Internationally celebrated graffiti artist Joshua Billingham was one of the first artists to have his work showcased as part of The Big Hoot 2015. His work was on display at this weekend’s Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix at the Alexander Stadium.
Joshua, who goes by the alias of Gent 48, created the design for the Alexander stadium-based athletics club Birchfield Harriers, based on the infallible reputation and history of the club, using a host of archival material to produce the design.
The design commemorates Birchfield Harriers’ world class athletes, with many famous faces including Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Denise Lewis and teenage Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist Matthew Hudson-Smith.
Joshua, whose previous clients have included X-Factor ITV, Jo Malone, Estee Lauder and Aquascutum, wanted the Birchfield Harriers owl to represent its ethnically diverse athletes, something that has been important to the club since its opening in 1877.
After taking over the starting blocks at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix, Joshua’s owl will reappear at Alexander Stadium on Monday 20 July as part of The Big Hoot trail.
Martin Draper, Chief Executive, LDC, who sponsored the owl for the event on behalf of Birchfield Harriers, said: “LDC’s association with Birchfield Harriers and sponsorship of the Junior Development programme forms part of our ongoing pledge to support local promising British talent – a commitment that is of equal relevance to LDC’s role as presenting partner of The Big Hoot 2015.”
Andy Paul, Club Chair at Birchfield Harriers, said: “Birchfield Harriers is delighted to be part of The Big Hoot project and we would like to thank our junior development sponsor, LDC, for donating the Owl to us. The Birchfield Owl will make his first public appearance at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix. I hope everyone will agree that the artist Joshua Billingham has done a fantastic job in reflecting what Birchfield Harriers represents and that all those attending the meeting will come and see him”.
The Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix showcases the best of Britain’s athletes, including Olympic Champions Jessica Ennis-Hill.
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