One of my oldest and dearest friends, Stephen McKay - whom I first met at the Sheffield DWAS Local Group in January 1981 and who had been a wonderfully kind person to know in my life ever since - has recently contributed to an art event in Birmingham which has been running over the summer. His creation - an owl called Dr Whoot (as featured in the new "DWM") - will be going on auction in October to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital. And the amazing work done at children's hospitals everywhere is a cause that I'm very keen to support whenever I can.
As such, I wanted to draw attention to the event and to spread the word to ensure that as much money as possible is raised for this. Here is the press release ... and if anyone with better social media skills is able to spread the word, that would be deeply appreciated.
“Owls are Cool”
Reports of an owl-shaped TARDIS have been flying in from commuters travelling to and from Birmingham City Centre as The Big Hoot takes flight.
Life-long Doctor Who fan and artist Stephen McKay piloted his latest creation from his studio in Liverpool through time and space to Birmingham’s Snow Hill Station earlier this year but something went wrong with the chameleon circuit and ‘Dr Whoot’ materialised as half-police-box, half owl.
But the feathery time traveller isn’t alone – the five foot sculpture is only one of 89 owls currently lining Birmingham’s streets, parks and open spaces, all of which have been turned into a virtual aviary.
The Big Hoot, presented by public art specialists Wild in Art, in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, has been taken firmly under Birmingham’s wing, with visitors flocking from far and wide to explore the city’s rich cultural offerings and complete The Big Hoot trail.
The owls will continue to inhabit the city until Sunday 27 September before being sold to collectors and businesses at Thinktank science museum in Birmingham on Thursday 15 October.
Stephen McKay created Dr Whoot as a labour of love and is really pleased that it has proven so popular with the many visitors tracking down the owls on Birmingham’s Big Hoot Trail. “My sculpture has taken me back in time to the Doctor Who conventions and events I attended in Birmingham back in the 1980s. My partner and I had a great day out in Birmingham last week – we photographed 30 owls as we walked round the city and I insisted we visit the old Central Library where I met Patrick Troughton (who played the second Doctor) and Bonnie Langford (who played Mel, companion to Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy's Doctors) back on 1 May 1986 during a Doctor Who themed ‘Keep Birmingham Tidy’ Event. Looking back at the photos, maybe my chameleon circuit is also in need of an overhaul.”
The bidding for each owl is expected to start in the region of £3,000-£5,000, with favourites such as Dr Whoot expected to raise considerably more.
If you think you could provide a permanent place in time and space for Dr Whoot, visit http://www.thebighoot.co.uk/auction or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS
You can follow The Big Hoot on Twitter @thebighoot2015 and use the hashtag #TheBigHoot2015.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital
0121 333 8506 ext 6713
Wild in Art
The Big Hoot is the latest mass participation public arts event from Wild in Art, who famously attracted worldwide headlines with a similar event in Bristol, the ‘Gromit Unleashed’ project in 2013. The project saw 42% of trail tourists visiting from outside the city, with £3.8 million raised for Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Wild in Art is one of the leading creative producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events. From parades of elephants in Melbourne and crashes of rhinos in Sydney, to BookBenches in London and Commonwealth Games Clyde mascots in Glasgow, Wild in Art events have animated cities and enthralled people the world over, raising over £6m for charity partners along the way.
Wild in Art also provide unique art education resources which engage and inspire young people and enhance learning across the curriculum.
Wild in Art 2015 events include: GoGoDragons (Norwich, UK), The Big Hoot (Birmingham, UK), The Baron’s Charter (Salisbury and Lincoln, UK).
The Big Hoot is supported by presenting partners LDC and Fort Dunlop, and a host of corporate sponsors, including Lloyds Banking Group, Pertemps Network, Harrow Green, CrossCountry, The Schools of King Edward VI, Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post and Free Radio plus many more.