The artist Rainer Bonk (born in 1945 in Lemgo/Lippe) has traveled with a herd of ultramarine blue sheep across Europe since 2009. The animals, made of polyester, have already pastured in over 150 cities, for example on green artificial turf in front of the Cologne Cathedral, near the Parliament in Strasbourg, and within the Triennale Bad Ragartz. As of spring 2018, they can be viewed at Lake Maggiore in Ascona. The Galleria SACCHETTI is allowing the herd to graze in its idyllic garden until every blue sheep has found a new home.
In his work, Bonk combines artistic creativity with social engagement: “The issue of social values, especially caring, open-minded thinking and acting and social responsibility, is at the heart of my artistic work. My goal is to change awareness through social-ethical questioning” (Website Rainer Bonk).
Every public intervention with the blue sheep is guided by the moto: “Everyone is equal. Each one is important!”. At first glance, the animals give the impression of diversity in terms of their position within the herd. However, on closer inspection, each sheep is exactly like any other. The herd of blue sheep symbolizes peaceful coexistence and appreciation of the other, and stands for tolerance towards ethnic, religious and cultural differences. This message is emphasized by the chosen colour: blue as the colour of the European peace movement.
Part of the blue sheep breeding is made in cooperation with the Duisburg Workshops for Disabled Persons.