Hull to get 50 giant rat sculptures to honor Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson

Hull to get 50 giant rat sculptures to honor Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson

Hull is set to celebrate the legacy of Mick Ronson, the iconic guitarist from David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars, with a unique and artistic tribute. Next summer, the city will be adorned with 50 giant rat sculptures, each standing six feet tall, as part of an arts trail to honor Ronson’s contributions to music and his connection to Hull and East Yorkshire.

Mick Ronson, who was born in 1946, joined the British rock band The Rats in 1966 before achieving fame as David Bowie’s lead guitarist. His work with Bowie on albums like “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” and “Aladdin Sane” left an indelible mark on rock music. Ronson passed away from cancer in 1993 at the age of 46, but his influence continues to resonate.

The giant rat sculptures will be installed across Hull and East Yorkshire in April 2025, with the trail opening to the public in May 2025 for a three-month period. This initiative, known as the Mischief of Rats project, aims to raise up to £250,000 for cutting-edge research into cancer, heart disease, and dementia. The project is inspired by previous successful art trails in the region, such as Larkin with Toads, A Moth for Amy, and Puffins Galore, which collectively raised significant funds for charity.

Rick Welton, one of the project directors, described the Mischief of Rats trail as “the most radical animal sculpture trail yet.” He emphasized the importance of the project in supporting the vital work of The Daisy Appeal, a charity based at Castle Hill Hospital. The Daisy Appeal focuses on advanced detection of cancer, heart disease, and dementia through highly advanced PET-CT scanning techniques.

The sculptures will be auctioned at the end of the trail to raise money for research into these diseases. Organizers are currently seeking businesses to sponsor the sculptures as part of the fundraising efforts. The hope is that the trail will attract thousands of visitors to the region, much like the previous art trails, which have proven to be highly successful.

Artists will be invited to submit designs for each rat sculpture later this year. The project aims to showcase a diverse range of artistic interpretations, celebrating both Ronson’s legacy and the creativity of the participating artists. The sculptures will be strategically placed across Hull and East Yorkshire, creating a vibrant and engaging trail for locals and tourists alike.

Mick Ronson’s connection to Hull is deeply rooted. He grew up in the city and formed the band that would eventually become The Spiders From Mars. As a guitarist, songwriter, arranger, and producer, Ronson played a crucial role in shaping the sound of some of the most influential records in rock history. His collaborations with David Bowie, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and Morrissey are testament to his versatility and talent.

The Mischief of Rats project not only honors Ronson’s musical legacy but also aims to make a significant impact on medical research. By raising funds for The Daisy Appeal, the project will contribute to the development of advanced diagnostic techniques that can save lives. The combination of art, music, and philanthropy makes this initiative a fitting tribute to a musician who left an indelible mark on the world.

As the project progresses, anticipation is building for the unveiling of the giant rat sculptures. The trail promises to be a unique and engaging experience, drawing visitors from near and far to explore the artistic interpretations and celebrate Mick Ronson’s legacy. The sculptures will serve as a reminder of Ronson’s contributions to music and his enduring connection to Hull and East Yorkshire.

In summary, Hull’s upcoming arts trail featuring 50 giant rat sculptures is a creative and meaningful tribute to Mick Ronson, the legendary guitarist from David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars. The project aims to raise substantial funds for medical research while celebrating Ronson’s legacy and the artistic talent of the region. As the trail opens in 2025, it will undoubtedly attract visitors and create a lasting impact on the community.