Get on board!
You’re invited to get involved in this extraordinary community art event.

Art submissions

We’re inviting local artists to get involved in a unique art event to celebrate the Mayflower 400™️ in Harwich and to help raise money for Essex charities.

For 10 weeks in the summer of 2020, Harwich, Tendring and the wider Essex area will be taken over by Octopus Ahoy! sculptures in a public art trail for one and all to enjoy. We are now searching for local artists who would like to get involved with designing and painting the sculptures to celebrate the creativity of Essex. The campaign will culminate in an auction of the sculptures in late September 2020 to raise funds for Essex charities.

We are encouraging the submission of all art forms, from old school to new media, sound and video installations, to poetry and photography. Whatever the media, participation is invited from enthusiastic amateur and professional artists, art groups, young people, set designers and photographers.

Following submissions this portfolio of designs will be reviewed and chosen artists will be commissioned to complete their work in spring 2020. Upon completion, each artist will be paid an honorarium of £750.

The campaign will take place from Saturday 4th July until Saturday 12th September 2020 and is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the area. The project is being developed in partnership with KAT Marketing, who successfully delivered Stand Tall for Giraffes on behalf of Colchester Zoo for their 50th birthday celebrations back in 2013.

Our octopus sculptures have been created as a blank canvas ready for inspired decoration, and we are looking forward to viewing your submissions and working with successful artists as they bring their designs to life.

The closing date for artist submissions is Friday 13th December 2019 and the successful artists will work on decorating their sculptures between February and May, ready for the Octopus Ahoy! launch on Saturday 4th July 2020.

To enter, please download an entry form, which will include further information including guidelines, rules and full terms and conditions.

Event Outline

For 10 weeks in this summer of 2020, the Octopus Ahoy! art sculptures will form a public art trail across Harwich, Tendring and the wider Essex area to celebrate the Mayflower 400™️ project.

The art trail, featuring 30 4ft-by-4ft octopus sculptures, can be followed on the Octopus Ahoy! app (free to download on iPhone and Android) – every time you reach an octopus and GPS picks up your location (or you scan the QR code on the plinth of the sculpture), you win a prize!

These large octopus sculptures will be auctioned towards the end of the project with all profits going to Essex-based charities.

More information about downloading the app will be posted shortly.

The smaller 2ft-by-2ft octopus sculptures from the education programme will also be available to follow on the art trail app, and are to be hosted in internal locations throughout the summer – but no prizes will be awarded for these. They will be returned to their schools/community groups at the end of the project.

Sculpture Sponsors already on board

What Next?

If you would like to join the Octopus Ahoy! programme, or have any questions about any part of the event, we are more than happy to help!

For enquiries please contact the team at KAT Marketing on 01206 765544.