A brand-new art installation in the form of a monumental red balloon dog has been unveiled by its artist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital for brave patients, families and staff to enjoy. 

‘Stretching Balloon Dog’ is a 14ft tall sculpture by artist Whatshisname, otherwise known as Sebastian Burdon, and has been generously gifted to the hospital by its long-term charity partner and supporter Castle Fine Art. 

One in a collection of four similar pieces, ‘Stretching Balloon Dog’ is based on polish-born Sebastian’s own pets and has arrived at the hospital following acclaimed exhibitions in Oxford and London’s Covent Garden.  

The aim of Sebastian’s canine creation is to spread joy and happiness by mixing the childlike colours of party balloons with the natural yet hilariously exaggerated and mischievous behaviour of dogs. 

Recognising the important role art plays as a healing tool, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity continually strives to improve the hospital environment for its sick children. The giant bright-red yoga-posing balloon sculpture is therefore a most-welcome addition to the hospital’s main entrance, on Steelhouse Lane, helping to instantly create a welcoming and relaxed environment where patients, families and staff feel safe and happy. 

Mark Brider, CEO at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re absolutely overjoyed to be the new home for Sebastian’s magnificent monumental ‘Stretching Balloon Dog’ and are incredibly grateful to Castle Fine Art for its generosity in gifting us this terrific sculpture for everyone at our hospital to enjoy. We know that art plays such an important part in brightening up our hospital environment, making it less intimidating, as well as acting as a welcome distraction for our young patients and their families.  We also understand the important role it plays in helping with their physical, mental and emotional recovery.” 

Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Group Managing Director of Castle Fine Art, said: “Castle Fine Art has been a long-standing supporter of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, a cause which is very close to all our hearts. It is with pride and pleasure we donate this art installation to the charity, showcasing the work of artist Whatshisname and raising money for such an important purpose.” 

Artist Sebastian Burdon, aka Whatshisname, commented: “I’m honoured to have one of my sculptures outside Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where I hope it will bring a little bit of happiness to those visiting. I hope the playful nature of my balloon dog will brighten the day of every patient.” 

Our balloon dog now needs a name, one which it can be affectionally known as forever more. If you can help us and have a great name to put forward, please complete our form and we will announce our favourite very soon.

Watch our Balloon Dog's arrival here