After bringing a summer of colour and creativity to Ipswich, the Big Hoot Ipswich art trail ended in style with the Big Hoot auction which has raised £163,590, with proceeds going towards independent Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice.
The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 art trail 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 which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town.
Taking place on Wednesday 12 October, at the Grand Hall, in Ipswich Town Hall, the auction saw trail fans and keen bidders come together to celebrate the art trail, as the owl statues went under the hammer before finding their forever homes.
Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “What a hoot we have had and what an ‘owltastic’ way to bring the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 to a close with the auction and a fantastic sum raised for the hospice.
“We are so grateful for the warm welcome the Ipswich community gave our hoots, throughout the summer, and we would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all the people and organisations who supported and engaged with the trail.
“All the awareness and funds raised, by the whole trail and the auction, will make such a difference to the hospice, as we continue to develop our services to support more people living with progressive and life limiting illness in East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.”
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.
Proceeds from the auction, which was conducted by Clarke and Simpson, will go towards St Elizabeth Hospice and its services which provide care free of charge to those living with progressive or life-limiting illness throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
Belinda Logan, who was the winning bidder on the Big Hoot – Feeling Hoot, Hoot, Hoot! – said: “I am currently receiving care from the hospice so I really wanted to support the charity. I only have a short amount of time left but I wanted to leave a legacy for my family and to show our gratitude to the phenomenal hospice team.
“Anything we ask for the hospice team deliver. They have taken the fear out of what is a very scary time.
“I was too poorly to attend the auction tonight so I took part online, bidding from my hotel nearby, but when I saw I had won, I dashed down to see our Hoot and it is an amazing feeling – I am so pleased. ‘Feeling Hoot, Hoot, Hoot!’ will have pride of place in our family garden for years to come.”
Sarah Edwards, St Elizabeth Hospice nurse and the artist behind the design of the Ipswich Town Football Club themed Hoot – ‘Towny Owl’ – which sold for £15,000, added: “I am absolutely amazed. I never expected ‘Towny Owl’ to raise such a fantastic sum for the hospice.
“I really am gobsmacked and emotional, as the funds raised will support our fantastic team and the brilliant hospice as we support our local community.”