Larkin with Toads / Public love Hull’s largest ever art installation

Photo by Dennis Low/Larkin25

Recently released around Hull, Larkin with Toads is a large scale, mass participation public art event that will populate the city with enormous decorated toads for 10 weeks during summer 2010, as part of Larkin25.

Taking Philip Larkin’s poems Toads and Toads Revisited as a starting point, giant decorated toad sculptures will pop up all over the city of Hull and surrounding areas.

Each of the sculptures, spawned from a master design by Chris Wilkinson of Wild in Art, will stand about 1m tall. With the assistance of sponsorship by local businesses, and practical support from Artlink these will be decorated by artists, designers, and community groups.

Larkin was a renowned countryside and animal lover, and a hard worker – his poems Toads and Toads Revisited take a darkly comic look at the pressures and pleasures of working life. In the first poem, Larkin compares work to a Toad squatting on his life, returning to the theme in Toads Revisited to reflect on his more positive feelings towards work in later life.

Larkin with Toads brings Larkin’s vision of the Toad to life – the Toads will brighten up working days and holidays alike for Hull visitors and residents alike – and we hope they will inspire people to look at the poetry too!   

View the BBC gallery of Larkin with Toads

For more information on the toads and their locations, download the below press release or visit

For images and additional details, contact [email protected]