Artist’s mosaic for Bay sea wall

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A Pateley Bridge artist is creating a mosaic depicting an iconic image of one of the most popular small villages of the Yorkshire coast.

Ruth Wilkinson is creating the 80m-long mosaic in her Nidderdale studio – later in the year, it will adorn a newly-painted sea wall at Robin Hood’s Bay.

Ruth began her art education at Harrogate College in 1989 and went on to specialise in mosaics. Having studied the technique in Harrogate and later in Ravenna, Italy, Ruth has developed her skills as a mosaic artist over the last 15 years.

Plans for the installation of her mosaic moved a step closer with the North York Moors National Park Authority preparing a section of the sea wall ahead of the artwork being mounted towards the end of this year.

The local community joined rangers and apprentices from the North York Moors National Park to paint an unloved section of sea wall adjacent to a path that visitors follow to reach the popular village. The mosaic is being funded through the Coastal Communities Fund as part of the Sea Life, See Life project.

The artwork will comprise numerous individual hand-glazed pottery tiles mounted on a series of panels stretching across 50 metres that will then be fixed along the 80-metre length of painted wall.

The final designs will depict an iconic image of the village as well as following key themes and historical references in the 160 million-year history of Robin Hood’s Bay, from the dinosaur era through to the heyday of smuggling, notable points in the RNLI’s history, fishing and the rise in popularity as a seaside destination. As part of this, the National Park also invited people to bring along small mementoes of Robin Hood’s Bay finds such as coins, fossils or stones that the artist can incorporate into some of the tiles.

The mosaic is due to be completed and installed over several days in November.

Emily Watson from the North York Moors National Park said: “Local businesses and villagers have been heavily involved in the design of the mosaic which will turn a blank wall into a vibrant, inspiring piece of art that will create a great impression as visitors make their way into the village.

“The incorporation of people’s mementoes will personalise the artwork even more and add further interest alongside the artist’s interpretation of the village’s history.”

The Sea Life, See Life project covers a 36-mile stretch of coastline from Saltburn to Cloughton.