Farming’s ‘Banksy’ raises charity money with painted bales

Mickey and Minnie Mouse painted hay bales

© Ken Le Grice

 A farming woman from Scotland has created an eye-catching design with bales inspired by the work of Walt Disney.

Fleur Baxter from Angus, who has acquired the nickname “Balesy” for her work with spray paint and barley straw bales, has created the design at her farm in East Hillhead.

The artist turned her hand to painting to make a light-hearted contribution to the Scottish independence referendum debate back in 2014 and, as a result of the positive reaction, has created a different bale-based design every year since.

Donald and Daisy Duck bales

© Ken Le Grice

“Post-harvest, I’ve made something different – either with a topical slant or a fun ethos,” she says.

See also: Photos: FW readers’ top 5 wedding bales

For 2021, following two difficult years for the country, she’s focused on a positive design.

“Mickey Mouse represents everything that Walt Disney wanted to portray – happiness, fun, dreams, and the ability to bring families together.

“The Mickey symbol has the power to evoke positive emotions and make memorable experiences, thus forming a strong and consistent meaning around the world.

Disney bales in field

© Ken Le Grice

“My main motivation for constructing the artwork is purely to pop a smile on the face of anyone passing by, whether on the school run or daily commute. I love to think I’ve brightened someone’s day.”

Her passion for what she does and for the community is evident in her use of bright colours and attention to detail.

Goofy Disney bale

© Ken Le Grice

“I’ve had hundreds of folks stopping to take a photo,” says Fleur.

“Children love the brightly coloured characters, and the local paper and radio have been out to have a wee look and speak to me.”

Emojis painted on bales

Fleur’s previous bales featured emojis and Minions (below) © Fleur Baxter

Although she enjoys the process and it provides a creative escape, her bales have supported many charities.

“I’ve raised funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, a local food bank and, this year, it’s for Parkinson’s UK.

Minions painted on bales

© Fleur Baxter

“I have a very good friend whose father is terribly ill with the disease, as is one of my late father’s best friends.”

Looking to the future, Fleur has an exciting Christmas display in mind – but she’s planning to keep the theme under wraps until later in the year.

Support Fleur’s fundraising by donating on her JustGiving page

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