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Artists encouraged to join Big Hoot 2022 art trail

St Elizabeth Hospice is calling on artists to submit their creative designs for the owl statues of the Big Hoot art trail being held in Ipswich next summer.

After much excitement and intrigue, in May St Elizabeth Hospice revealed the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 will be the latest art trail to be held in the town in partnership with creative producers, Wild in Art.

As part of the Big Hoot, between June and September next year, 40 ornately decorated owl sculptures, featuring designs celebrating all things Suffolk, will be scattered throughout Ipswich showcasing the wealth of artistic talent of the county and beyond, as part of the biggest free art event in Suffolk which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town.

Now the hospice is calling on artists from far and wide to submit their creative designs for an expert panel to review, ahead of a special matchmaker event in January which will decide the final designs to decorate the Big Hoot statues for the magical trail in 2022.

Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Since announcing the Big Hoot will be coming to Ipswich in the summer of 2022 we have had a great response from the public and local businesses in pledging their support and saying how excited they are for the art trail to come to the town.

“Now we are calling on artists to showcase their talents and creative ideas to design the all-important hoots which will bring joy and colour to Ipswich. The designs can be of any theme, but we are really keen to celebrate Suffolk and have bright, positive designs for all to enjoy after the difficult times brought by Covid-19 over the last year.

“In past trails we have had travel and hospice themed designs through to Elmer elephant statues decorated with wellington boots. So we are keen to receive designs featuring a diverse range of ideas and look forward to seeing what great artwork will be submitted to ensure our trail really is a hoot for everyone.”

The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 is 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.

Artist entries are open to submission from June to 15th October, with the first hoot statue design already announced during the reveal of the Big Hoot 2022 earlier this year.

Designed by Suffolk artist Angie Ashford, the first ‘Big Hoot’ – A Hoot to Suffolk – design features the oxlip, a flower synonymous with Suffolk, entwined among scenes from around the county, encapsulating the beauty of the area where St Elizabeth Hospice supports more than 3,000 patients and their families every year.

All artists whose designs are selected will receive £900 and will be provided with guidance from the hospice team during the process of painting and varnishing their hoot statue, to help cover costs of paint and their time.

As well as this they will have the opportunity to take part in an event which will raise awareness and funds for the hospice while also encouraging more people to visit Ipswich town centre.

With Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, and its subsequent statue auction and accompanying fundraising activities, generating more than £260,000 for the hospice. While Pigs Gone Wild is estimated to have brought an extra £1 million to Ipswich’s economy through increased visits and spending in the town, as 250,000 people completed the art trail in the town.

Sarah Edwards, who is a nurse at St Elizabeth Hospice’s inpatient unit in Ipswich and also designed and painted Thirty Ears – The Harey Mammoth which featured in the hospice’s Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019, said: “From the interaction with my fantastic sponsors and the feeling of pride seeing my sculpture in the town centre through to being a part of the media coverage, meeting other artists and attending social events associated with the trail, I just loved every minute of being a part of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk.

“Also, it was fantastic to witness the people of all ages taking delight in visiting the trail in Ipswich and it was great to see the town centre ‘buzzing’.

“One of the most rewarding aspects however, as a nurse at the hospice, was recognising and understanding how vital the money generated from this amazing project was in continuing the very important work the hospice provides to the community and also in raising the hospice’s profile.

“I would thoroughly recommend anyone ‘arty’ or with a passion for being creative to get in touch and submit a design, being a part of such a vibrant and celebratory art trail is something you will never regret!”

For more information about the Big Hoot 2022 visit thebighoot.co.uk or to submit a design for a Big Hoot statue visit thebighoot.co.uk/artists/.

St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Centered on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.

To find out more about St Elizabeth Hospice call 01473 727776 or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.