Photographing the Big Hoot

Artist at work painting in blue

The St Elizabeth Hospice Big Hoot Art Trail is coming to Ipswich this summer and I was honoured to have been approached to act as the official Commercial Photographer for one of the town’s most loved events. It was such a wonderful opportunity to be involved that I Simply couldn’t turn it down.

Ipswich Art Trails

The Hospice Art Trails have become a regular feature in the town (do you remember Pigs Gone Wild in 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade in 2019?) and the siting of the fantastic painted sculptures around the streets bring visitors from far and wide. This year a Parliament of Owls will be roosting in Ipswich, attracting thousands of local families, residents, and visitors to the town, and bringing with them great financial benefit to the local economy.

An event as involved in this Simply doesn’t happen overnight and the planning and preparation has been in hand for months (years in fact) long before it was officially announced in April this year.

Local business

Once the wheels are in motion local businesses are invited to sponsor a sculpture and make it their own. This is such a wonderful initiative to be involved in (and I am very excited to announce that I will be sponsoring my very own Hoot – painted by the super talented Sharon Teague of Outlux) and sponsors can really get involved with the process, from choosing the design and artist they would like to decorate their owl to promoting their involvement and rewarding trail-enthusiasts who tag their sculptures on the official Hoot app.

I have already been on hand to capture images at every stage so far – from the initial arrival of the Hoots, their delivery to the various artists, the painting process, and most recently now they’ve all been painted, capturing them all to be put in the forthcoming brochure.


Everyone has sworn to secrecy ahead of the big reveal and one of the biggest challenges about my role so far has been to take images that I can’t show off straight away! It isn’t often I am commissioned to take photographs that have to stay hidden but equally I have taken just enough to give an idea of the progress being made and a taster of what’s in store.

The Big Hoots

The Hoots are currently being safely stored ahead of their places around town and the official launch on 19th June (more details about the launch and the coinciding sponsored walk can be found here) and I Simply can’t wait for you all to see just how beautiful these owls are. In the meantime do head over to my social media for a sneaky peek at some of the wonderful designs.

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