One of the fun parts of the summer has been wandering round the city seeing all the different owls that are part of the big hoot – an arts and fundraising project for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They disappear from their perches on Sunday and I am disappointed that there has not been an opportunity to see them all but I have loved coming across them in all sorts of random places as I have gone about the city, even when I handed my thesis in!
On Friday I was part of a fascinating conversation about what shapes our interests and desires and I have in my overnight bag a copy of the Owl Service by Alan Garner, a childhood favourite book. The first painting I ever chose for myself was as a student in Brighton and features a barn owl. I am also drawn to explore the idea of wisdom and the saying as wise as an owl is one that sticks with me along with the enormous fun of brownies as a child – led by “owls”. I love tracing back parts of who I am and what I enjoy and being aware of who and what fashioned who I am today sometimes in the same careful way as the artists approached painting their owls.