Last night 91 of the Big Sleuth Bears, which have brought the streets of Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield alive with colour this summer, went under the hammer at the ThinkTank Science Museum.
A grand total of £257,300 was raised in the auction, which will be used to fund Birmingham Children’s Hospital, a great sum to be celebrated at the end of a night of exciting bidding.
— TheBigSleuth (@TheBigSleuth) October 12, 2017
The beauty of the Big Sleuth bears, presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art, is that each striking sculpture tells a different story, whether it’s raising awareness of the hospital’s great work, the plight of the sun bear, celebrating a community, the city’s industrial heritage or a famous film character. The bears celebrate diversity and collaboration of communities.
The creative designs come from contributors across the West Midlands, including well respected artists Temper and Reuben Colley.
Temper is widely recognised as one of the most successful and talented graffiti artist of his generation. Back in 2015, his owl for The Big Hoot produced the highest bid of £18,000. In total, the Big Hoot raised £625,000. This year, Temper’s bear, with built in windows and solar panel, went for a lower sum of £2,800.
In the midst of the excitement last night, the highest sellers turned out to be Buzz Bear, designed by Julie Hallam and sponsored by University of Birmingham, coming in at £9,000 from an anonymous bidder. Peony Passion, produced by Michelle Turton, was a close second, selling for £8,000.
Sweet William, voted by the public as the most popular bear, amounted to £6,100. Peaky Blinders Bear, another favourite, went for £5,900.
Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed with the response to The Big Sleuth Auction, and are thrilled to have raised £257,300 for our hospital’s charity. The money raised will make a huge difference to the 90,000 sick kids our hospital cares for each year and we can’t thank our bidders and everyone involved in the project enough for their support.
“We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the artists, sponsors, schools, buyers and the public for their fantastic support in reaching this figure. Your support has been immeasurable, and we could not have done it without the passion and enthusiasm of all involved.”
Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, added: “It has been an absolute privilege to once again be working with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Congratulations to everyone involved for staging a fun, family friendly art event that all generations enjoyed and from which the whole city benefited – it goes to show that nothing is impossible when there is determination, collaboration and passion! The Big Sleuth will forever leave fond and happy memories of a summer when the bears came to the region and helped Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity continue its invaluable work.”
One of just four standalone children’s hospitals in the UK, Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a world leader in paediatric healthcare with over 270,000 patient visits every year.
It is known for delivering some of the most advanced treatments, complex surgical procedures and cutting edge research. In recent years the hospital’s reliance on charitable giving has increased as the Trust strives to deliver projects that go above and beyond NHS standards. The funds raised last night will surely be a great addition to achieve world class treatment to children in need.
Congratulations to everyone involved with this beautiful project. Be sure to watch the compilation Insta story video of the events as they unfold on our Facebook page.