Northern Festival of Illustration set to put Hartlepool on cultural map

World-renowned illustrators, cartoonists and comic artists will show off their work when an award-winning festival returns to Hartlepool.

Monday, 13th May 2019, 13:35 pm
Pat Chapman, vice principal of the Northern School of Art.

The third Northern Festival of Illustration will be hosted in the town from June 1 to September 15 and organised by The Northern School of Art.

Alongside a host of workshops and exhibitions by emerging to professional artists, the festival will include the first showing outside London of a series of illustrations by artist Chris Foss from the best-selling 1970s sex manual, The Joy of Sex.

The famous image from The Joy of Sex book.

Today, Chris is best known for creating science fiction book covers and has also worked on the Netflix movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

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Ben Clowes, a programme Leader from The Northern School of Art, said the inclusion of Chris’s work is a real coup.

He said: “I can’t think of a time when Chris Foss has shown both his work as one of the most influential sci-fi artists, as well as his beautiful drawings for The Joy of Sex.”

The festival will also feature work by other illustrators including comic artist Tor Freeman, whose books include the Digby Dog series, and illustrators Thomas Chamberlain-Keen and Axel Sauerwald from Atomhawk which creates concept art for movie studios Marvel, Aardman, and Warner Bros.

Ben Clowes of the Northern School of Art.

And Northern School of Art degree students will get the chance to showcase their work.

The festival takes place at Hartlepool Art Gallery and other venues across the Tees Valley and will feature a large-scale public artwork on the waterfront in Hartlepool over July 20 and 21.

It will also feature artists shortlisted for a major new international competition The Northern Illustration Prize.

Pat Chapman, The Northern School of Art’s Vice Principal, added: “The festival and the new Northern Illustration Prize, whose judging panel is led by the wonderful Chris Riddell OBE, place Hartlepool firmly on the cultural map.

Comic artist Tor Freeman.

“Many of the more than 70,000 visitors to the previous two festivals were from outside the region, providing a real boost to the visitor economy.

“This year we have truly gone international with entries to the prize coming from every continent except Antarctica!”

Entry to the Northern Festival of Illustration and all workshops is free.

For more details. visit