Thursday, 15 July 2010

Larkin with Toads

photo Denis Low/Larkin25, used with permission

Larkin with Toads is a 10-week, mass participation public art event taking place in Hull, England starting Saturday 17 July. It is a wonderfully imaginative way to celebrate the work of Philip Larkin, the most famous poet to come out of Hull.

Giant toad sculptures have been designed and painted by artists, community groups and local schools. They form a trail around Hull and its environs to form the largest public art installation ever held in Hull. The toad in the photo above is the Hull Fair Toad designed by Pinkyvision.

Philip Larkin was an animal and countryside lover, with many of his poems touching on these themes, finding beauty in uncelebrated parts of the British countryside, and expressing concern about threats to nature and the landscape. His poems ‘Toads’ and ‘Toads Revisited’ take a darkly comic look at the way in which work and how the daily pressures of life can constrain creativity.

Larkin with Toads is being delivered in partnership with Hull based arts organisations Artlink and Creative Partnerships (Hull College Group). The master design is by Chris Wilkinson of Wild in Art.

The Toads will eventually be auctioned off to benefit charitable funds that support causes close to the heart of Larkin and this project - environmental, animal welfare and artistic projects.

You can find out more and see the full range of toad designs on the Larkin25 website.

9 comments:

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Toad power!!!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

What a super idea Juliet. Wasn't it Larkin who spoke of the 'toad work?'

Kathiesbirds said...

This is awesome! They did this a few years ago in Maine (USA) with Loons. I don't remember the cause but I loved seeing all the creatively painted loons. I have not heard of Larkin that I know of. Now I will have to research him and see if I recognize any of his poems! Thanks for a great post!

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh, what a delight! I love toads, frogs, tadpoles, polliwogs -- I'm so glad to hear about this. :)

Anji* said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! I also love toads, frogs, amphibians in general. I’m off to Larkin website to find out more..

gabriellebryden said...

What a fabulous looking toadie!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's fun Juliet! I'm glad you shared the history too.

We've seen public art installations like this in different places, but just to celebrate whatever the area is famous for (horses in Louisville Kentucky, ducks in Eugene Oregon, cows somewhere in the midwest..).

Those were fun to look at, but there was no tie in to the arts like what you have here. I'll go look up more about Mr Larkin.

Caroline Gill said...

I've read so much about these - been longing to SEE a pic. of one! Bath was full of Bladud's pigs a couple of years ago...

Dennis said...

Really pleased to say that the picture you posted, and many others, are now available to view on the official Larkin25 photostream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/larkin25/

There's an (almost) complete set of toad pictures available for non-commercial download here too:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/larkin25/sets/72157624402427165/

Best,
Dennis Low @ Larkin25