Whitby artist's butterfly sculpture revealed as first of new Yorkshire coast collection

Yorkshire Coast BID today unveiled the first sculpture of its Coastal Sculpture Collection, a stunning 2.5m green hairstreak butterfly by Whitby artist Emma Stothard.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 3:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 3:54 pm
Whitby artist Emma Stothard with her butterfly sculpture, unveiled at Spurn Point.

The sculpture, revealed at Spurn Point, is the first piece commissioned by Yorkshire Coast BID to be officially revealed with five more exciting pieces planned up for coastal locations including Flamborough, Hornsea, Whitby and Scarborough.

The striking sculpture is modelled on the beautiful Green Hairstreak butterflies that make their home at Spurn Point.

The piece is designed to highlight the conservation work being undertaken by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to preserve the butterfly’s natural habitat.

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A close-up of Whitby artist Emma Stothard's butterfly sculpture, at Spurn Point.

Emma, who exhibits nationally and internationally, has seen her work grace the gardens of stately homes, galleries, private homes and even Highgrove House, the private residence of HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

As an artist Emma takes inspiration from the coast, its wonderful and diverse wildlife and the things that make it a fantastic place to live and visit.

When closed, the wings of a green hairstreak butterfly are a distinctive bright emerald green colour.

To emulate this, the artist has used a copper wire, which, over time, will weather as the salty sea air at Spurn Point accelerates the oxidation on the surface of the copper wire creating a beautiful Verdigris.

It’s been a labour of love for Emma, taking weeks to design and create the piece.

The finished sculpture stands at around an impressive 3m high and 2.5m long and weighs a whopping 300 kilos.

The body of the sculpture has been woven with approximately 150kg of bronze drawn wire and the wings are woven in an extra 100-150kg of drawn copper wire.

Differing gauges of wire have been used for contrast and detail to achieve the overall look.

Emma, who was brought up in Kilnsea and used to play at SPurn Point as a child, said: "I’m so excited to be creating a new collection of inspirational sculptures as landmarks along the Yorkshire coastline.

"I hope the art will attract people to the area and inspire them to fully appreciate the beauty along the Yorkshire Coast - the sea and the wildlife.

"Sculpture is growing in popularity in the UK and internationally, with people keen to visit, see and share new landmark sites."

CEO of Yorkshire Coast BID, Kerry Carruthers, said: "It’s been excellent working in partnership with Emma and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to bring this to fruition and we are looking forward to the next pieces being created.

"We hope that it can bring people who visit this area much enjoyment and also ensure our valued visitors take the time to stop and learn about Yorkshire’s unique wildlife.”