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Scarborough Residents Can Access New Artwork for Free Today

Local residents can see the new sculpture at Scarborough Castle free of charge on Saturday (19th March)

The new sculpture entitled, We are only human (Incomplete sculpture for Scarborough to be finished by snow), has been created by Ryan Gander in the grounds of Scarborough Castle.

The artwork has been created in the shape of a dolos — a structure usually used as a defence to prevent coastal erosion. The sculpture is purposely only partially formed and intended to be completed by snowfall.

Because the new sculpture is sited within the castle grounds, for the next 10 years English Heritage is offering four days each year when local families from YO11 and YO12 postcodes will be able to visit the castle free of charge, to view the sculpture and learn about the messages behind it. In 2022, these are: 19th March, 18th June, 19th June and 25th September.

Ryan used a computer programme to predict and simulate snowfall onto the dolos. By subtracting this volume of snow from the original shape, he created an artwork that would only be ‘finished’ when it snows. Due to the changes in weather conditions caused by global warming, poetically, this work may never be seen in its original ‘complete’ form.

Gander’s sculpture is cast in ultra-low carbon concrete which incorporates limestone formed from the shells and skeletons of prehistoric sea creatures. It highlights the sea’s vital role in minimising the effects of climate change by acting as a ‘carbon sink’, absorbing and ‘locking in’ harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

The sculpture also functions as seating, so visitors to the castle can take a seat, enjoy the view and listen to a series of audio clips from different voices connected to the project (the artist, a marine biologist, and specialists from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and English Heritage) discussing the sculpture, climate change and local marine wildlife.

It is hoped that the sculpture will provide a waymarker to an incredible coastal view and a point of engagement for residents and visitors.

The artist has been commissioned as part of ‘Wild Eye’, an ambitious project by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and art-science organisation Invisible Dust, which engages with leading artists to create new sculptures that both enable nature observation opportunities and raise awareness of the potentially devastating effects of climate change on our coastal environment.

Rachael Bice, CEO, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said:

“Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are delighted to be partnering with Invisible Dust to launch 'Wild Eye', a world class, arts and nature project in Scarborough and Whitby. Working with renowned artists Ryan Gander and Juneau Projects, these are the first sculptures and activities aiming to foster a greater sense of connectedness between people and the environment; located in key locations to help residents and visitors to immerse themselves in nature. 'Wild Eye' aims to deepen the relationship people have with nature, through new experiences of the wonderful wildlife living with us around the coast and estuary.”

Wild Eye has worked closely with local people through Coast and Vale Community Action (CaVCA), offering a range of activities to communities. Wild Eye will also organise activities and guides to art and nature for local families to enjoy while viewing the sculpture. Scarborough-based artists Badgers of Bohemia will also be running Wild Eye art/nature workshops with a school and sixth form in the run up to the launch.

Ryan Gander is a world-renowned artist who has been awarded an OBE for services to culture and recently became a Royal Academician. Scarborough will join New York, Mexico City, Cambridge, Liverpool and other international cities in hosting pieces of his thoughtful and engaging works in public spaces.


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