Young artists transformed Whitby’s historic Fish Quay into a vibrant, sea-inspired and ‘ship-sized’ art gallery for the town’s Fish & Ships Festival.
Although specially created for the festival, their artwork is now a permanent attraction in the town in the form of 8m x 1.5m shutters for the Fish Quay on Pier Road.
Working together in their own time, the group of 11–15-year-old students from Caedmon College and Eskdale Schools have put art into the heart of Whitby’s harbour as a celebration of Whitby’s magnificent maritime heritage and its sensational seafood.
Andy Fyfe, headmaster of Eskdale School, said: “The collaboration between Caedmon and Eskdale students has produced an incredible public art piece that will be viewed by many thousands of visitors to Whitby for many years to come.
“The dedication and determination of our students throughout this project will inspire more young people to get involved in the creative arts.
“I am proud of what all the students have accomplished by transforming a key area of the Whitby harbour side with their creative ideas and skills.”
Simon Riley, headmaster of Caedmon College, said: “It’s fantastic that the artwork produced by students from both Eskdale and Caedmon is able to be displayed in such a public place in the centre of Whitby.
“It is a fitting tribute to both sea-faring and artistic traditions in the area.”
The artwork was officially unveiled by Scarborough Borough Council Mayor Joe Plant on Friday as part of an event held to thank all the businesses and individuals across Whitby who helped make Fish & Ships possible.
Colin Pyrah, who has been organising many of the festival’s heritage events and co-ordinating the project with the schools, said students felt lucky to be given the opportunity to be involved in the festival – especially as it brought together talented young people from both Eskdale School and Caedmon College.
“The Fish Quay is a place where generations of Whitby’s young people would have learned their trade, so our budding artists can’t wait to weave their own stories into the harbour’s rich tapestry,” he said.
“They’ve been experimenting with a huge range of mixed media and techniques – from marbling to mono-printing, from traditional to digital – to give their artworks a unique, contemporary twist, celebrating the fact that ‘fish and ships’ are just as important to Whitby’s future generations, as they were to its historic residents.”
The completed and digitised designs were made into panels by specialist graphics production company, Extreme Display, with the help of Whitby’s harbour master, Captain Chris Burrows.