Octopus Ahoy! Artists designing colourful sculpture trail ready for summer
PUBLISHED: 19:23 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:23 07 January 2020
A trail of colourful octopus sculptures is set to arrive on the East Anglian coast this summer - as part of celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower.
So far, nearly 100 talented artists have submitted artwork for the Octopus Ahoy! trail, which will take place in Harwich, the town where the Mayflower was built, and across Tendring.
There will be around 100 sculptures in all, including 30 large 4ft figures painted by artists, as well as 70 smaller 2ft creations which will be decorated by schools and community groups.
The trail will run for 10 weeks, from July 4 until September 12, before the large sculptures are auctioned in aid of Essex charities.
The event looks set to attract huge interest and bring hundreds of people to the area. It follows in the wake of other successful trails in East Anglia, including Elmer's Parade in Ipswich in 2019.
Katie Skingle, director of KAT Marketing, which is behind the development of the octopus project, said: ""We are very fortunate to have such a breadth and depth of artistic talent to call upon in Essex for amazing community art projects, like Octopus Ahoy.
"The American interest of the Mayflower 400 will add a different artistic dimension to the designs as well as looking at the local history and sense of place which always provide projects such as this with their own heart and soul."
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Tendring District Council and Milsoms are also developing the project, together with other partners.
KAT Marketing was also behind the Stand Tall for Giraffes event for Colchester Zoo's 50th birthday in 2013,
Both professional and amateur artists can send in their designs, up to the end of January.
Following the closing date, the whole portfolio of designs will be reviewed and the sponsors of the sculptures will choose which artists to commission to complete the artwork, with the successful artists being paid an honorarium of £750.
A series of celebrations and special events are being held this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower setting sail to the New World in 1620, carrying the Pilgrim Fathers to North America.
Although the iconic ship sailed from Plymouth, it is believed to have been built in Harwich, and was registered in the town.
Its captain and part-owner, Christopher Jones, was born in Harwich and his home still stands on King's Head Street, near the waterfront.
For more details of Octopus Ahoy!, visit the event's website.