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‘Owl Tell You a Story’ – owl sculpture for the Big Hoot Art Trail in Ipswich 2022

From 19th June to 3rd September 2022, St Elizabeth Hospice, brought a Wild in Art Trail to Ipswich, following the successes of Elmer’s Big Parade in 2019 and Pigs Gone Wild in 2016. The 2022 trail has fifty individually designed Big Hoot owls placed around Ipswich for everyone to see and enjoy.

Emma Graham designed and painted ‘Owl Tell You a Story’, a literary themed owl, sponsored by The Hold and which sits outside the Suffolk Records Office, near Ipswich Waterfront.

She said, 'The initial design is done on an A4 template then submitted for selection,

but when the large blank owl arrives in the studio, it is a wonderful new canvas to work on. '

I scale up from my basic design and all the space means I can add lots of details. I wanted to portray the beauty of books, the stories they hide between their covers, the magic, fun, and places we can be taken by words.

The sculpture is a fun pun, playing on words, titles and authors’ names. I lost count of how many puns there are, and thinking of what to use led to midnight ideas. Some have local links, some are just silly; ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ by Edward Lear, Treasures from Sutton Hoo by Gareth Williams, ‘Theory of Relativity’ by Owlbert Einstein, ‘Practical Owlchemy’ by A U Gold, ‘Robin Hoot’ by A N Outlaw, even the wonderful Cressida Cowell – children’s Laureate kindly gave permission.’

Once the trail is over all the owls will go up for auction and all money raised will go to the wonderful St Elizabeth’s Hospice in Ipswich.

Emma Graham

Emma is a children’s book illustrator based in Shotley Gate, Suffolk, you can see more of her work at

Twitter @emmagrahampics

Instagram @emma_graham_illustrations

Editor's note: you may also have seen Emma's other wonderful owl, with an Egyptian theme: Hoot-an-khamun.


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