The world’s first ever Morph art trail hits the streets of North Tyneside this weekend.
Twenty individually designed Morph sculptures will be in and around the borough’s town centres from Saturday 29 January to Sunday 3 April.
Morph’s Epic Art Adventure will see colourful life-sized models of the Aardman favourite found in Whitley Bay, Wallsend, Killingworth, Forest Hall, Tynemouth, North Shields and Cullercoats.
The trail is inspired by the iconic clay character who made his TV debut in 1977 on the BBC children’s art programme Take Hart, alongside artist and presenter Tony Hart.
Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside said, “William Harbutt, the inventor of plasticine, was born in North Tyneside, so its apt that we’ve got the world premiere of such an amazing attraction in North Tyneside.”
“It’ll be great to see families getting active, heading out into our town centres and enjoying our fabulous coastline to track down all the sculptures.”
Peter Lord, Co-Founder of Aardman and Co-Creator of Morph said: “We are thrilled to be working with North Tyneside Council on the first ever Morph art trail. Morph has been making mischief and encouraging creativity in generations of kids since the seventies, and we hope the people of North Tyneside – young and old – are inspired to get creative and join Morph for an Epic Art Adventure.”
The ’Morph’s Epic Art Adventure’ interactive app will be available to download from the Android and Apple app stores this weekend. A limited number of printed maps will be available from local Customer First Centres and maps to download and print at home will be available too.
Morph has been encouraging creativity in generations of kids for 45 years, with his adventures available on Sky Kids and his dedicated You Tube channel.
Morph’s Epic Art Adventure was created by Wild in Art and is presented by North Tyneside Council and North of Tyne Combined Authority.
For more information see www.visitnorthtyneside.com.
Notes for editors:
William Harbutt was born in North Shields in 1844. He invented plasticine for use by his students in around 1897.
Wild in Art is the leading producer of spectacular public art events that entertain, enrich, inform and leave a lasting legacy. It brings together businesses and creative sectors with schools and local communities through the creation of uniquely painted sculptures.
Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Manchester, Sydney, Auckland, Cape Town and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.
Wild in Art events have:
• Enabled over £19.5m to be raised for charitable causes
• Injected £3.5m into local creative communities
• Engaged over 950,000 young people in learning programmes
• Helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings
wildinart.co.uk | @wildinart | #wildinart
Aardman, based in Bristol (UK) and co-founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is an independent and multi-Academy Award® and BAFTA® award winning studio. It produces feature films, series, advertising, games and interactive entertainment – current animated productions include; brand new 2021 holiday specials Robin Robin and Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas, CGI series Lloyd of the Flies, a new stop motion series for pre-schoolers The Very Small Creatures and a Chicken Run movie sequel.
Its productions are global in appeal, novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm reflecting the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the Aardman team. The studio’s work – which includes the creation of much-loved characters including Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Morph – is often imitated, and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning content for cinema, broadcasters, digital platforms and live experiences around the world. Recent celebrated projects include the ‘visually astonishing’ (Guardian), BAFTA® nominated console game, 11-11: Memories Retold, the four-times Gold Cannes Lions-winning StorySign app, AR experience Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix up - and innovative attractions for both the domestic and international market, including a 4D theatre attraction at Efteling in the Netherlands.
The studio runs the Aardman Academy which has a commitment to nurturing talent by delivering excellence in film and animation training and mentoring. The Aardman Academy offers a variety of courses from intensive one-day workshops teaching production skills and storyboarding, to comprehensive twelve-week courses for professionals in craft based subjects from model making to animation.
In November 2018 it became an Employee Owned Organisation, to ensure Aardman remains independent and to secure the creative legacy and culture of the company for many decades to come. www.aardman.com
Morph is the animated clay character who made his TV debut in 1977 in the children’s BBC programme Take Hart, alongside the artist and presenter Tony Hart. He was one of Aardman’s first creations and was later joined by his cream-coloured partner-in-crime Chas.
Morph was a regular fixture on children’s television throughout the 70s and 80s, and received his own Blue Peter badge on 9th March 1981 when Blue Peter presenter Sarah Greene visited the Aardman studios.
In 2013, almost 40 years after his TV debut, Morph made a comeback following a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign. He has a dedicated fan base of nostalgic adult fans and a growing audience of children who follow his adventures on his thriving YouTube channel and on Sky Kids. Most recently Morph and his sidekick Chas have been delighting fans with all-new adventures in ‘The Epic Adventures of Morph, a longer format series which launched on Sky Kids and NowTV in 2020.
Despite now being in his forties, Morph is as mischievous as ever.