Jungle City 2011

The hornbill in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Balfron children created a ‘Greek Thomson’ hornbill for the Edinburgh 2011 Jungle City.

Children from local community art group Friends of Art in Balfron (FAB) picked up their paintbrushes for Jungle City 2011 – a charity art project that turned Edinburgh into an urban jungle during August and September.

Twenty children aged from 5 to 13 years from FAB painted a life-sized sculpture of a hornbill, an exotic bird, after being invited to get involved by Glasgow-based web hosting company Easyspace.

The Easyspace hornbill was one of 150 animal sculptures on display at the Royal Botanic Gardens and then on the streets of Edinburgh during August and September as part of a million-pound fund-raising event by the Elephant Family charity to help preserve the habitat of a host of endangered species. The children’s work sat alongside that of famous artists like Jack Vettriano and celebrities like former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell who had been recruited to decorated sculptures of hornbills, tigers, crocodiles and orang-utangs.

Interviewed at the time, Phil Worms, marketing director of iomart Group the parent company of Easyspace, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the children of Balfron are designing and painting our hornbill for Jungle City. They’ve amazed us with their ideas and we can’t wait to see the end result on display in Edinburgh. We hope they inspire other community groups to get involved.”

“We’re so excited,” said Mavia Duncan, aged 7. “It’s a brilliant project and we hope it helps save the animals.”

The children of FAB are using the work of Alexander Greek Thomson as their inspiration. The Scottish architect was born in Balfron and the children have been learning about him in their weekend art classes.

FAB chair person Dawn Cullen, said: “This is a really wonderful art project for the children to be involved in. We can’t thank Easyspace and the Elephant Family charity enough for inviting us to take part. We hope our involvement encourages a lot of other community groups to take part.”

Easyspace is a web hosting, web design and domain name company based at the West of Scotland Science Park just outside Milngavie. It supports the Elephant Family charity – organisers of Jungle City 2011 – by donating money from the domain names it sells.

Painting the hornbill

The hornbill is now in the Primary School.