Saltley Stories

The Big Hoot 2015 Owl

The Saltley Stories owl has a tale to tell. He was inspired by The Saltley Stories archive and references artist Grayson Perry's famous pottery. 

The design features phrases in Urdu, Romanian, Hindi and English alongside mehndi patterns, created by local artist Sharonjeet Galsinh, and imagery from sacred geometry.

Lead artist Martin McNally worked with members of the local community to devise the design of the owl 

The design is intended to reflect both the local community and its connection to the environment.

Lead artist Martin McNally, from Reel Access, took all of these ideas and archive materials to create the final design for the owl.

Satley Stories leaves the Reel Access offices to be photographed and appear at the launch event at Fort Dunlop

Thanks to Martin McNally, Sharonjeet Galsinh, Reel Access, Norton Hall, Ward End Park, Birmingham City Council, Big Lottery Fund, Wild in Art and the people of Saltley for their help and support in the creation of Saltley Stories.

Before moving on to his final perch in Ward End Park, the Saltley Stories owl appeared with all the other owls at The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 launch event at Fort Dunlop.

Eighty nine large owls have been created by artists and community groups from across Birmingham and beyond.

Saltley Stories takes up residence in Ward End Park for the duration of The Big Hoot

Over the course of the project thousands of people visited and photographed The Big Hoot owls. 150,000 Big Hoot trail maps were picked up, over 14,000 people became registered users of The Big Hoot Trail app.

And there were over 350,000 owl interactions via the QR codes installed on the owls plinths.

The owls will be auctioned off at a special event at Millennium Point to raise money for the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

The Big Hoot owls will be missed and it's been amazing to see the interaction and love these wonderful pieces of art have received over the last few months. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved in the project and good luck to everyone bidding on an owl.