Snowy Farr sculpture
Walter 'Snowy' Farr MBE (1919 to 2007) was a well-known presence in Cambridge Market Square on Saturdays, when he would collect money for charity.
Snowy Farr dressed distinctively in antique military wear and eccentric hats, and was often accompanied by live animals including mice, cats and a goat. He was awarded an MBE in 1995 in recognition of his fundraising.
A project to commission a work of art in recognition of Snowy Farr's contribution to fundraising and to the city of Cambridge was approved shortly after his death. The brief was for a work that not only celebrated Snowy's achievements but also reflected his character and spirit.
A longlist of artists with relevant experience was compiled, and five artists were invited to develop concept proposals for the design of the artwork. After a public consultation and an assessment of the five proposals, Gary Webb was commissioned to develop a detailed design for the artwork.
In developing his initial idea for an artwork to celebrate Snowy Farr, Gary didn't want to propose "a formal, serious, figurative sculpture like Nelson on a column or Churchill on a pillar". He wanted to make something fun, engaging and memorable for all ages – but especially for children, as Snowy seemed to figure in the imaginations of all who saw him when they were young.
Gary believed this sculpture should be abstract because Snowy was an eccentric English character, and he wanted to emphasise Snowy Farr's instantly recognisable features and colours so that they can continue to bring an extra bit of spark to Cambridge as they did in the past.
The aluminium and bronze sculpture was installed outside the Guildhall, near the site where Snowy Farr collected money for charity, in 2012. It was paid for using S106 developer contributions of £72,400, which could only be used for the commissioning of public art.