Wild in Art, the lovely people behind numerous public art events, have taken over Birmingham with a fabulous display of giant painted owls. You may remember in 2013 they did a very popular exhibition with large figures of Gromit the dog, all over Bristol.
Now we have The Big Hoot, taking place in various locations around Brum. I already managed to spot about a dozen owls in the city centre. Here is Jack for starters, by artist Martin Band. Jack is situated by the Hall of Memory in Centenary Square.
There were lots of families out following the owl trail while I was in town. At the most popular spots, people were queuing for their chance to pose with the owls.
This one is Ozzy's Owl, designed by Ozzy Osbourne and Graham Frank Wright. Birmingham is Ozzy Osbourne's home town. I think his owl represents him very well. He's located in New Street, handy for the station.
It's interesting to see how the artists who have painted the owls have drawn on inspiration from the city. The next one is the Wise Old Owl, which reflects the architecture of the new Library of Birmingham. The artists for this one were Kieron Reilly and Lynsey Brecknell. It's outside the library, obviously.
As a side note, on our local news last night there was a report that Birmingham libraries have no money to buy new books! So, we have the biggest public library in Europe, which only opened two years ago at a cost of £189 million, operating on reduced opening hours and unable to afford books! ( I do get incensed by these things.) Apparently some branch libraries around Birmingham are appealing for donations of books published in the last twelve months, particularly fiction.
Anyway, back to owls, with One Giant Hoot for Owlkind, by Vicky Scott. This one recalls the 1960s enthusiasm for space travel. It's by St Philips Cathedral.
And just one more for today. Bluey. I adore this owl, in the Great Western Arcade. It looks right at home in the beautifully restored Victorian setting. Bluey is by artist Natalie Guy, and is reminiscent of blue and white china.
I hope to see a few more owls over the summer. They're in the city until September 27th, then will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital. I might put one on my Christmas list!
Do let me know if you're out owl spotting this summer.