Big future for mini artworks

Nick Hope in his The Borrowers Experience
Nick Hope in his The Borrowers Experience

A YOUNG artist who is taking steps towards a career in the arts has made a giant impact with his world in miniature recreations.

Hartlepool student Nick Hope has created a scene from popular children’s books The Borrowers, which proved one of the big hits at Cleveland College of Art & Design’s (CCAD) annual degree show.

The 22-year-old produced a colourful collection of all things giant that the Clock family from the stories used to borrow, including a cotton reel and needle, batteries, tea lights, thimbles, dice, matches, pencils, keys, a watch, board games, and a tin of sardines.

And his hard work and determination is already starting to pay off as he has just secured work on the well-known BBC TV series Tracy Beaker, which is soon to be filmed in Jesmond, Newcastle.

He has also been approached by the Theatre Royal, in Newcastle, which is going to set up the Borrowers’ den for its learning space in the theatre, which is used as an education studio hosting workshops for teachers and children throughout the region.

The den will be used in a children’s production called Losing Lottie, written by Carolyn Fairley, about a secret world beneath the floorboards.

Nick, who lives in York Road, Hartlepool, said: “It was my favourite book when I was little and I used to have two small figures that I carried around with me everywhere and they were my ‘little people’ just like in the story. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed recreating it and bringing it back to life.

“It took me about 18 weeks to make this and I really wanted it to feel like it is lived in like in the book. I hope people can pick up on that.”

He added: “Ironically, I actually borrowed a lot of the materials myself, such as a plant pot from my friend’s garden to make the giant thimble and lots of wax to fill the enormous tea light.”

“I was over the moon that my name had been put forward and it’s all thanks to a contact I made through the college from working on a film as prop and set assistant.

“I can’t wait to get started. For me it’s a foot in the door in the industry, and who knows where it might lead? I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”

The display by Nick, who is originally from Preston but came to the town for his studies, is among hundreds of stunning exhibits forming the annual CCAD Standout Graduate Show, including jewellery, on-trend wallpaper designs, Swan Lake inspired dresses, alien costumes and imaginative theatre set props.

The show is held at CCAD, Church Square, Hartlepool and is open to visitors each day from 10am-7pm, until Saturday, June 18, when it closes at 4pm.

l For further information about the event please call (01642) 288888.