The team at Swoffers were busy bees during the island’s second lockdown earlier this year.
While negotiators continued to provide virtual viewings (when restrictions allowed) and used their fleet of vehicles to deliver much-needed food and supplies to the elderly and vulnerable, production assistant Melissa Tostevin swapped her easel for a Golden Guernsey goat.
In a project that will hopefully raise thousands of pounds for Autism Guernsey, 52 local businesses have spent hundreds of hours transforming fibreglass goats into things of beauty. The goats are on display until September in prominent positions around the island. A competition is underway, encouraging islanders to have a selfie taken with each one, and the overall winner will receive an iPad.
An artist who normally spends her free time using oils to paint still life and portraits, Melissa took the opportunity in lockdown to turn the Swoffers goat into Bee-lly (as in Billy!)
‘We got the idea from having worked previously with La Societe Guernesiaise’s Pollinator Project, which looks after Guernsey’s valuable insect population,’ said Melissa.
After giving the goat a golden base coat, Melissa set to work painstakingly painting on hundreds of little hexagons, to create a honeycomb effect. Each one was then topped off with glitter, before adding gold leaf to the horns, hooves and tail. The final touch was handmade clay bees, hand-painted and individualised, with the queen bee – wearing a crown – atop Bee-lly’s head. Creating these was a team effort, alongside Swoffers’ photographer Matt Le Page, who came up with the goat’s name.
‘I’ve been literally covered in glitter for a couple of months now! But we’ve really enjoyed doing it, even though it’s been back-breaking at times,’ said Melissa.
Bee-lly will sit in Swoffers’ window for another month or so and has been proving popular with clients and passers-by. A number of islanders completing the Golden Guernsey Goat Trail have been in to have their photos taken with him.
In September he will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to local charity, Autism Guernsey.
This is not the first such project in Guernsey. Previously the island has seen the creation of technicolor Guernsey donkeys and Guernsey cows, all of which have been auctioned off raising thousands for local charities.
Find out more about the Golden Guernsey Goat Trail on its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GoldenGSYGoatTrail