AN EXCITING NEW OUTDOOR ART AND NATURE PROJECT FOR THE NORTH YORKSHIRE COAST
Launching this September, Wild Eye is an inspiring new nature and art project that brings together leading artists with great opportunities for people in the Scarborough and Whitby area and visitors to observe and engage with the outstanding wildlife found along the North Yorkshire coast.
Wild Eye aims to foster a greater understanding of the incredible wildlife found across the North Yorkshire Coast through artworks and events, raising awareness of issues around nature, biodiversity and climate change.
Wild Eye has been developed by the award-winning art and science organisation Invisible Dust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with support from Coast and Vale Community Action (CaVCA), and English Heritage.
The launch programme this autumn features free art and wildlife family events in Whitby and at Scarborough Castle, a chance to listen to the sounds of dolphins recorded by Scarborough Sixth Formers with acoustic artist Rob Mackay and a series of nature-inspired podcasts made by sound artist Lucia Scazzocchio, who spoke to 30 local residents about their views on the marine environment.
Other Wild Eye projects taking place this autumn include a community-led art project in Whitby, in collaboration with artist duo Juneau Projects, which explores the importance of improving the water quality of the Esk Estuary. A project with community at its core, Whitby and Scarborough residents are being invited to have their say on future Wild Eye artworks and commissions.
Future plans for Wild Eye include the development of a world-class outdoor trail of new, nature-inspired artworks across the North Yorkshire Coast from some of the UK’s leading visual artists, including a sculpture at Scarborough Castle by artist Ryan Gander, in partnership with English Heritage; a Porpoise Viewing Platform on Scarborough’s famous Marine Drive, a collaboration with SeaGrown seaweed farm and a nature viewing site on the cinder track an old railway line between Scarborough and Whitby.
Ryan Gander’s sculpture, pictured here, is due to be installed in 2022 and also functions as a seating structure and a viewpoint for clifftop wildlife and sea views. It is hoped it will provide a waymarker to an incredible coastal view and a point of interest for residents and visitors alike.
Inspired by structures used to prevent coastal erosion, the sculpture’s design has been adapted so that its form is only completed if it is snowed on, something increasingly unlikely due to climate change. It draws attention to the important role of the sea in absorbing carbon and slowing climate change and local coastal erosion. The sculpture will be made of innovative low carbon material, incorporating recycled glass and limestone.
Ryan Gander is a world-renowned artist who has been awarded an OBE for services to culture and Scarborough will join Cambridge, Liverpool, New York, Mexico City and other international cities in hosting pieces of his thoughtful and engaging works in public spaces.
The project is currently gathering views on the creation of this trail, which Wild Eye hopes to develop between 2022 – 2025. If you’re a Scarborough or Whitby resident, you are invited to fill out the survey:
Wild Eye is funded by the government’s Towns Fund through Scarborough Borough Council and English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud programme. Invisible Dust is funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust.
This summer, young people from Scarborough Sixth Form have been guided by sound artist and acoustic ecologist Rob Mackay to create their own sound artworks. They gained knowledge about the importance of marine conservation and the role art can play in understanding climate change.
The young people went on a beach walk and a boat trip to create field sound recordings of marine mammals and their underwater environment. They learned about artistic and scientific approaches to acoustic ecology and practical techniques to create a soundscape composition that engages the public to connect with Scarborough’s nature, such as dolphins, seals and porpoises.
Comments from Scarborough Sixth Formers participating in Wild Eye’s ‘Sea Songs’ project:
“[The workshop] helped me to realise how we as people are interfering with the wildlife, especially when we were near the harbour and we heard the boat engines were so loud hundreds of metres away.”
“That’s the first time I’ve seen dolphins.”
“You should notice sounds more. I don’t usually think about what I hear as much, but the next time I come to the beach, I’ll listen out for specific things.”
The final outcome of Sea Songs takes the form of two audio walks – one in Scarborough and one in Whitby. Download an app for a GPS triggered sound walk around Scarborough and Whitby – your smartphone will guide you to locations around the coast where you can listen to the newly created audio works relating to the marine environment.
The Scarborough walk launches on Sat 23rd when participants, friends and family will do the walk for the first time (book here) and the Whitby walk will form part of the MusicPort festival in Whitby 22-24 Oct. Both will continue to be available afterwards.
Click here to download the Echoes app, and search on the app for ‘Sea Songs Soundwalk Scarborough’ or ‘Sea Songs Soundwalk Whitby’. Available from 23 October 2021.
Sea Songs is run in collaboration with English Heritage’s ‘Shout Out Loud’ youth programme.
Wild Eye Podcasts
Sound artist Lucia Scazzocchio from Social Broadcasts has created a series of podcasts platforming local voices. These short ‘audio postcards’ include the voices of around thirty local people, mixing their local, long term knowledge and expertise with scientists, artists, conservationists and young people from the area. Listen to the six podcasts here.
Following the success of the Great Big Green Week, organised for the Yorkshire Coast by Wild Eye project partner Coast and Vale Community Action (CaVCA), which included a series of Wild Eye Family Activity events at Scarborough Castle and Whitby Flash Arts, the commissioning of this unique sculpture also builds on a local commitment to building awareness of and action around climate change, with Scarborough Borough Council looking to become Carbon Neutral by 2030.