Hartlepool art festival is a big draw

Lawrence Goldsmith and Sean Garnett with Andy Capp artwork.
Lawrence Goldsmith and Sean Garnett with Andy Capp artwork.

A fantastic festival of art is pulling in visitors by the hundreds to Hartlepool.

And there is still time to visit the Festival of Illustration, which is open until August 29 at the Hartlepool Art Gallery, in Church Square.

The exhibition appeals to all ages.

The exhibition appeals to all ages.

More than 40 world-renowned artists are exhibiting their original works at the festival, which is in collaboration with Hartlepool Borough Council and hosted by Cleveland College of Art and Design.

Big draws have been works by Gerald Scarfe, satirical cartoonist for the Sunday Times, and Sir Ridley Scott, a former student of the former West Hartlepool College of Art, who donated story boards from his works Boy and a Bicycle and Black Hawk Down.

Other artists to exhibit include Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler and Jane Hissey, author and illustrator of children’s book series, Old Bear and Friends.

The festival has already brought in packed audiences for events, including a programme of talks by figures including Lawrence Goldsmith, cartoonist and co-writer for the Hartlepool legend Andy Capp by Reg Smythe.

The Festival exhibition is brilliant and has really got some fantastic names here, such as Ridley Scott and Gerald Scarfe. I would encourage people to come and have a look and to get inspired and then pick up a pencil or paintbrush and have a go

Lawrence Goldsmith

Lawrence said: “The Festival exhibition is brilliant and has really got some fantastic names here, such as Ridley Scott and Gerald Scarfe. I would encourage people to come and have a look and to get inspired and then pick up a pencil or paintbrush and have a go.”

On his character Andy Capp, Lawrence said: “The comic is so enduring and successful because the characters that Reg Smythe invented are brilliant. He is an everyman – he likes his footy and beer and his betting on horses and that translates round the world – still.”

Sean Garnett, co-writer for Andy Capp, said: “The art gallery is a lovely location and a fantastic building for the exhibition. Illustration is one of those things that whether you have a particular interest or not, there is something here that will strike you.

“Everybody should look at art in some form or another, and a lot of work has been put into this exhibition, so there is something to appeal to every age and every style.

“It also sparks childhood memories, and in this digital day and age, you forget just how good some illustrators are and were, with some fantastic talent on display here.”

More than 250 works of art from as far back as the 1950s and 60s are now on display.