Award-winning Birmingham artist Reuben Colley will be transferring his fine art onto a 3 Dimensional sculpture for the first time, after it was revealed he will be designing one of this year's The Big Sleuth bears.
The Big Sleuth, so named because sleuth is the collective noun for a group of bears, is the highly-anticipated sequel to The Big Hoot, which attracted more than 800,000 visitors in 2015 and raised over £625,000 in total for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.
During his 20-year career, Reuben has become a well-respected artist in the Birmingham area and is now set to make his mark on the city once again with this unique project which gets its paws into the region from 10 July.
Reuben grew up in Birmingham within sight of the Aston Expressway and is now celebrated for his gritty Birmingham cityscapes. He describes designing this bear as a nostalgic process for him.
“I chose to paint this landscape on the bear as if the bear was actually there, and the painting is a reflection of its surroundings.
“Areas of scrubland amongst the city always gives me a sense of freedom. It demonstrates there is still a part of the city which hasn't been tamed, a reminder of childhood and a brief return to nature. Yet at the same time the Aston Expressway forms a continuous loop around the bear, never ending and inescapable.”
The bear, named Xt as a reference to a piece of graffiti which appears in the painting, is sponsored by relocation specialists, Harrow Green.
Xt will also be printed as a limited edition landscape painting with just 50 available to buy and a percentage of all sales donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Reuben has been so touched by the charity, he has also donated his artist fee straight back into the fundraising pot.
Presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, The Big Sleuth will see up to 100 beautifully designed bear statues appearing throughout the region over a 10-week period this summer with satellite trails in Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and also at Resorts World.
Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity said: “It’s an honour to have such an incredibly talented and renowned artist such as Reuben involved in The Big Sleuth. It is really important to us at Birmingham Children’s Hospital as we know it will encourage residents and tourists to get active, enjoy being outdoors and explore parts of city they may not have been to before. We also hope to raise over half a million pounds at the auction to support the pioneering work we do here every day.”
Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art said: “Our public art projects have a proven track record of increasing community engagement and were excited that through The Big Sleuth residents and visitors alike will get to discover the city through this visually stunning artistic trail.”
For more information about the project, please visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk