Celebrated artist Temper is back for The Big Sleuth bears trail

Celebrated Birmingham artist Temper will be creating a sculpture ‘with a twist’ after it was revealed he will be designing one of Retail BID Birmingham’s charity bears for this year’s The Big Sleuth trail.

Retail BID Birmingham, the Business Improvement District for the city centre retail area, is backing The Big Sleuth by sponsoring two of the charity bears and asked Temper to design one of the 165cm tall sculptures.

The Big Sleuth, which takes place between July 10-September 17, and 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.

Temper’s Re-Tail owl, also sponsored by Retail BID, produced the highest bid at The Big Hoot auction, selling for an incredible £18,000.

During a 20-year career in mixed media arts he has received widespread acclaim with sold-out collections in galleries across the UK.

Keen to maintain the suspense leading up to The Big Sleuth, Temper was only prepared to reveal a ‘couple of clues’ about his design for the sculpture.

“I’m blessed that Retail Birmingham asked me to create something so I’ve created a bear called Window Shopping to reflect the retail element,” said Temper.

“She’s a female bear out window shopping. She’s got a great personality and the studio name for her is Bearnadette. It’s our little nickname for her and we find ourselves saying things like ‘Bearnadette’s lying down for some work on her bottom half!’.

“The shape of the bear is great to work with as a piece of sculpture but I’ve decided to modify it a bit. It will have a lot of twists; it’s not a straightforward paint job!

“I’ll give one little clue: she is carrying a shopping bag. There are a couple of other attractions to Window Shopping but I can’t say what they are.”

Temper explains the sense of achievement and fun in taking part in the charity art trails after working on The Big Hoot in Birmingham and Herd of Sheffield elephants trail.

“I take my art seriously but what I enjoy about the owls and bears, and other Wild in Art projects, is that they’re great fun.

“When you do something like this you get a sense of achievement and feel good about yourself knowing you’re helping families at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

“I was fortunate to have a tour of the hospital a couple of years ago and I knew then I will always try to help it.

“During The Big Hoot I saw first-hand kids running up to the owls, excitedly shouting to their moms ‘look at this’. It was beautiful.

“I recently saw my Big Hoot owl ‘in situ’, next to a pool table in a lovely conservatory in a really smart house. He sits there as a part of the family looking like a valid piece of art.

“When the sculptures come away from the trail and are in their final homes, they look like great pieces of modern art. It’s amazing to see.”

Over 200 designs have been submitted for The Big Sleuth by national, regional and local artists, of which up to 100 will now be brought to life, thanks to the corporate sponsors who have helped to put the trail on.

Working in partnership, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art will bring the sculptures to Birmingham for 10 weeks from July 10th, showcasing the extraordinary creativity of some of the most talented artists across the region.

At the end of the free public art trail, which is expected to attract thousands of local, regional and national visitors to the city, the bears will be auctioned with all proceeds once again going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Steve Hewlett, Retail BID Manager, said: “Temper was a knock-out success for The Big Hoot trail and helped to raise thousands for charity while adding his own, unique style of art to the attraction. We’re sure his Big Sleuth bear will prove to be just as popular this summer.”

Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have well-known artist Temper involved in The Big Sleuth, thanks to our friends at Retail Birmingham.

“With the summer fast approaching, we’re getting un-bear-ably excited for The Big Sleuth trail. We’re sure our bears will prove extremely popular and encourage residents and tourists to get active and enjoy being outdoors, exploring the magnificent beauty and heritage of our city.”