Thursday, 8 October 2015

Journeys # 8 - The Big Hoot

I am really missing the owls from the Big Hoot now they have all but disappeared from Birmingham city centre.  I got used to seeing them on my journeys to work this summer and they seemed to move about too, the crafty things.  There were 89 owls and 122 owlets altogether and not only in the city centre but dotted about the burbs of Brum too. It was an amazing concept bringing lots of owl spotters to the city (residents and vistors) all attempting to complete the trails and take the photos of every single one. 

I did not attempt the trail myself and surprisingly did not take many photos either rather taking them for granted on my hurried journey to work and now they are gone I really wish I had taken the time to photograph more of them. As an homage to them though here is my own version using one of the rail tickets on one of my journeys to work. 

I did manage to snap this one though.  The Oozells Owl was stood for a while outside No 5 Brindley Place which is the building where I used to work when I worked for BT, working here from 1997 to 2008, the year I left to do my art degree.  BT vacated the building back in 2012 and it's now occupied by Deutsch Bank but what was particularly poignant to me was the painting of Ikon Gallery painted on the front of the Oozells Owl which is the building where I now work. My former HQ mixed with the latter.  

   It seems I have come full circle.  

On my journey into Snow Hill station on the train I would see this owlet on the roof of the Custard Factory in Digbeth.

And I passed the Wise Old Owl every day standing in front of the New Library

Although the owls have now flown away there is a special farewell to some of the favourites this coming weekend at Birmingham's Eastside City Park next to Millenium Point, before being auctioned on Thursday 15th to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.  As one of the city's biggest ever free public art events The Big Hoot has been a huge success attracting lots of publicity, attention and tourists to Birmingham and offering opportunities for local businesses, schools, charities and local communities to sponsor the owls. The event has also supported the creativity of the artists providing an inspiring relationship between the city and the arts. With the opening of Grand Central station it has been a great summer for Birmingham and I love anything too that puts my home town well and truly on the map endorsing its second city status. Us Brummies are really gonna miss those owls. 

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