You may have heard the rumblings through The Shambles or the whispers on the Ouse, that something is coming to the city of York. A new character will guide people through York’s cobbled streets and hidden gardens in a new trail coming to the city in 2024, organised by Make It York with charity partner St Leonard's Hospice.

Almost 2,000 people voted for their favourite character to feature in the sculpture trail, and we can now reveal the winner...

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Snooks with Books by Sian Ellis

Snook is a bookish breed, often found in cosy corners with their faces buried inside the pages of a good book. They’ve been here just as long as even The Norman House (the oldest building in York) but they are a little more hidden away than the historic sights of the city that you are familiar with. However recently Snook sightings have skyrocketed, and it looks like these friendly folk have been enjoying some sightseeing around the city walls.

York Sculpture Trail Sponsor Launch 3

Snooks with Books is created by Sian Ellis, a Yorkshire based illustrator and mural artist whose work is playful, fun and full of humour. She is inspired by the bold and the bright, the weird and the wonderful. Sian has created art on a national scale and in a range of mediums, ranging from detailed fine drawing to twelve foot paintings and even a metre long knitted head band for a fibre glass gorilla! Sian has created a number of murals around Yorkshire and has worked on a number of charity sculpture trails across the UK, with which the sales of her sculptures have to date raised over £100,000 for charitable causes.

Sian Ellis, artist of Snooks with Books, said: “I am over the moon to be teaming up with Make It York and St Leonard’s Hospice to bring the bookish snooks to York in 2024. After years of hiding in cosy corners with a good book these usually shy creatures can’t wait to come out and explore the city’s streets! I’m really looking forward to seeing how artists from across the region transform each one and excited to see the creative ways that the books that the snooks carry are brought into each design. I cannot wait to see these gentle giants brought to life and hope that families in the city have a wonderful time on their very own hunt for snooks next year.”

Sian Ellis

The trail will see up to 30 Snooks with Books around the city. Each sculpture will be sponsored by local businesses, who will be paired with an artist to create a bespoke design for each sculpture. Applications for artists to submit their designs will open in the coming weeks.

Businesses and organisations interested in sponsoring a sculpture can contact for more information.

York Sculpture Trail Sponsor Launch