Make your bid to own one of the Cotswold Kingfisher Trail statues
- Credit: Russell Sach
Throughout summer young and old alike have had great fun tracking down the 22 giant kingfisher sculptures on the Cotswold National Landscape’s Kingfisher Trail – and learnt more about our rivers and wildlife in the process. Decorated by local artists, the painted birds, measuring 3ft to 5ft, have dazzled, intrigued and made hearts sing as we all emerged from pandemic lockdowns and shared fresh countryside adventures.
Ta-dah! Now you’ve the chance to own one of the fabulous sculptures – maybe add an eye-catching splash of colour to your home, garden or business – because this October the kingfishers are being auctioned, helping to raise money for special Cotswold National Landscape projects. Take a peek at our preview here and visit the Kingfisher Trail website to find out more.
Street artist Peachzz calls her vibrant sculpture Crown of Kingfishers – crown being the apt collective noun for such regally named birds. Inspired by ‘the incredible variety we have within our natural ecosystems’ Peachzz makes the link between local and global environments by merging four types of kingfisher in her piece.
The trail’s crown of kingfishers is teeming with nature-inspired detail from around the Cotswolds. Illustrator and writer Tracy Spiers’ Wait a Minnow raises smiles with its gloriously multi-coloured shoals of fish and playful fishy puns (Any fin is possible!). The elusive kingfisher ‘eats its weight in minnow every day,’ Tracy notes, ‘but it also has to wait patiently in order to catch the fish.’ Katie B Morgan’s Halcyon Days, a fishing creel-carrying kingfisher, is awash with water shrew, water moth, peacock butterfly, stag beetle, pussy willow and frogs. Meanwhile Emma Howell has channelled her local landscape experiences into the design for kingfisher Jaco, as she explains:
‘You will find olive greens taken from the view of Cleeve Hill from my kitchen window; quick coiled paint marks to represent our brisk Cotswold weather; long smooth brush stokes to suggest moments of tranquil; rough pastel textures and meandering pencil contours for the hiking trails close to home, and bold patches of orange, peach and ultramarine to hint at the kingfisher’s fierce resilience.’
A passion for the Cotswolds landscape, its rich patchwork of woods, rivers and fields, and the need to conserve them, lies behind Guy Warner’s Sulis the Kingfisher, named after the Celtic goddess of the thermal waters at Bath. In particular Guy highlights the importance of our water sources: ‘The back of my kingfisher features a river which symbolises the various streams of the Cotswolds’ valleys.’ Russell Haines’ headline-plastered kingfisher Greta, his ‘homage to [environmental activist] Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion,’ makes a stark plea to tackle threats to our environment.
Lockdown is another theme that artists have explored in their sculptures. In her wry and poignant Lockdown Love Bird, Imogen Harvey-Lewis depicts ‘everyman’ figures nestled within a kingfisher’s feathers as they deal with social distancing from loved ones. ‘During the pandemic, nature has been a constant uplifter and delight. My design celebrates our living alongside the natural world,’ she says. Gemma Compton’s Homecoming ‘embodies hope with signs of new life (blooms) and freedom (butterflies/wings) and a homage to a tenacious little bird, a symbol of the resilience and versatility that we have all needed to get through the dark times of this pandemic.’
Each decorated kingfisher is a unique creative response, from recording the extraordinary recent times we have shared to celebrating the diversity of nature and landscapes in the Cotswolds; each giving flight to our own thoughts and imaginings too.
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BID FOR YOUR KINGFISHER!
Inspired by the giant kingfisher sculptures? You’ll find much more about them and the artists’ back stories on the Kingfisher Trail App and website, plus details on how to own one of these beautiful birds: kingfishertrail.org
The Kingfisher Trail 2021 Auction will be held on Thursday, October 21 at the Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham. We are delighted to announce it will be hosted by Simon Chorley of Chorley’s Auctioneers. Prospective buyers will also be able to secure their favourite kingfisher before the live auction with the adoption-option.
There’s also the chance to win the Golden Kingfisher – Guy Warner’s Sulis the Kingfisher, which has spent the summer at Iford Manor Gardens, Bradford-on-Avon. Tickets for the prize draw can be purchased via the Kingfisher Trail App for just £10. Only 500 tickets are available and the golden ticket will win the Golden Kingfisher!
By taking part in the auction you not only have a chance to own a dazzling kingfisher sculpture but also to help benefit local projects because any surplus funds will be dedicated to enabling young people to take part in rural skills experiences across the Cotswolds National Landscape.
Visit the Kingfisher Trail website now to find out more kingfishertrail.org