Boots has been at the heart of Nottingham’s community for almost 170 years, and this summer, we’ve partnered the Nottingham Hoodwinked programme.
Between July and September, as part of the initiative, Nottingham has been decorated with a trial of 33 robin sculptures which are all placed across the city. These are all based on an identical mould but each one will be unique, designed and painted by different artists.
In support of the programme, we created the ‘Roots of Boots’ robin (pictured), which was hand painted by artist, Julia Allum to reflect our heritage in Nottingham by incorporating beautiful plants and flowers into the design which were used in some of our products when Boots was just a small herbalist store.
Our robin can be found on the corner of Pelham Street and High Street in the city centre, which is also the former location of our very first department store.
At a launch event last week, Elizabeth Fagan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots, said: “Over the summer, we’re all looking forward to seeing thousands of families, young people, tourists, and the city’s residents, flocking to come and take part in the trail, and see all of the beautiful robins that have been created by a very talented group of local artists.
“We have long believed that to read and learn is one of life’s great pleasures, and that it’s something everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy – as a teacher in a previous life – I agree! That’s why the Education Programme for Hoodwinked is so important for us to support and partner. We want to continue to use our unique heritage to continue this important work and the legacy that Boots had in literacy to improve access to reading and literacy for all.”
The education programme for Hoodwinked that Boots partnered has brought the Robin Hood legend to life in the city’s primary schools offering thousands of children novel literacy and art activities around the legendary stories.
It has also inspired Nottingham schools to decorate bespoke BookBenches, which will be displayed as part of the sculpture trail throughout the summer, and will then be returned to the schools as a permanent reminder of their involvement in Hoodwinked. We have also worked with Hoodwinked to provide each school taking part with an education pack filled with creative ideas and rich learning resources aligned to both the National Curriculum and Arts Award, and including heritage material from the Boots archive.
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.
*Image credit: Joseph Raynor, The Nottingham Post