Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Happy Hospit-owl. Photo courtesy Rang-Zeb Rango Hussain

The Big Hoot

Bevali Francis interviews the very talon-ted artist and fellow Hottie writer Cathy Simpson about her recent involvement with Birmingham’s largest public art project to date – The Big Hoot.

Presented by creative producers, Wild in Art, working in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, The Big Hoot has brought businesses, artists, schools and the local community together to create a public art trail of stunning owl sculptures.

With 89 giant owl and a 120 little sculptures to see – each one individually and intricately created by artists from Birmingham and beyond – this ‘owl-spotting’ experience is inspiring fun for everyone and is completely FREE.

Cathy with Percy Pertemps. Photo courtesy Jas Sansi

Cathy with Percy Pertemps.
Photo courtesy Jas Sansi

Cathy was recently commissioned to produce two of the full-sized owls. Percy Pertemps was sponsored by the employment agency, Pertemps; the other was named Happy Hospit-owl and comes under the wing of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.Wild in Art provide the fibreglass owl forms and then each owl is uniquely decorated by an artist.

Cathy’s feathers get quite ruffled when she squawks excitedly about how the project brings together the community.  “It’s amazing how many people become involved – choirs, schools, local businesses are all adopting owls. The local knitting group who created a jumper for The Bull Ring bull have also yarn bombed an owl.

It’s such an incredibly inclusive project and I think it would work so well in Hastings. Imagine an art trail stretching from De la Warr to Rock-a-Nore. It would be fantastic and it could feature a marine-based or a 1066 trail! There is so much homegrown talent in Hastings and so many organisations that could benefit from the promotion and auction of the finished sculptures. It’s brilliant PR for both sponsors and the host town, so it makes sense commercially as well as being a lot of fun! Norwich has recently opened a trail of dragons – and I see that Ipswich has been glancing over its shoulder and is setting up for a trail of pigs next year. Owl bet I’m not the only person who thinks this idea’s a hoot.”

The Birmingham Big Hoot is on until 27th September 2015.

Posted 13:29 Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 In: Public Arts

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