East Riding College students highlight global warming issue with their Puffins Galore! creation

East Riding College has created one of the sculptures for the Puffins Galore! trail.

By Phil Hutchinson
Friday, 17th June 2022, 2:16 pm
Yasmin Bell, Summer Sargent, artist Saffron Waghorn, Brandon Hunter, tutor Jonathon Hobson, and Jaime Skelcher.
Yasmin Bell, Summer Sargent, artist Saffron Waghorn, Brandon Hunter, tutor Jonathon Hobson, and Jaime Skelcher.

The new art installations will be dotted around the East Riding in the drive to attract more visitors to the area.

From Saturday, July 2 there will be 42 puffins to search for – 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 lead artist is Summer Sargent, 17, from Bridlington. Her design covers the puffin’s chest, depicting a personification of mother earth.

She said: “We need to tell more people, and share our fears with the older generation. We’re not listened to.”

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 are creating some awesome work! It helps reinforce that there’s a world beyond college.”

Clare Huby, director of Puffins Galore said:“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.”