The Hoodwinked sculpture trail is a mischievous twist on the tale of Robin Hood, Nottingham’s infamous outlaw and master of disguise. For 12 weeks this summer, there will be a flock of quirky and colourful Robins hiding from the outlaw’s arch-enemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham, in the city’s streets and shopping centres. Each sculpture is sponsored by a business and has been painted individually by an artist.
One of the Robins will appear in the ultimate disguise – as the dastardly Sheriff himself. He will stand guard outside Nottingham Castle throughout the trail, from 7 July to 30 September.
This avian depiction of the Sheriff has been designed and painted by Jodie Silverman, the Manchester-based artist who also created the original Robin Hood version of the Hoodwinked sculpture.
The Hoodwinked trail also includes more than 50 BookBenches created by local primary schools through the Robin’s Tales education programme, supported by Boots. Trail followers will find the benches in intu Victoria Centre, intu Broadmarsh and Central Library as well as in 18 neighbourhood libraries and leisure centres.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities, said:
“In preparing for this unique trail we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support of businesses, the astounding talent of the artists and the wonderful creativity of our city’s schoolchildren. Now it’s time to unveil the trail to Nottingham and the world!
“The Hoodwinked trail is a great activity for schools, a brilliant treasure hunt for all the family during the summer holidays, an attraction for tourists and a fresh way for students to find their way round their new city. We hope that many thousands of people will take this opportunity to get out and about while enjoying the company of our 33 Hoodwinked Robins and admiring 55 beautiful BookBenches.”
Trail maps will be available from various outlets including the Tourist Information Centre, Boots stores, intu shopping centres, libraries and leisure centres. There will also be a Hoodwinked 2018 app to download, giving access to special offers as each sculpture is visited and ‘unlocked’ with a code. Souvenir guides will be available to buy from the Tourist Information Centre in Smithy Row.
The trail will also raise money for the Hoodwinked charity partner, Nottinghamshire Hospice, through fundraising activities and an auction of the sculptures in October.
Rowena Naylor-Morrell, Chief Executive Officer of Nottinghamshire Hospice, said:
“The Hoodwinked project has reached a key milestone in going ‘live’. Our partnership working with Wild in Art, sponsors and Nottingham City Council has been fantastic and together we are bringing 33 amazing modern masterpieces to the streets of Nottingham.
“Our patients and their families have enjoyed designing artwork and painting the ABSN sculpture, and the proceeds from the auction will make a real difference to our ability to continue to care for them. I hope our communities have fun, feel joyful and smile as they explore the amazing Hoodwinked trail – there really is a twist and reward in every stop on the trail!”
Hoodwinked is led by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art events through the creation of uniquely-painted sculptures.
Ben Reed, Head of Creative Development at Wild in Art, added:
“Hoodwinked celebrates the city’s people and places, and together with the Council and Nottinghamshire Hospice we’re proud to have helped bring businesses, artists, schools and communities together to make it happen.
“A showcase for the power of creativity, the colourful art trail promises fun-filled days for residents and visitors alike. We can’t wait for everyone to start discovering the spectacular Robins and BookBenches, and sharing the magical stories the artwork inspires.”