Published: Thursday, 11th February 2021
If you live in west Norfolk, are 16 or under and love to paint or draw, then you could be just who the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is looking for.
This spring, in conjunction with Stories of Lynn and Wild in Art, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk is launching a brand-new book-bench trail in west Norfolk called Explore-a-book.
The trail will consist of seven benches, supplied by Wild in Art, already decorated by artists, which will be temporarily placed in landmark locations around King’s Lynn. A further three benches will be blank. These will be decorated with designs submitted by young people and will then become permanent features in King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market.
Stories of Lynn are looking for young people to choose the town they wish to design for – King’s Lynn, Hunstanton, or Downham Market, and then to explore their thoughts about the area, explore the history and explore their imagination to come up with an image or idea that they would like to see replicated on the bench. Each bench will contain more than one image, brought together in a creative design by a local artist.
Cllr Graham Middleton, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Business Development, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for local young people, from primary school age up to the age of 16 to get involved in a project to help support their local community. They could have their ideas and images captured on a bench that people can enjoy for years to come. I’m looking forward to seeing the designs that entrants come up with, especially as they will be focussed around each of our market towns. It’s an opportunity to see our area through someone else’s eyes.”
Stories of Lynn will be leading on the competition element of this book trail. They will work with three professional artists who will select the winning submissions, help lay up the finished designs and then transpose them on to the benches as the final artwork.
Rachael Williams, Learning and Engagement Officer at Stories of Lynn, added: “Our Kick the Dust group are already developing the trail leaflet for Explore-a-book. They have contributed their ideas to how the trail will work, have chosen and researched the potential locations, and written the contents. The aim is to get the maximum number of people engaged in the project.
“The next step is to get other young people involved in the design of the three permanent benches. There is so much to explore in the borough, I am really looking forward to seeing the finished designs. It’s not often individuals get a chance to participate in a project that well be around for a long time. I’m sure we’ll have lots of budding young artists in the borough who are keen to get involved with this competition.”
“Once the entries have been received, we will announce the local artists we are working with. The young people who submitted the selected designs will have the opportunity to see how their work is converted and then replicated on to the benches, before they are varnished and ready for inclusion in the trail.”
To enter the competition, simply download the entry form at https://www.storiesoflynn.co.uk/explore-a-book/, complete your design and fill in the form, then photograph it or scan it and send it back to storiesofLynn@alivewestnorfolk.co.uk. The closing date for entries is Friday 26 February 2021.
Explore-a-book has been funded by the Norfolk Strategic Fund specifically to encourage people back into town centre areas, to help support those businesses adversely affected by the impact of Covid-19.
The project will hopefully launch in Spring (subject to lockdown restrictions) and will run until early June. The three locally designed benches will be retained permanently in west Norfolk, the other seven will be returned to Wild in Art to be used elsewhere.