Beautiful art trail created in shop windows of Northumberland seaside village

A winter-themed art trail has been created in a Northumberland seaside village.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 12:09 pm

The trail has been created by Seahouses Volunteer Group in shop windows on the village’s Main Street.

Commissioned as part of the Great Northumberland Winter Festival, ‘Once Upon A Winter…’ is inspired by letters from local residents.

Project co-ordinator Lizzy Fortune explains: “We worked with pupils from Seahouses Primary School who wrote lovely letters to some of our older residents, and people who haven’t been able to get out as much as usual. They were invited to write back with their favourite stories and memories about winter.”

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An art trail has been created in Seahouses.

Local illustrator Trina Dalziel was then charged with bringing the stories to life with her distinctive artwork.

Originally Trina was to draw the images directly onto the windows, but lockdown meant a rethink.

“As Boris Johnson was giving the statement telling us all to stay at home, I was just packing my lunch ahead of the first day of drawing,” recalled Trina. “I was really disappointed, but it’s hardly the biggest hardship facing the country right now.”

Still, the project team was determined to get the stories and illustrations out into the world so they came up with a cunning Plan B.

A migrating birds illustration in the window of Neptune fish and chip shop.

Trina drew onto cellophane and acetate sheets which were delivered to the businesses to hang in their windows themselves, and some of the images have been redesigned to be printed out as posters. They are all accompanied by quotes and snippets from the letters that inspired them.

Project team member and school administrator Laurie Gray said: “Although we are no longer able to encourage people to come out especially to see them, we hope they will lift the street for people making essential visits to the shops.”

And there is a virtual tour of the trail on the project website so everyone can see the magical illustrations and read the evocative quotes.

Running alongside the trail is a “Digital Scrapbook of Winter” to encourage people to be creative and sent in photos, sketches, poems, stories, songs, films, essays - anything will be accepted as long as it’s on the theme of winter.

The trail map

The team wishes to thank all of the businesses and people who have taken part.

The trail will be in place until mid-March.

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The illustration at Billy Shiel's.