A shark, seahorses and an octopus or two have taken up residence in York.
Not because of all the rain today – instead the sea creatures are part of a new artwork brightening up the winter streets.
Called Splash Of Colour: Neon Beasts it’s the idea of the York BID (Business Improvement District).
Part of its remit is to make the city centre as attractive as possible. For this, they have wrapped a number of vacant shops in colourful vinyl prints until they are let again.
They’ve gone a little further this time, and commissioned York based Art Of Protest Projects to create a sea world inside the former Costa Coffee on the corner of Market Street and Feasegate.
“Because of the opportunity around this unit, with things like the pillars and the floor in front of it, we really wanted to do something quite special,” Carl Alsop, operations manager of the York BID told YorkMix.
“We’ve created Splash Of Colour: Neon Beasts, which is our first street art-based shop wrap.”
So why sea creatures? “York has actually got a really strong history to do with oceans, and maritime. But it’s maybe a little bit lesser known York history.”
A board on one corner explains the city’s seafaring links.
Carl added: “While we wanted it to look at York’s history, we wanted to make it really contemporary. And I think you can see that the shark is aflame with neon, and it is really bright.”
There are also six bright picnic benches so Christmas shoppers can take a break while they admire the artwork.
Splash Of Colour: Neon Beasts will be in place until the shop unit is let again.
Carl said: “While people are in for for Christmas festivities, whether they’re coming to the Christmas market or many of the shops that we’ve got in this city, they can come along Market Street and Feasegate, see that there’s still plenty going on here, enjoy the shop wrap, enjoy the artwork and maybe have a seat and learn a little bit more while they’re here.”
Jeff Clark of Art Of Protest said: “It’s always a real pleasure to be invited back to York to work with the York BID who have done so many great projects over the years, including our last project with them, the Guardians of York.
“So to help bring a little bit of colour and joy to what was becoming quite a sad and unused thoroughfare in York was a really exciting opportunity to deliver on.
“We took an interesting concept and utilising the talent of artist Tom Lewis, we brought it to life. We’re super proud of the result and the new space for people to come sit and relax!”