A giant puffin sculpture affectionately known as ‘Elsie’ has been returned to the public. Her location has changed, however.
During an incident in the city centre, Susan Woolhouse’s puffin-art Headscarf Revolutionary suffered significant damage.
Having undergone extensive repairs and restorations, Elsie has been re-homed in Princes Quay Shopping Centre’s East Arcade.
Co-director Rick Welton of Puffins Galore explains:
“Removing, restoring, repainting and returning a giant puffin sculpture is no mean feat.”
“Elsie’s return was made possible by many people, not least Hull artist Susan Woolhouse who has re-painted her human-like features and Headscarf Revolutionary outfit.”
“Simpsons of York and Strata Holdings have transported the sculpture, helping with her removal and reinstallation. While Princes Quay Shopping Centre has stepped in to provide her safe new home.”
“We are obviously delighted that the repair has been possible and puffin number 36 has been moved across the square from her original perch to be safer, undercover.”
“We will be updating information about Elsie’s new location where we can but we are asking anyone and everyone to share the news of her new home to avoid confusion.”
The sculpture was sponsored by Hull Maritime. A tribute to Lilian Bilocca, Yvonne Blenkinsop, Mary Denness, and Christine Smallbone (later Jensen), who tirelessly fought for safer trawlers in Hull in the 1960s.
Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said:
“We were disappointed to see this poignant sculpture damaged. We are grateful to Susan for taking the time to completely re-paint her to make her beautiful once again and ensure she can go back on display. We are delighted that Elsie has nested in a new burrow for us all to enjoy.”
Artist Susan Woolhouse says:
“When Elsie first went on display I was delighted by the initial response from the public – seeing everyone taking photos with her and wanting to know more about the story of the Headscarf Revolutionaries. But it was heartbreaking to find that she had sustained so much damage and we weren’t sure it would be possible to repair Elsie as she had split into two pieces.”
“Public support and encouragement have been quite overwhelming. Puffins Galore! has many fans. I’m really looking forward to seeing her back on display and ready for the deluge of ussies on social media.”
The Puffins Galore! art project has been a tremendous success so far. Almost 9,000 App downloads have been calculated in an attempt to attract more people to the beautiful East Yorkshire Coast.
Over 70,000 free Puffins Galore! Spotter’s Guides have been distributed, with more on their way through libraries, tourist information centres, shops, venues and businesses.
It is thought that over 100,000 visitors from around the UK would have followed the trail by October.
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