Larkin with Toads, Hull’s largest ever public art project, took place during the summer of 2010. For three months, from 21st July to 25th September, the city streets were populated with 40 giant, colourful, artist-decorated Toad sculptures, forming a trail around Hull and the surrounding area.
The project was a major strand in the Larkin25 programme of multi-arts events, performances, exhibitions and commissions, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of Philip Larkin. Widely regarded as one of the greatest English poets, Larkin lived in Hull for over 30 years. His poems ‘Toads’ and ‘Toads Revisited’ provided the inspiration for the Larkin with Toads public art project.
Larkin with Toads was a multi-faceted, 10 week-long arts event which drew huge numbers into the city to complete the Toad Trail. Anecdotally, it appears that this project was not only a big hit with the public, but may have also changed perceptions about the value of the arts – to local people, to the local economy and to the quality of local life.
Larkin with Toads won the Best Tourism Event category for the year in the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards, progressed to take the prize for the all-Yorkshire White Rose Awards and then took the national VisitEngland Silver Award for the Best Tourism Event – ahead of the Grand National!
Click on a toad for a larger view and details.