When you get asked if you would like to photograph two nine-foot lobsters being placed in one of the most traditional and quaint fishing villages in North Yorkshire the answer is of course, yes.
After photographing sculptor and artist Emma Stothard and her work many times over the years, I knew that the pieces were going to be both imposing and stunning.
I actually had the pleasure of photographing one of Emma’s giant lobster creations back in 2011 when we had it brought down to Saltwick Nab off Whitby and photographed it as the tide ebbed its way in around it.
This time the two new lobsters, a blue “raw” lobster, to be placed on the rock armour in Staithes and an orange “boiled” lobster to go down on the beach, on a groyne, were to stay in situ.
Getting these heavy, metal wire creations which had been galvanised and powder coated was a sight in itself with a fantastic effort from Goldbolds ironsmiths who helped secure the lobsters in place.
The placement of these two crustaceans, titled “Coronation Catch” was all in aid of the Staithes festival of arts and heritage, which takes place this weekend 12-13 September. For lovers of art and the sea this is a festival not to be missed. Each artists exhibits their work in one of the unique cottages that sit higgledy-piggledy along Staithes’ narrow streets and snickleways, the work inside is as mystical and creative as each cottage it sits in. Be sure to take in some of the street names and cottage names if you visit with gems such as Dog Loup Alley, Gun Gutter and Battle Stones.
Over 90 artists will be in residence with work available to view and buy in all mediums, paintings, sculpture, photography and even jewelry, such as pieces from Staithes-born Geraldine Sharrock whose handmade sea-themed designs “Smugglers Treasures” will be available on the day.
Staithes has a rich history in the arts, home to an art colony in the 19th century, it attracts many creatives into its fold.
Emma’s husband Rob Green, who owns the successful seafood restaurant Green’s in Whitby will be cooking up culinary delights caught along the North East coast, another reason why Emma chose a lobster theme for her designs. Lobster fishing being part of Staithes’ rich heritage. Lobsters landed at Staithes along with brown crab, are among the best in the world, and are shipped to restaurants all over Europe.
The lobsters, once installed, looked like they had been there forever, despite their bold colours and imposing structure they blended in with the scenery and looked quite at home.