Sheep Heart tribute goes global

Ben Jackson’s Sheep Art tribute to his late aunt Deb Cowdery has been shared around the world
31st Aug 2021
Janelle Stewart

There’s a saying that a little bit of love goes a long way and this proved to be the case last week for Guyra’s Ben Jackson. Unable to attend the funeral for his beloved aunt Deb
Cowdery, he came up with a unique way of saying goodbye in a way that few others could.
Ben said that his Aunty Deb had one of the biggest hearts of anyone he knew and had always loved his sheep art. Even though he couldn’t be there in person, he still wanted to be part of her farewell.
Working with skills honed during many hours of drought feeding, he laid a trail of grain and filmed his sheep as they joined the line to form the shape of a large white heart.
The video, set to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water”, was his contribution to the funeral service. Ben watched the service via a live stream where the video was first played, later sharing it to social media. 
Since then it has ‘cruised around the world’ after being picked up by multiple media outlets.
“I did it for the funeral so it could be played there as my way of saying goodbye,” he said.
“It was pretty darn moving and a bit unreal watching from home and seeing it played for the first time.”
“When I posted it online I thought it might get a run on the local news if I was lucky, but last week everywhere you looked it was popping up and people were sharing it.
“I’d like to think that Aunty Deb has been watching and peeking through the clouds. I know she would have loved it and I think she would be amused to see that it has ‘gone a bit feral’ on the internet as she used to say.”
Ben has found himself in demand and has been interviewed by media outlets from all over Australia and worldwide. It started with the Weekly Times and since then he has done around 15 interviews for TV, radio and newspapers. No one was more surprised than Ben to find himself fielding calls from the BBC and the Washington Post.
While he doesn’t know the exact number of hits, he estimates it has now been viewed by 10s of millions of people worldwide. It received a kick along when Russell Crowe shared it and was liked by celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Michelle Pfeiffer.
“The response has been overwhelming really and it is like the whole world is giving me and my family and a big virtual hug,” Ben said.
“It got a bit out of control and to be honest it has been very emotionally draining, but it is also very humbling.
“I think it just hit the mark because there are a lot of people out there just like us who have lost someone and are grieving.
“We’re not Robinson Crusoe, we are just another family doing it tough and not being able to spend time with the people that we love at the moment.”