Sculptor Emma Stothard and Wallace & Gromit animator ‘thrilled’ to be at Whitby Fish & Ships Festival

Emma Stothard with her wicker elephants.
Emma Stothard with her wicker elephants.

Whitby’s new Fish & Ships Festival promises to be a feast for the eyes as well as the taste-buds, when artists bring the spectacle to the town on May 18 to 19.

Whitby sculptor Emma Stothard and Virpi Kettu, animator for the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit films will feature alongside local craftspeople, schoolchildren and college students, all part of festivities that also include live cooking and fish-craft demos, street entertainment and a grand firework finale.

Virpi Kettu.

Virpi Kettu.

Emma and Virpi are thrilled to be involved in the festival.

Emma – whose sculptures are in demand across the globe – will create a new wire sculpture for the festival weekend.

She said: “For my new work, A Whitby Fisher Lass, I wanted to pay tribute to the women of Whitby’s fishing families, whose story may not be as well known.

“As a local lass myself, it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the fisher lasses – and overawed by the back-breaking work they did alongside the men to support local industry.”

Virpi, who also works with global movie-makers like Dreamworks and Universal Pictures – will share her film-making skills during animation workshops on May 18, where families will be able to create magical, underwater aqua-worlds in the Aardman modelling style in fun 30-minute drop-in sessions.

During the weekend, visitors will also be able to follow a new Whitby Fish & Ships art trail with highlights including:

* Harbour street art, where students from Caedmon College and Eskdale School are bringing a new imaginative approach to the old fishing warehouses on Pier Road, in what will become a permanent installation

* Local artist, Serena Partridge will be cooking up a felted fish supper, served with a scoop of imagination, in family felt-making workshops on Sunday May 19 at Whitby Library, followed by a chance to make ships sail the seas in flip-book animation sessions.

* Local schools and college students are recreating fish & ships in intricate origami in an exhibition for Whitby’s Pannett Art Gallery.

Cllr Martin Smith, Scarborough Borough Council’s Portfolio holder for Tourism, said: “It’s wonderful that so many inspiring people are coming together for Whitby’s Fish & Ships Festival. It’s shaping up to be an exciting and memorable weekend of seaside entertainment.”