Notts Rocks enthusiasts are getting ready to rock around Nottingham with the Hoodwinked sculpture trail this summer.
More than 27,000 people are involved with Notts Rocks – painting and decorating rocks to leave for others to find in parks and other public places. Many are now busy decorating them with Hoodwinked-themed designs, including Robin Hood, robins and winking faces.
The plan is to leave them along the Hoodwinked trail – which even includes one sculpture with a Notts Rocks tribute included as part of its unique design.
Leila Mills, who runs the Notts Rocks Facebook group, said: “It’s a brilliant activity to involve all ages. Someone paints the rock, someone hides it, someone else has the surprise of finding it – and it’s a simple way of spreading joy and happiness.
“It’s a great way to keep children entertained in the holidays, but we also have older people taking part as it’s a reason to get out and about on the park. We’ve been told that someone with dementia benefits as she goes out for a walk and finds a decorated rock, goes home and puts it in her garden, and that prompts her to remember that particular walk. A lot of people with autism also enjoy the activity, and those who are anxious or feeling low have told us that it can help cheer them up.”
When someone has found a decorated rock, they are encouraged to ‘keep or re-hide’ it and to post a picture on the Facebook page. Some rocks have travelled far and wide as there are Rock groups across Britain as well as in the USA, New Zealand, Africa and across Europe.
Anyone is welcome to join in. Bags of rocks can be purchased from DIY stores and garden centres. Many people spray them white to give a good background for the design, which can be created in paint, felt-tip or POSCA paint pens. They must then be sealed with a waterproof varnish.
Sarah Manton and Jess Kemp from Curious? Nottingham have included Notts Rocks in the design of their sculpture, The Green Heart of the City, which is sponsored by Cavalry Design.
Sarah said: “Notts Rocks is such a wonderfully simple way of spreading a little creativity and joy all around the city. Our Hoodwinked design is all about celebrating Nottingham’s green heart, and painting and searching for Notts Rocks is a great way to explore all the beautiful parks and green open spaces Nottingham has to offer.”
Hoodwinked is led by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art events in the UK and beyond through the creation of uniquely-painted sculptures.