The Big Hoot Project

IMG_5518Large owl creations around the city cause a stir in parents and children alike!

What’s this about?

Well, there are now 89 Owl statues located around the City Centre – from  July 20 until September 27.

Creative Producers and Wild In Art, working in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, have combined the creations and efforts of artists, businesses and schools to create a trail of giant and arresting Owl models across the city.
From my observations as a regular city wanderer the children have enthusiastically demanded they be photographed in front of them by their guardians – parents or grandparents.

What a success!

Visit the Big Hoot Trail to see what owls are where.

Following the eyes below is an interesting article about the detail you can find in these works of art. It is written by Forum Committee Member David Foster. 

The eyes have it to the left or right! Owls can do both – and more!

Viewing Instructions:
1. View a larger version of a single image in a separate page – Right Click on the image then Left Click on “Open link in new tab” or “Open link in new window”.
2. Display an enlarged gallery – Left Click on an image – use the large side arrows to move between images – Left Click outside an image or press ESC to close the enlarged gallery.

Article by David Foster OD4A3331

The Big Hoot owls have been a big hit this summer, and we will be able to enjoy them for a few more weeks yet. But have you considered what will happen ‘after the Hoot’?

We know that they will be auctioned on October 15 with the net proceeds going to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital – a genuinely worthwhile cause – it is hoped to raise £250,000. But will the streets and squares of Birmingham feel empty after they have been auctioned; or am I being sentimental?

There are many excellent examples of design. I particularly admired the inventiveness of four Owls with designs based on Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat”, all different. Especially the one in the Bullring which demonstrates that the outline shapes of an owl and a cat are essentially the same.

New Street FlyerAnd then there are subtle details. Is there an authoritative count of the tiny owls on “New Street Flyer” in Victoria Square?






G'owl'dAnd have you deciphered the hieroglyphics on “G’Owl’d” in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery?



But are all these elements sufficiently enduring to justify permanent display?
And would the surfaces survive exposure to our weather and atmosphere?
Who will maintain them? (Moving them into place involved a fork lift truck, I believe.)

No doubt many of the Owls whose creation was supported by companies will be housed by their sponsors. However some of them show local details which ought to be seen by us all. For me the “Oozells Owl” (below), sponsored by Deutsche Bank in Brindleyplace, is a prime example. And others will have their own examples.

See Viewing Instructions above “The eyes have it to the left or right!”

Few of us have the money to acquire and maintain an Owl, but are we prepared to accept the fate of Owls that do not find a permanent home – crushed into hard-core for the new HSBC headquarters building, perhaps?

Although I’m in no position to bid for one myself, perhaps there are enough of us public-spirited residents in the city centre to club together to bid?

Written by David Foster

If you are incensed to join David in a bid or just comment, please do so below.

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