Bay history captured in sea wall artwork

One of the mosaics to feature in the sea wall artwork at Robin Hood's Bay.
One of the mosaics to feature in the sea wall artwork at Robin Hood's Bay.

A vast piece of art, The Story of Bay – Footprints through Time, is set to be installed on the sea wall at Robin Hood’s Bay next week.

The artwork, comprising 50 mosaic panels, has been commissioned by the North York Moors National Park Authority, to cover a 125m stretch of parapet next to a path leading to the village.

Part of the sea wall mosaic which will appear in Robin Hood's Bay.

Part of the sea wall mosaic which will appear in Robin Hood's Bay.

Fifty square metres of mosaic have been created by artist Ruth Wilkinson in her studio at Pateley Bridge.

Ruth has spent 15 months designing and creating the panels using 300,000 tiles known as tesserae.

Drawing on ideas contributed by residents of the village, visitors, local artists and historians, the mosaic storyboard leads visitors on a journey through the village’s 190-million history.

Emulating the journey, Ruth has adopted a footprint theme throughout starting with those belonging to Jurassic dinosaurs coming out of the sea. Other sections of the artwork feature notable points in history such as the shipwrecks, the heyday of smuggling and the development of the railway, which have all left their mark on the village’s character today.

Village life, including the close-knit community created by fishing families, and the memories that people have of living in and visiting ‘Bay have also provided a rich source of inspiration.

One panel incorporates a host of mementoes, including plastic Minions donated by pupils at Fylingdales School, an old nappy pin provided by a lady who had visited Robin Hood’s Bay as a toddler, small items of jewellery and a heart-shaped stone collected on the beach and etched on one surface with a couple’s initials.