the summer, along with her store-mate Swan Leek!

Multi-talented Artists
Artists with an amazing range of talents registered to decorate swans. 

Some are photographers, others are painters, illustrators, textile and prop designers.  Some have wild, 3D ideas involving fibreglass and metal-work additions, while others adorned their swans with shells, ceramics and jewels and even projected photographic images onto their sculptures (Narcissa), so you can be sure to find an amazing variety of dramatic and skillful works of art on display in England's smallest city this summer.
Artist & illustrator Kate Rhodes creating
"Swan Leek", one of the "Tesco Pair"
The giant avian flock has brought fun, colour and contemporary art to the streets of Wells in 2012, bringing a smile to the faces of thousands of residents and visitors alike as they follow their Swans of Wells trail maps tracking down he fabulous creations across the city and beyond.

The Swans of Wells 2012 national media launch was a great success and received coverage on the BBC & ITV news, magazines and papers across the West Country and beyond.  The event has been featured in magazines, newspapers, TV and radio all over the UK and even in Australia, where a story about the Swans of Wells was broadcast on ABC radio.

The swans will were all auctioned to raise funds for local charities.  A Swans of Wells Trust has been set up to distribute the funds to local projects and charities.  To apply for a grant application form, please email

Swan Artists include:

Adam Calkin, Ann Baber, Becky Peabody, Bhari Long, Candace Bahouth, Charlotte Moore, Chris Taylor, Dave Bain, Edward Rowe, Emma Rose, Erica Sharpe, Fiona Campbell, Greg Stobbs (Squirl), Heidi Lee-Sperring, Helen Stanfield, Helena Howcroft, Ian Marlow ARBS, James Mark Long, Jane Bowe, Jane Skuse, Jason Nosworthy, John Gould, John Yeo, Julia Davey, Kate Davies, Kate Rattray, Katy Rhodes, Keith Hopewell (SPZERO76), Laura Lian, Lila Streether, Linda Green, Lisa Wooding, LOCH NESS/Salem Abbas, Louise Rushford, Maria Silmon, Mary Griese, Paul Golding, Ruth Ames-Whyte, Sam Charles Hodgson, Samuel Lindup, Sarah-Jane Grace, Shaun SEPR, Steve Slight, Sue Allen,Tessa Farlow, Tanys Pullin, Tony Hitchcock

Photographic Competition - entries now closed

The lucky winners received free entry to the event and a range of other prizes including a photographic course, a wire sculpture workshop, swan souvenirs, free membership of the Royal Photographic Society and RPS certificates.


The Palace swans, which have patrolled the 13th century palace moat for centuries, can sometimes be seen ringing a bell by the gatehouse for food, a technique the daughter of a 19th century Bishop taught her favourite swan 200 years ago and has been handed down over the swan generations ever since!  

Swans of Wells prototype with real swans about to ring the bell behind.