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'Ink Detective' Bear Sculpture - The Big Sleuth, Birmingham

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Location: Oozells Square, Brindley Place Birmingham 2017.

Birmingham’s big public art trail in 2017 was called the The Big Sleuth and it was my first ever public art sculpture. The sculpture was a Bear and was located in Oozells Square, outside the iconic, Ikon Gallery.

The process

The intricate ink-drawing on this bears design salutes the beautiful patterns found in nature, bringing it, the environment and the bear itself to life. As humans, we sometimes forget that we are just a part of the eco-system and do not actually control it. The phoenix rising from the ashes, but with head bowed in humility, represents our environment in Birmingham.


The reaction from the public

To most people, the word ‘sleuth’ means a private detective, but it’s also the collective noun for a group of bears! Bizarre but true. Birmingham brought both definitions together by bringing the sun bear, the world’s smallest species of bear (now threatened with extinction), to the region for the second free, public-art trail!

The Big Sleuth, presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art, won the hearts and minds of everyone in Bear-mingham and beyond, after bringing the streets alive with colour and activity as colleagues, friends and families took to the streets to discover the bears.

Featured in the press

My bear was featured in the Birmingham mail and multiple times of BBC News

Funds raised from the sale of the bears at auction went towards Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity who fund life-changing initiatives to make a child’s stay in hospital that bit more bear-able.


Name: The Ink Detective Location: Oozells Square, Brindleyplace. Outside the Ikon Gallery Client: Deloitte Materials: Fiberglass sculpture. Base coat spray paint with Posca black patterns. Charity: Birmingham Children's Hospital Related hashtags: #bigsleuthtrail #theinkdetective


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