Grue: Scarborough's new winter experience

Fri 3rd December 2021
Photo By Charlotte Graham

Could a new visitor experience opening this Saturday in Scarborough be the most sustainable Christmas adventure in the country? Grue is a brand new installation at the Old Parcels Office at Scarborough Station and is created entirely out of recycled cardboard and repurposed materials.

Visitors to the attraction will explore four themed rooms – Town, Sky, Sea and Forest – which are all created using unpainted cardboard to stunning effect. The environmentally-friendly attraction comes from the creative mind of Steve Wintercroft, a Scarborough-based artist who has worked with Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Bjork and Game of Thrones to name a few, but features the handiwork of over 300 people, including pupils from St Augustine’s School, Scarborough Sixth Form, local Guide groups and members of the local community of all ages.  Its name, Grue, is taken from the historic word for snow or shiver.

“The cardboard architecture that has gone into creating these four environments is quite incredible, and to ensure that the raw materials remain visible, the only painting is done with light – making this a remarkable twilight experience for local people,” comments Rach Drew, co-director of Arcade, which has produced Grue. 

The team has been working with the local community to create individual parts of the installation throughout November, with open crafting days for the local community where people could come along for an hour or a day to create items to feature in the experience. “Steve is a world-class artist in his own right, and has been the driving creative force for Grue, whilst demonstrating to people just how much you can do with recycled materials,” adds Rach.

Creating environmentally-conscious art has long been a guiding principle for artist Steve, who trained as a cabinet maker and then became a surfboard shaper. From his home and studio in Scarborough, he now produces digital templates for masks that can be made from waste card anywhere in the world.

“I would hope that everyone who sees this experience in the coming weeks looks a little differently to what is normally discarded on Christmas Day – the wrapping paper and packaging can have another life even before they make it into the recycling bin with a little creativity,” says Steve Wintercroft.

Grue is located in the Old Parcels Office Artspace, located in a grade II listed building on Scarborough Station. Sally Gorham, Chair of the Old Parcels Office, who commissioned the installation, commented, “This project really fulfils our aim of bringing high quality contemporary art to Scarborough and not only giving local artists and performers a platform to show their work, but making it accessible to everyone, regardless of background or income.”

Indeed, Grue is being run on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis, with a suggested donation of £3 per person. It is anticipated that visits will take around 15-20 minutes.  Visitors are offered timeslots with up to six people per slot to ensure distancing is possible. It will be open on three weekends in December leading up to Christmas, 3pm - 7pm and Thursdays from 4pm throughout December, plus Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 December. Grue by Wintercroft is produced by ARCADE, commissioned by the Old Parcels Office Arts Centre Scarborough, funded by Yorkshire Coast BID and supported by Arts Council England, Kickstarter backers and Invisible Dust.

Find more information and book tickets here.

Just Beverley