Puffins Send Serious Environmental Message To East Coast

 Puffins Send Serious Environmental Message To East Coast
Puffins Send Serious Environmental Message To East Coast

East Riding College is proud to be part of Puffins Galore! and to have created one of the puffin sculptures being installed along the East Coast this summer. 

Puffins Galore! hope to attract visitors to the area with the new art installations.  The project follows the award-winning Hull and East Riding trails ‘Larkin with Toads’ and ‘A Moth for Amy’. 

From July there will be forty-two puffins to search out – from Bempton to Spurn Point and at towns along to way, including Bridlington.  

The College’s puffin installation has been designed by art students under the guidance of eco-artist Saffron Waghorn, who has many years’ experience working as a sculptor on public commissions.  The art students came up with their unique and challenging design along the theme of the global warming crisis, one of the main themes the wider project wanted to explore.

Saffron worked with the level 3 art and design students from the very beginning, helping them to explore the brief, develop their ideas and sketches, finalise their design and apply it to the sculpture. She said:

“The students have been enthusiastic and diligent.  A lot of talent is coming to the fore, and my job is to draw out that talent and give them self-confidence too.  The project has been so important in giving the students an insight into the creative industries, working collaboratively to a brief and learning how to talk about their work and present it confidently.  It’s all part of learning how to be a professional artist.”

Student artist Jaime Skelcher from Flamborough said, “It’s given us an insight into the professional field.  Knowing it’s going to be public makes you take more pride.” 

The College’s design is on the theme of global warming.  Each student explored the theme in their own way, then the group brought together their ideas, collaborating on a final design that incorporates all their work.

The lead artist is Summer Sargent, aged 17 from Bridlington.  Her design covers the puffin’s chest, depicting a personification of mother earth.  She embraced the theme with enthusiasm, having already attended protests because of her concerns about the future of the planet.  She said, “We need to tell more people, and share our fears with the older generation.  We’re not listened to.”

Saffron adds, “At this time in global history it’s essential to inform and educate people on the issues of global warming and what they can do to make a change.  It’s good to bring young people in, because the world is their future.”

Art and design tutor Jonathon Hobson said;

“There’s massive amounts of learning on this project, it’s really important for students to understand what live projects are all about –having guest artists and immovable deadlines makes it much more real – they’re having to get stuck in and think on their feet, and are creating some awesome work!

“It helps reinforce that there’s a world beyond College, and that their work will exist in the real world, beyond sketchbooks and coursework.  It’s a real stepping stone for the students that took part.  They are all now published artists, having completed a commission.  It sets them apart whether they’re applying to uni or seeking out other commissions in the future, they can build from there.”

Clare Huby, Director of Puffins Galore says:

“These projects are really good for celebrating the talents and creativity we’ve got in the East Riding. Saffron was a prolific moth artist, in fact she designed three for A Moth for Amy in 2016, as well as being the moth sculptor. We are fortunate that she is sharing her knowledge and passing her skills on to the next generation of creatives.

“The students from East Riding College have responded really well to our themes. We absolutely love the design and look forward to seeing their puffin out on the trail.”

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