Art collectors, bear enthusiasts, businesses and individuals are being offered the chance to bid for one of The Big Sleuth bears in Birmingham on Thursday 12 October.
The Big Sleuth, presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art, has won the hearts and minds of everyone in Bear-mingham and beyond this summer, after bringing the streets alive with colour and activity as colleagues, friends and families have taken to the streets to discover the bears.
Following The Farewell Weekend, from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 October, a public event to say a fond farewell to all the stunning bears on The Big Sleuth main trail at Eastside City Park, Birmingham. Ninety-one of The Big Sleuth bears will head to Birmingham’s Thinktank to be auctioned off by Fieldings Auctioneers to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
Creative designs using an array of colours, textures and ideas have come from celebrities and artists, including the very well respected artists Temper and Reuben Colley, pop-rock star Bradley Simpson from The Vamps, actor Adil Ray A.K.A Citizen Khan, Birmingham Bears and England cricketer Chris Woakes, adventurer Bear Grylls, and a special Peaky Blinders bear endorsed by the show’s writer Steven Knight.
Each striking sculpture tells a different story, whether it is raising awareness of the children’s hospital, the plight of the sun bear, celebrating a community, the city’s industrial heritage or a famous film character or artist. The project’s predecessor The Big Hoot, raised over £500,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and The Big Sleuth is aiming to exceed this target.
Bidding for each bear is expected to start in the region of £6,000, with hot contenders such as Intrepid Bear and Peaky Blinders Bear likely to raise considerably more.
The organisers have announced that the pre-auction online bidding is now officially open – meaning those interested but can’t make the event will still have the chance to take home their favourite.
Artist Temper, aka Arron Bird, is widely recognised as one of the most successful and talented graffiti artists of his generation. His owl, Re-Tail owl, sponsored by Retail BID, produced the highest bid at The Big Hoot auction in 2015, selling for an incredible £18,000!
The Big Sleuth organisers are thrilled to have two Temper bears at the auction this year, both Window Shopping Bear and Intrepid Bear will be available to bid for by collectors, individuals and businesses at Thinktank. Other hot contenders include the public’s favourite Sweet William, Jungle Jenny and Peony Passion.
Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We can’t bear-lieve that after months of sleuthing fun, The Big Sleuth is coming to an end! We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the response our bears have had over the past few months and how much joy they’ve brought to tourists, residents, families and children.
“We would like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of this bear-illiant project, including our wonderful artists and sponsors! We’re hoping kind-hearted sleuthers, including businesses and individuals, will buy the bear-utiful bears back so we can keep them in our region as a lasting memory, as well continue to make children smile by raising much-needed funds for the 90,000 children our hospital cares for each year!”
Organisers have announced that the online bidding site is now live, and are encouraging those interested in buying back a bear to register their bid ahead of the auction to secure their chances.
If you’ve spotted a bear you want to give a home to, visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk/auction, to place an online bid visit https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/fieldings-auctioneers-ltd/catalogue-id-srfi10075