Light The North Lighthouse – ‘Puffin Playground’

Did you know that puffins love helter skelters? These ones do! Introducing the ‘Puffin Playground’, my 2.5m tall lighthouse sculpture for Light The North art trail, fundraising for Clan Cancer Support.

📷: Catriona MacKenzie

When you are going through tough times it can feel a bit like you’re on a Helter Skelter. The lyrics from The Beatles song of the same title reflect those feelings…

📷: Kay Mutch

“When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide, Where I stop and I turn and go for a ride”.

The Beatles

We all look forward to the puffins returning to the Scottish shores – this Light The North lighthouse/ Helter Skelter celebrates iconic and cheeky wee birds. Spotting them in the wild is really something so special and I just love drawing and painting them. They bring me lots of joy creating them so my hope is that they will bring a smile to others too as they spot them spinning around their very own lighthouse.

“The Light the North lighthouse trail takes people on a cultural tour of the north-east of Scotland, including Moray, Orkney and Shetland. Discover 50 large lighthouse sculptures designed and created by some of the UK’s most talented artists.”

Light The North

“Raising awareness and funds for the most significant cancer support charity in the region, CLAN Cancer Support. The charity shines a light of hope in the dark for anyone affected by cancer.”

Light The North

Do you remember my sculptures for both Oor Wullie Bucket Trails, Maggie’s Penguin Parade and The Big Stampede? Well, the Light The North lighthouses are another Wild In Art trail, which is raising funds for Clan Cancer Support this time.

My brilliant sponsor is Cable Solutions Worldwide Ltd. Thank you for choosing my design.

Suzanne also looks forward to the adorable puffins returning to the Scottish shores – this Helter Skelter is not only fun but it celebrates these wonderful, iconic birds”.

Light The North

Where can my lighthouse can be found on the trail?

In Inverurie! A small town just to the north west of Aberdeen. You can find it on the corner of Burn Lane close to the train station, which makes it super easy to get to! There are two other lighthouses there too, one by my talented pal, Katie Guthrie (KMG) and the other by Ellie Mulhern.

For the full trail map, all the artists, sponsors, app, events and more please head over to the Light The North website – here.

Reid says he approves of the puffins. Thanks Reid!

The colours of my lighthouse tell their own story too.

Marrs Green: I’m based in Dundee and the sculpture was painted in my studio. The studio walls are Marrs Green, which is a Dundee colour named specifically in reference to the colour found in the River Tay. The Tay flows into the North Sea which surrounds the North East coast of Scotland where the project is based.

Gold: There is a golden sunshine on the roof of my lighthouse with giant golden sunbeams radiating down the sides of the sculpture in the style of retro helter skelters. The east coast of Scotland is known to be the sunny side (and Dundee is often fondly known as sunny Dundee).

Pink: This bright shade of pink that makes up the puffin’s helter skelter slide also doubles up as a beautiful big ribbon wrapping its way around the lighthouse like a hug. It represents the pink ribbon that symbolises breast cancer awareness; a cancer that has caused much pain and suffering to several women I am (and was) very close to, their friends and families too.

“The trail will be present in each of the areas that CLAN Cancer Support operates. For over 36 years, CLAN has supported anyone affected by cancer, providing emotional and practical support to ensue that peoples well being needs are being taken care of at all states of the cancer journey.”

Light The North

At the end of trail, each of the lighthouse sculptures will be auctioned off and the funds raised will help CLAN to support even more people affected by cancer. This is why I chose to submit a design for the trail and was delighted to be able to do something to help.

Here’s me painting one of my little puffins in the studio as he tries to whizz past me on his slide. Luckily I caught him in time to finish painting his beak! 😅

Let’s see your photos!

📷 @nicola_jayne_80 (Instagram)

One of my favourite parts of these trails is meeting everyone who visits my sculpture (usually via social media). I love seeing your pictures popping up and even before the trail officially launched on 9th June people were already capturing my lighthouse out in the wild.


Remember to tag us

#LightTheNorth #LighthouseTrail and @LightTheNorth and me @WhimSicALLush #whimsicallush

so we don’t miss your piccies!


I’ll leave you with a wee video tour of the ‘Puffin Playground’ before it left the studio…

… and some behind the scenes pictures too! You’ll spot that I was sharing my studio space with two others. My scruffy wee dog Lupin is not usually far from me and is great company in the studio but not so helpful with wrapping sculptures, he he. She’s also good at telling Blair (Blair McCafferty – Creature Emporium) to stop slacking and get painting too! I love that photo. 😆 He needed somewhere to paint his lighthouse and we always have a laugh working together. You can find his lighthouse in Aberdeen.

Farewell Event

It came to the time to say farewell to our sculptures before they go to auction on Monday 1st November. Here are some pictures from a drizzly, dreich but fun weekend up in Aberdeen. 📸 before edits by Mary Butterworth (thanks Mary x)

The Auction

If you’d like to bid on my lighthouse, or indeed another, please head over to the Light The North website here for more details.

You can join us live at the auction through live streams from Facebook. It’s always an exciting (and a wee bit nerve wracking) night as we know the our sculptures are raising money for an incredible cause – Clan Cancer Support!

I’d love for you to stay in touch. Do come and say hello over on one (or all) of my social media channels, there’s usually something fun happening over there.

You can find me

@whimsicallush on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you again soon. Wishing you lots of happy and safe exploring! S 💚🌿x

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