Where are the Big Hoots now?

From Skool’s Owt and Owl Hands On Deck, through to Frida K’Owl’o and Frutti Hooti, the much-loved Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 art trail brought colour and creativity to Ipswich in 2022, while helping to raise vital funds for the independent Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice.

Held in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, the Big Hoot 2022 saw 50 ornately decorated owl sculptures, featuring a range of individual designs from national and local artists, make Ipswich their home for the summer as part of the biggest free art event in Suffolk.

The sculptures were then auctioned in October 2022 where, alongside accompanying Big Hoot fundraising activities throughout the summer, they helped raise over £270,300 for St Elizabeth Hospice.  Now, just over one year on, the hospice team have caught up with a few of the Hoots and their owners, to see how they are enjoying their new homes.

Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We cannot believe it is over a year since the Big Hoot Auction brought the art trail to an official close in style.

The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 was a fantastic success for both the town and St Elizabeth Hospice and the whole hospice team loved seeing the community’s reaction to the trail and the brilliant range of creative designs on our sculptures.

“That is why we wanted to share an update on where our Hoots are now calling home. We are hoping to have another art trail for 2025, so watch this space for more details!”

Since being auctioned for the charity, the Hoots can now be found in locations across East Anglia and beyond, such as Owl Hands on Deck which joined the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ team.

Georgina May, from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “Owl Hands on Deck has been a delightful addition to our team, looking out across the gate to Fred. Olsen House and welcoming everyone who visits – alongside our Elmer’s Big Parade statue!

“Our wonderful Hoot has also been out on the road! Having taken a trip to the Excursions 2023 show with the wonderful members of our Sales Team, where he met hundreds of people and became an engaging and exciting talking point.

“We love to support our local community and being an employer within Ipswich, it felt only natural to support a cause that is so important to many of our colleagues, as well as many members of the local community.”

While, Robert Bates who purchased the Frida Kahlo inspired Big Hoot, Frida K’Owl’o, which now has pride of place in his home, added: “The Big Hoot really benefitted the local community and did a lot of good. We loved how popular the art trail was and we really enjoyed walking around the town to see the many sculptures and their designs.

“All the designs were great pieces of work and our very own Frida K’Owl’o certainly creates a reaction when people come to our home!”

The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 was the third art trail brought to Ipswich by St Elizabeth Hospice in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, following the success of Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019.

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