"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 16 October 2015

Big Hoot Owls - Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1 - the remainder of the Big Hoot Owls.

Through New Eyes

The design features day to day events of inner city wildlife through the eyes of an owl.

Wise Old Owl

Design inspired by the new Birmingham Library.

Skyline 2015

Inspired by the City of Birmingham itself including some of the new and old buildings.

Big Brown Inky Owl - another of my favourite owls.

Inspired by animals living within woodlands - designs are similar to those you might find in a classic children's book.

Fit Cap Wisely

The design represents pride in the community of the Yardley area of Birmingham. FITCAP stands for Fitness in the Community and Active Play and emphasises the importance of activity for health and wellbeing.

The Owl and the Pussycat Went to Sea

features the story of Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat".


The artist Temper is widely believed to be one of the most successful and talented graffiti artists. The feathers on this owl form a business suit.


An owl turned into a friendly lion.

Bejewelled Owl

Inspired by natural wildlife patterns showing the owl's majesty and beauty via pattern and shape imitating the enamelled jewellery made in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.

Ozzy's Owl

Co-designed by the Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne.


Textures and colours inspired by birds and animals from around the globe.

New Street Flyer

This Owl was inspired by and celebrates the recent opening of the new New Street Station in the City Centre.

Tick Tock

This owl represents the beating heart of Birmingham and the wonders of the mechanical age and industries.

Bob the Bat

A giant bat - nocturnal like the owls.

Percy Pertemps

This owl pays tribute to the workforce of Birmingham and to the West Midlands company Pertemps.

The Ship

Another owl where the design links to The Owl and the Pussycat poem showing a fairytale ship sailing at night.

Wise Owl

Inspired by Cloudgate by British artist Anish Kapoor.

Dr Whoot

No explanation necessary really for this one (inspired by Dr Who and the Tardis).

The Graduate

This academic owl celebrates success of young people in the city and the role of the education system in inspiring the young.


represents love, migration, heritage and a sense of home.

Jewellery Owl

features the Jewellery Quarter and its history.

Ahoy Matey

A pirate owl inspired by the Golden Age of Piracy.

Unity Within Diversity

Features patterns and symbols from across the country.

Nature's Growth

Celebrates Birmingham as the first British City to participate in the "biophilic" Global Network pledging to help city dwellers get closer to nature and wildlife.

Spotting and Jotting in Birmingham - what a great Owl :)

This owl features wild birds seen around the city.

Saltley Stories

This design is inspired by the artists Graham Perry's pottery and reflects the community and its connection with the environment.

Tropic Owl

Features animals from Twycross Zoo and marks the zoo's work in conservation and education.

The Sutton Coldfield Owl

Inspired by the beauty of Sutton Coldfield - the local area of the artist who painted this owl.


Inspired by University College, Birmingham - one of Europe's leading colleges in vocational courses.

The Owl and the Pussycat

A further owl inspired by Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat".

Active Owl

celebrates the 24 hour Wellbeing Service and promotes the importance of nature and outdoors.

Apologies for the huge amount of photos - didn't realise I had taken so many and just how many owls there were!!



Owl by Night

Covered in mirrored mosaic and seen at its best at night.

Owl of Athena

This owl refers to Greek mythology. The Owl of Athena was the "little owl" who travelled with Athena - the Goddess of Wisdom.


A decorative Egyptian-style owl.

Florence Nightin'owl

A tribute to Florence Nightingale and nurses past and present.

Midnight Hoot

Another owl that glows in the dark.


Celebrates the 250th anniversary of Lloyds bank, founded in Birmingham.


Depicts an Oak tree and birds flying towards Heaven. The design symbolises peace, hope, tranquility and liberty.

The Big Hoot

The face of the Big Hoot brand celebrating creativity and imagination.

Our Happy Hospit-owl

Inspired by children and fundraisers who help make Birmingham Children's Hospital special.


is the name of the 7th century Anglo-Saxon settlement that is now Birmingham. This owl celebrates the various cultures living in the city.

Nearly there!!!

Alf the Penguin Owl - this owl was very popular and constantly surrounded by people so I could only manage a picture of its face.

The design is based on a Gentoo penguin at the Sealife Centre in Birmingham.

Welcome to Birmingham

Inspired by the idea of the changing architecture and landscape of the City.

Selfie (plus Man) - this was another hugely popular owl (everyone was trying to take "selfies") and this is the only photo I could get.

Influenced by the design of the new Selfridge's building and the trend for taking "Selfies"!!


Inspired by Demi Lovato's song "Nightingale" - designed by a student who won a competition by Lloyds Bank to design an owl.

While I was tearing around trying to get photos of all the owls - D was taking his time and creating much better images than me!

Just one more look at my very favourite The Midnight Moth Owl along with Dr Whoot.

I came away with a Midnight Moth Owl sculpture - too expensive to justify treating myself but someone will give it me for Christmas or my birthday! (It too glows in the dark :) )

Not quite all the large owls were present - 3 were Community owls which had been returned to the Communities that created them and a few which had been indoors for the duration of the Trail were housed inside Millennium Point for the Farewell Weekend.

The auction was held last night. In total £508,035 was raised for the Birmingham Children's Hospital which is wonderful news.


Margaret Adamson said...

Brilliant.. So many,now I wonder did you get them all! Have a lovely weekend

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks very much Margaret. I suspect I did miss some as I was going backwards and forwards waiting for people to move away! Have a great weekend too.

Deb said...

The artwork's brilliant and It's so good that they've also raised so much money for such a worthy cause. :-)

SeagullSuzie said...

Thank you for posting all these images...how wonderful. I have friends who work at the hospital and this is a great idea to raise money. We had a similar project here in Torbay with the gorillas.

David said...

One can't help but admire the imagination of the artists and groups whom have designed all these wonderful Owls, it is simply fantastic!

It is so hard to pick just one favourite but like you I do rather like the Big Brown Inky Owl, whilst the Owl of Athena is a bit different.

Wonderful news indeed as regards the terrific amount of money raised for a good cause :-)

Toffeeapple said...

Wonderful, they are so well painted aren't they? I like the moth one as well and would have been tempted by a memento.

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks so much. I too was really impressed with the artwork - all so different and original. They were all painted by different artists - I didn't put too much information in about each owl as it would have taken for ever and a day!!

SeagullSuzie - Thanks very much. Interesting to hear you had a similar project nearby but with gorillas. David Turner mentioned one in Hull with Toads :)

David - Thanks so much - I am so glad we did go and see them because as you say the work put into the art and design was incredible :)

Its hard to pick favourites (well apart from the Moth one which I really did fall in love with!) because they were so good but I tended to like ones with a natural world theme :)

Hopefully, they have also raised money from sales of guidebooks, merchandise and the Farewell weekend too :) One of my children was treated there when, only a few weeks old, and I really was impressed at the time with the wonderful treatment they received along with the huge amount of support we were given as parents. So I have nothing but praise for the hospital.

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much. The condition of them was really excellent considering they had been standing outdoors for months! I'll post a photo of the moth sculpture owl when I receive it later this year :)

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Want one for my parent's garden, they are crazy great!

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks Simon. Would love one here too - until I saw what they went for. £4000+ each!!! Will have to make do with my figurine!!:) Glad you liked them.

Millymollymandy said...

They are all so amazing and I was going to say it is hard to pick a favourite - until I looked at your previous post and I agree with you about Midnight Moths - and I rather like the old phone box one too! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much Mandy. You are right they are so lovely and unique its hard to pick a favourite - well that was until I saw the moth one!! I was beside myself with glee :)

Bovey Belle said...

Those are just AMAZING! Each one SO individual and beautifully executed. My favourite was the Dr.Whoot, but some of the others were just so lavish. They raised an amazing amount for charity too.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much. I am really glad we went to see them. My son's favourite was Dr Whoot too!! :) I wish I had taken more photos of the rear and sides of the owls because they were so beautifully done too.

Chris Rohrer said...

This is really amazing! Look at these owls. I hope you don't mind but I set the Dr. Hoot image as my desktop:) The horizontal one. These are super cool. My hubby LOVES this show! And I love the owl and dr. hoot combo:) Awesome! I'd put one of these in my garden area here.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris for such a lovely comment. So pleased you both liked them so much and feel honoured that you've put Dr Hoot as your desktop :)

Would have loved one in my garden too - but at the auction they were going for £4000 - £15000 approx so a bit out of my budget!!