Pioneering and legendary aviator, Hull-born Amy Johnson, is set to be honoured with a new mass engagement public art project, ‘A Moth for Amy’ as part of plans to mark the 75th anniversary of her tragic death in 2016.
Amy Johnson flew a De Havilland Gipsy Moth to Australia as well as several other de Havilland Moths during her flying career. Organisers hope to donate a Moth sculpture for Amy to each of the cities on Amy’s famous flying route to Australia.
Next year’s Amy Johnson Festival will be a major event in the 2016 cultural calendar, setting the scene for Hull City of culture 2017. The project is modelled on Hull’s highly successful ‘Larkin with Toads’ scheme, ‘A Moth for Amy’ aims to bring benefits to businesses, communities and local charities, whilst raising the profile of one of the city’s most courageous women.
The Amy Johnson Festival will mark this anniversary and celebrate Amy’s life, achievements and legacy with an ambitious international programme of the arts and engineering sciences appealing to all interests and ages.
The festival’s mass public art project ‘A Moth for Amy’ aims to locate artist decorated moths, each about 1.5ms in width, on the facades of buildings across the city of Hull and at other key locations of significance to Amy Johnson, across the UK. In Hull they will bring colour and interest to local streetscape – ahead of Hull’s 2017 year as UK City of Culture.
The original sculpture was designed by Skipsea-based sculptor, Saffron Waghorn and leading Hull-based bathroom manufacturer, Ideal Standard, is the official moth production development partner – utilising the expertise of its designers and production team to create a full-sized mould of the original design, forming the first giant moth at the Hull factory.
Clare Huby, who project managed the award-winning and highly successful ’Larkin with Toads’ public art project, is advising the Amy Johnson Festival on ‘A Moth for Amy’.
‘Larkin with Toads’ was part of the 2010 Larkin25 programme commemorating the life and work of poet and librarian, Philip Larkin. The 40 artist decorated fibreglass toads stole the hearts of Hull people and still attract visitors to the city five years later.
Clare Huby, said:”A Moth for Amy is a challenging project with international ambitions . We hope it will provide opportunities for new art to be created, introducing new audiences to great art and cultural events in the process.
“We are delighted to have the expert input of Ideal Standard, our moth production development partner who and have worked with us and local sculptor Saffron Waghorn to develop the concept and mould forms for the moths, also producing the prototype Moth for Amy.
“During the next stage Ideal Standard will be using their expertise to help and advise us on the most economical way to produce the many enormous moths that will eventually be decorated before alighting on buildings in Hull, around England and perhaps as far as Darwin.”
Jenny Smith from Ideal Standard, said: “We are very excited and proud to be involved in this project, one that Hull and the East Riding have been waiting for since Larkin’s Toads hopped off!
“As a longstanding locally based business, we were thrilled to be involved and offer our expertise to support this unique opportunity that will generate funds for local charities, whilst raising awareness of Amy Johnson’s achievements as an aviator, an engineer and as a woman of her time – setting the scene for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 in the process.
Upon completion of the display project, the moths will be auctioned off, with 50% of the proceeds donated to Hull and East Yorkshire based Hey Smile Foundation, through Ideal Standard’s ‘Armitage Thanks’ charity initiative.
The launch event for the project takes place at 1884 Dock Street Kitchens at 8.00am on Thursday 26th November to unveil ‘A Moth for Amy’
Artists and designers will then be invited to submit their designs for the decoration of A Moth for Amy. Designs will need to respond to a design brief which is based on the themes of the Festival. Full details of the brief, artists’ commission fees, timescales and selection criteria will be published shortly.
Companies, organisations, institutions and individuals can all sponsor A Moth for Amy. The sponsorship charge will cover all the costs associated with making, designing, and installing each moth, and will also contribute to the programme costs of the Festival as a whole. Full details of the Sponsorship Benefits Package and costs will be available soon on www.amyjohnsonfestival.co.uk
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