Ahoy there! Loads to ‘sea’ and pirates too at The Northern Festival of Illustration!
The award-winning Northern Festival of Illustration is back in Hartlepool for a fifth time this summer. This time the festival has a distinctly nautical feel to tie into the Tall Ships Race and extend the fun through the summer months.
The Northern School of Art, who run the festival, have announced the main programme for the event which runs from 23 June – 30 September 2023 and they are welcoming some very special visitors – Pirates!
The School has worked with Aardman to create an amazing exhibition ‘Aardman Presents The Pirates!’ at Hartlepool Art Gallery for the summer. The exhibition will showcase puppets, sets, props and concept art from the Aardman/Sony Pictures Animation co-production ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!’. They will be on display from 24 June until the end of September as part of The Northern Festival of Illustration.
Pat Chapman, Festival Director and Vice Principal at The Northern School of Art, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aardman and a bunch of misfit pirates to Hartlepool and the Festival! This is a really rare chance for people to see items from behind the scenes of this rip-roaring Aardman film. We are also delighted to support the celebration of the Tall Ships Race and extend the time we can all get involved in something nautical.”
Aardman are delighted that the beautifully crafted sets, props and puppets from its much-loved film The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists* will be featured at the Festival of Illustration this summer.
“The Festival’s connection to this year’s Tall Ships Race makes Hartlepool the perfect location for the exhibition,” said Ngaio Harding-Hill, Head of Attractions & Live Experiences at Aardman.
Councillor Bob Buchan, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult and Community-Based Services Committee, said: “We are proud and excited to be supporting The Northern Festival of Illustration by hosting this prestigious exhibition in Hartlepool Art Gallery.
“Multi-Academy Award winners Aardman are world-renowned for the quality and creativity of their animation and it’s a real coup for Hartlepool to host this important exhibition. It will be a fascinating, fun insight into film-making for people of all ages, and with its pirate theme we couldn’t have asked for a more fantastic and fitting exhibition during The Tall Ships Races Hartlepool 2023.”
The Festival runs from 23 June 2023 until the end of September and as always everything is free to enjoy. The Pirates! exhibition is not all that is happening at the Festival.
Following the amazing reaction to the Monkey Sculpture Trail at the 2021 Festival year this year’s Festival is staging ‘Ship Ahoy!’. 30 ship sculptures will be decorated by the community and four local artists and form a trail around the town.
They will be placed in businesses, and community venues as an invitation to visit. Last time an auction of the monkeys raised thousands for Hartlepool Carers and this time another local charity will benefit.
Running alongside the Festival is The Northern Illustration Prize which celebrates all that is great about the diverse world of illustration. Attracting talent from around the globe it receives hundreds of entries from six continents. This year emerging and established illustrators are being asked to produce new work on a theme of ‘The Sea’. The 20 shortlisted images will be on public display and the public will be asked to choose the two winners.
Throughout the Festival there will be a range of illustration and zine workshops for all ages.
The Northern Festival of Illustration was founded in 2015 by The Northern School of Art as a major showcase for the talent of illustrators across print, digital, product design and many other fields – aiming to open eyes to the rewarding and diverse careers open to young people.
Pat Chapman expressed his gratitude to the funders of the festival “Our thanks to Arts Council England for their generous ongoing financial support for the Festival through their Lottery Funded Project Grants, and to The Sir James Knott Trust for their financial support. Without this we would not be able to bring this special festival to the town.”
The Tall Ships Races Hartlepool 2023 runs from 6 to 9 July 2023, for more information visit www.tallshipshartlepool2023.co.uk
*PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS © 2012 Sony Pictures Animation Inc. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation.
Further information about the wide range of creative courses at The Northern School of Art’s Middlesbrough and Hartlepool campuses is HERE