Wild Eye is an inspiring 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.

Sea Oak by Paul Morrison (below) will connect with existing sculptures by Ryan Gander and Juneau Projects at Scarborough Castle and Whitby Harbour, with further artworks from artists Jeremy Deller, Emma Smith and Shezad Dawood & Daisy Hildyard set to complete the art trail by 2025.

Curated by Jeanine Griffin and Alice Sharp, Wild Eye has been developed by Invisible Dust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with support from Coast and Vale Community Action (CaVCA), and English Heritage.

Wild Eye Projects


The Harbour: Paul Morrison, Sea Oak, 2024

In March 2024, Wild Eye launched a unique new seaweed sculpture at Scarborough Harbour.

The sculpture – Sea Oak –  designed by internationally-renowned Yorkshire based artist Paul Morrison, was selected in consultation with a local community advisory group. 

The development of the seaweed sculpture has been accompanied by a series of free creative workshops for local groups, led by Scarborough-based artist Jacqui Barrowcliffe. Participants have been shown new photographic techniques, and taught how to develop seaweed sunprints whilst discussing the importance of seaweed for carbon capture and biodiversity.

To celebrate the new sculpture, we hosted a free, public seaweed talk by Natural History Museum’s Juliet Brodie. For further information see our FAQs here.

The Cinder Track: Emma Smith, Old Friends, 2024

In October, we worked with artist Emma Smith to host free drop-in wildlife workshops along Scarborough’s Cinder Track. Attendees discovered what wildlife lives there, as well as learning how to forage sustainably and build habitats. Emma is working towards creating a series of community co-produced outdoor artworks along this important green corridor.

Digital Commission – Ambiguous Machines

Digital Commission – A Wild Eye digital commission is planned by renowned artist Shezad Dawood collaborating with award-winning North Yorkshire-based writer Daisy Hildyard. More information coming soon.

Marine Drive – Seawatching Station

Marine Drive Commission – Read more about a proposed new seawatching station with artwork by Jeremy Deller.

Wild Eye in 2022

Ryan Gander’s sculpture We are only human (Incomplete sculpture for Scarborough to be finished by snow), at Scarborough Castle headland launched in March 2022 and also functions as a seating structure and a viewpoint for clifftop wildlife and sea views. It provides 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 is 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 joins Cambridge, Liverpool, New York, Mexico City and other international cities in hosting pieces of his thoughtful and engaging works in public spaces.

Also launched in March 2022 as part of Wild Eye was a community-led art project in Whitby, in collaboration with artist duo Juneau Projects, which explored the importance of improving the water quality of the Esk Estuary. The outcome of this is a series of co-designed sculptural street seating structures ‘There Is Another Alphabet for the Esk estuary area in Whitby harbour The three coloured brick benches illustrate different stages of the Esk environment, highlighting the particular wildlife of each area.

Wild Eye in 2021

Wild Eye commenced in September 2021 with free art and wildlife family events in Whitby and at Scarborough Castle;

Sea Songs, a project in which Scarborough Sixth Formers with acoustic artist Rob Mackay created field sound recordings of marine mammals and their underwater environment which were turned into an audio walk for Scarborough and Whitby.

And a series of nature-inspired podcasts made by sound artist Lucia Scazzocchio at Social Broadcasts, who spoke to local residents, scientists, artists and conservationists and about their views on the marine environment, climate and the future.

Wild Eye is delivered in partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, a regional environmental charity,  Invisible Dust, a UK-based art-science organisation and North Yorkshire Council. The Wild Eye project was allocated funding under the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Towns Fund, which is administered by North Yorkshire Council, to deliver long‐term sustainable economic growth for Scarborough’s nature-culture tourism market and support reconnection with the environment.

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