Middlesbrough art and design students make mythical beasts for Wintertide Festival
The giant illuminated structures, created by second year Extended Diploma in Art and Design students will be installed in Croft Gardens, Hartlepool on Saturday 26 November from 2pm-10pm.
Stunning large-scale creations of a stag, a huge eel, an Angler fish and some giant dragonflies will greet the crowds as this year’s festival returns to the town for a fun-packed day of music, creative workshops, an art market, a carnival and fireworks. The Northern School of Art students worked with Hartlepool-based community arts organisation BloomInArt on a live brief to create the structures. As part of the project they researched and documented a range of historical myths and legends from Hartlepool before designing and then making the willow-framed models.
Extended Diploma Art and Design student AJ from Middlesbrough said he had enjoyed the challenge of making the eel-shaped sea monster and was proud of what his group had created: “I really like it, it’s huge! It’s based on a story we found through our research about a cobra that was reported to have been seen on the Headland, which was more likely to have been an eel.
“We designed it, scaled it up and made it using wet willow, clingfilm and wet strength tissue paper then painted it and covered it with glitter. My family are all coming along to see it in place.”
The Northern School of Art’s FE Art & Design Course Leader, Sara Drodge, commented: “It’s been amazing to see students build upon skills acquired in their first year when exploring a variety of disciplines and produce stunning site-specific work. Working with BloomInArt is always a pleasure and an invaluable experience for our students to learn transferable skills that they can apply in life such as employment, apprenticeship and degree level.
“The attention to detail, refinement and professionalism from our students has been first class! We are very proud of them all.”
Second year ED Photography student Joseph Harnett captured images of the students with the monsters before they were transported to Hartlepool for the festival.
Other students in the class were also keen to stress how much they had gained from the project.
Isabel said: “I enjoyed working on a piece for the Wintertide festival as we were able to work in teams and had the chance to use willow again.”
Molly also enjoyed the teamworking adding, “it has allowed me to build on my team working and idea generation skills, alongside the satisfaction that creating art for our community brings, for anyone to enjoy!” with Jack adding that “it gave me a real life experience of working with a company to create a piece of art.”
Sage agreed: “It was helpful to work with a client and put our skills into the community,” as did Jacob who said, “Wintertide festival was an amazing opportunity for me as a college student as it let me experience working as a team and make something the public can enjoy.”
Pi reflected that: “Wintertide was an interesting introduction to real-world briefs and a wonderful start to the school year!” and Alec agreed, “I really enjoyed working on the Wintertide project to start off the academic year. It was fun as we got to work with a few friends and build our creative ideas together. After this project I felt a lot more in control and confident when working in teams.”
Fia summed up by saying: “It was a great feeling seeing it all finished, we were all really proud.” Wintertide Festival, an annual independent festival, working at a grassroots level on the Headland in Hartlepool, takes place in and around the Headland, bringing the streets to life, illuminating and animating public spaces to engage, inspire and spark curiosity.
The theme for Wintertide 2022 is ‘Renaissance’, to mark the event’s return after years of disrupted Covid programming and last year’s event that had to be cancelled due to Storm Arwen.
For further information about Wintertide visit www.wintertidefestival.co.uk
Details of the Extended Diploma in Art and Design course at The Northern School of Art’s Middlesbrough campus is available at www.northernart.ac.uk