Sir Chris Hoy unveils new artwork in Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh as part of National Lottery birthday celebrations

Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has unveiled a new art installation at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 8:55 pm
Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has unveiled a striking new installation at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Picture: Michael Gillen

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The artwork, commissioned by The National Lottery, aims to inspire change and to get the public thinking about how they would spend £30million - the amount raised for good causes each week - in their own communities.

On first appearance, the artwork looks like a random scattering of multi-coloured lottery balls suspended on wires. But, when viewed from specific angles, the balls form the word ‘BUILD’ as well as a question mark.

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Former world and Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has unveiled a striking new installation at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. Picture: Michael Gillen

The piece also contains unique objects, such as ballet shoes and a sewing kit, which represent four Scottish projects which have benefited from National Lottery funding.

These include the Hear Me Out creative dance project which was launched during Dundee Pride in 2019, Glasgow’s Jiggly Joggers which encourages women of any shape, size or ability to get active, the Paisley-based English language group called Sewing2gether All Nations, and Licketyspit, an early-years theatre company based in Glasgow.

The Scottish installation, which is available to view until November 21, is the first of four pieces of artwork to be unveiled across the UK this week as part of The National Lottery’s 27th birthday celebrations. The four together will form the message ‘build dreams, create change’.

And the question mark is there to encourage members of the public to think about the question ‘what change could you make to improve your local community?’.

Sir Chris said: “My own Olympic dreams were made possible by the outstanding funding provided by National Lottery players, which has completely transformed British sport over the last decade.

“I am so proud to be taking part in this exciting campaign and have the opportunity to celebrate all of the things that National Lottery players continue to make possible.”

The artworks have been created by leading arts collective Greyworld, with each one containing more than 636 lottery balls. This number is meant to represent the more than 636,000 organisations, across the sports, art, heritage and community sectors, which have benefited from funding.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and chair of the National Lottery Forum, said: “For 27 years National Lottery funding has been transforming communities, turning dreams into reality and making life better for millions of people.

“As we emerge from what has been a desperately challenging time, we want to inject hope and encourage communities to imagine what they could achieve with a helping hand from The National Lottery.

“With £30million raised for good causes each week, we have grants available from £3,000 to £5million. By coming together as communities, we can build, dream and create to change our future for the better and for generations to come.”

For more information on National Lottery funding go to

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