When we visited the Oakham recently we saw something unusual. Oakham is the County town of Rutland, and usually a pretty conservative place, but there were all these brightly painted hippos scattered around. Some outside shops, like the one above, some just parked on the pavement in random locations.


After we’d seen three of them, we began to wonder what it was all about, but we couldn’t see any poster or inscription or label anywhere.

Done with our shopping in Oakham, we drove to Uppingham to find some lunch. Uppingham is another of those well preserved English country towns which maintain a fairly low-key profile, and yet – would you believe it? There were more hippos! I must say they were rather jolly.


We decided this one was our favourite, such a beautiful blue, with fluffy white clouds. It quite brightened our day!

So I did a little Googling and found that these hippos aren’t there to advertise anything, or promote anyone’s business or any particular event, they are just art. But not Art, with a capital letter, no. This is art for the people. It’s accessible art, which to my mind is the best kind. There is a quiz (more fun) and a competition to go along with them, but basically they’re just there to brighten the place up.

Rutland’s County Councillor for culture, Peter Jones, was quoted in the Rutland Times as saying “This is not high art, but art for everyone. From children to elderly people, everybody can have a laugh.”

And I think that’s a beautiful idea. Don’t you?

For more Friday Finding Beauty, pop on over to Claudia’s place!