The Big Sleuth encouraged people from communities across Birmingham to participate in the arts, to be inspired by art and to experience working with professional artists.
Ten sculptures funded by the communities themselves brought to life their neighbourhood’s stories and history. These special bears remain in the communities that helped create them as a lasting legacy.
Creativity is everywhere but the opportunity to participate is often not. The involvement of such a broad range of people has inspired and enriched The Big Sleuth, and has helped promote the arts, the artists, and their critical place in society. Creativity through art can do many things including connecting communities, celebrating diversity and giving people a voice.
When decorating their sculptures some community groups focused on their area’s past while others have looked to the future. A number worked collaboratively with looked-after children and young people, or those attending activities delivered by Birmingham Wellbeing Service. One sculpture was purposefully designed to challenge people’s perceptions and the stigma around mental illness.
The community programme helped to make The Big Sleuth even bigger and better and, thanks to each and every participant, helped to create an event that was truly citywide.