Victoria Street Polar Bears
Revealed at the start of late night shopping in Grimsby town centre, the display, next to Uniform Direct in Victoria Street, sees a family of polar bears moving to the town from their home in the Arctic.
Local young people have worked with artist Anna Bean aka Bluebeany to turn the dark, empty space into the polar bears home.
The young artists aged 16 to 24 are part of Our Big Picture’s Imaginarium group and contributed to the polar bear themed colourful display with designs they have been creating as part of their project.
Paula Denton, Creative Director of Our Big Picture said,
‘ We’re delighted to help brighten up the high street for Christmas. The polar bear theme was not just about creating something fun and festive, but also a message about the environment. Through a collaboration with Anna, our young artists and local poet artist Keith Suddrey.’
Keith Suddrey has written an original poem telling the story about the polar bear family. The poem can be read in the window, by scanning a QR code and also on the website of Our Big Pictures.
“Working with Anna I have created a backstory to the arrival of the displaced family of Polar Bears, and I’m looking forward to exploring their story more”
The work will be on display until the New Year.
Listen to Elric Johansson by Keith Suddrey
Elric Johansson by Keith Suddrey –
Our Big Picture’s resident artist
Elric was coming out of the post office in Victoria Street
I had never met a polar bear before, or got to know one,
but little did I know, that very soon Elric and his family
were to become my new neighbours and best of mates.
On a rainy day in the middle of August, home from work,
Molly sat at the kitchen table, drinking tea and chattering
to a large female polar bear, making the room look tiny.
“This is Salka, Brian. Her family have moved next door.”
It turned out that her husband was my post office bear,
Salka, Elric, their three children, Kristin and Marga,
and a new cub Magnus, born on their long journey,
had been forced to move from their arctic homeland
because melting icesheets, caused by rising temperature,
meant that their whole life and living was being destroyed.
Elric told me that they were refugees, forced to move
to find a new home, work and the fish that they ate.
Most people had been kind to him and his family,
but then others who had less time for polar bears
and would called them names, getting very cross.
He had a new job at a smokehouse down Ribystreet,
where he was learning to smoke Grimsby haddock,
Salka had found work down dock, packing fishfingers.
Elric and his family were the first bears to arrive,
others were soon to follow as conditions worsened
and the ice melted, driving polar bears further south.
Soon bears were opening up shops full of bear goods
others became taxi drivers, bus drivers and postbears,
Elric had been my first bear, who taught me bearhood.