The Odyssey: A Thousand Ships Community Art Installation and Exhibition Landing on the Yorkshire Coast This Summer

Thousand Ships

Animated Objects has revealed the latest instalment in the special legacy three-year collaboration; ‘The Odyssey: An Epic Adventure on the Yorkshire Coast’.  This also comes with an announcement of the upcoming Thousand Ships collective artwork project that will see locals create 1000 origami ships.

The inspiration behind the community-based art project comes from the famous quote by Christopher Marlowe; ‘Helen of Troy – the face that launched a thousand ships’ which saw Helen’s tragic love affair with Paris of Troy set in motion the conflict that caused the Trojan wars.

Thousand Ships

“The fleet of a thousand ships”

The project, which is coming to various venues on the Yorkshire Coast this summer, will represent the fleet of a thousand ships that sailed to reclaim her, a powerful scene that will be brought to life in current day by a collective artwork featuring colourful paper ships, folded by members of the public.

The collaborative project, has so far seen over 150 families and individuals from up and down the Yorkshire Coast get involved. And more are expected to join in between now and the launch.

The exhibition will be touring the Yorkshire coast and will be going to the following venues:

  • Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby – Friday 9th July – Saturday 17th July 2021
  • Meridian Centre, Withernsea – Tuesday 20th July 2021
  • Floral Hall, Hornsea – Wednesday 21st July 2021
  • Evron Centre, Filey – Thursday 22nd July 2021
  • Brunswick Centre, Scarborough – Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th July 2021.
  • Spa, Bridlington – Tuesday 7th September- Tuesday 14th September 2021.

The paper ships are all made on specially printed origami paper created by artists based on the Yorkshire Coast. Each image is inspired by the coast. And they can be folded in different ways to produce a range of completed ship designs.

Thousand Ships

“Capturing a sense of place”

The six different designs are ‘Catch of the Day’ by Staithes artist Bridget Wilkinson ‘North South Round’, by Scarborough artist Pip Leckenby ‘Preservation’, by Stacie Hicks based in Hornsea, ‘Mud Larking’, by Whitby based Jo Witney, ‘Intertidal’ by Kirsty Davis who is also from Whitby and the ‘Scarborough Scope’, by Charlotte Hill from Cloughton.

Local artist, Kirsty Davis said: “My entry for ‘A Thousand Ships’ is based around ‘rock pools’. My work brings attention to this miniature yet important habitats that decorate our coastline by highlighting them as their own ecosystem and the aura they hold. The basis of my image is built up of expressive plein air marks. Working en plein air is essential for capturing a sense of place. But also refers back to the long and popular tradition of artists taking vacation along the Yorkshire Coast.”

Lee Threadgold is artistic director of Animated Objects. He said: “The response to this activity has been breath-taking, and we’re glad to say that every corner of the Yorkshire Coast will be represented in the completed fleet of paper ships.”

Thousand Ships

“Discover, explore and enjoy”

The project is funded by the Yorkshire Coast BID; creating opportunities for people to discover, explore and enjoy the coast throughout the year. Their Chief Executive is Kerry Carruthers. Kerry said: “We are delighted to be supporting such an interesting and unique exhibition coming to the coast this summer. After such a tough year, for businesses, residents and visitors we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the coast for this unmissable event.”

This activity follows on from the announcement of the Geo Location walking series, which features the voices of storytellers and performers from across the region, and original works by composers from the Yorkshire Coast. Future events include giant puppets and beach art. They’ll also be a world record attempt with the creation of Yorkshire’s own version of the Trojan horse.

For more information visit or follow them on social media @animatedobjects.
To find out more about the Yorkshire Coast BID, please visit:


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