Header Ads

Public Art: Aardman's 'Morph Of The North' Art Trail and Anime Limited's London 'Belle' Mural

Britain's beloved Aardman Animations have been entertaining the people of the UK and around the world for over 40 years. They're also a company with a social conscience that has often partnered with charities and organisations at home and abroad to help various good causes and campaigns. This includes both producing animation and also by collaborating with charities in various other media

Some UK readers may remember Aardman's previous public Art Trails. produced together with the organisation Wild In ArtWild In Art produce public trails featuring sculptures showcasing the work of various artists that have appeared in various cities around the world for a limited time. Often they partner with a media company and feature recognisable characters. Previous trials in UK cities have included Paddington Bear and Elmer The Elephant as well as prior Aardman trails featuring Shaun The Sheep and Gromit. The sculptures are designed to raise funds for charitable causes as well as support artists and encourage creativity. After each trail concludes, the sculptures are auctioned off in aid of charity. Wild In Art has so far helped raise more than £19.5 million for charitable causes,  engaged more than 950,000 young people in learning programmes and injected more than £3.5 million into creative communities. 

This time Aardman and WIA are teaming up to bring new trails featuring beloved Aardman characters to various British towns and cities in the coming months. The sculptures will be either of Shaun again or of Morph, the studio's first breakout character originally featured on the BBC Childrens' art shows Take Hart and Hart Beat. Due to his origins in that show, Morph is a perfect character to feature in the campaign, which will see sculptures decorated by both established and up-and-coming artists.

"The art trails are part of Morph’s mission to get the nation creating," says Wild In Art's Charlie Langhorne" and this first event, hosted by North Tyneside Council, will see our Morph of the North with twenty 1.8m tall Morph sculptures decorated by commissioned artists from across the country with a wide range of themes including floral, character designs and plays on the word ‘Morph’."

The first trail, Morph's Epic Art Adventure opened in North Tyneside on January 31. The opportunity to host trails featuring either character is open to cities and towns across the country, and the venues for upcoming trails will be revealed later.

Aardman's Commercial Director Rob Goodchild said "We are very happy to be working with the great team at Wild in Art to bring more art trails featuring our characters to the streets of the UK, including the inaugural Morph art trail – a character that’s encouraged creativity in generations of kids since the seventies. We look forward to finding fun and creative angles to connect our characters with each location and inspire people – young and old – to get creative.”

Meanwhile, in other public Art news (although for altogether more commercial purposes a giant mural featuring the protagonist of Mamoru Hosoda's Belle has appeared in London's Camden Lock. To celebrate the film's release in the UK on February 4, distributor Anime Limited has teamed up with the artist collective Global Street Art to recreate the image seen in the film itself.

The artwork was created by a team of four and took three days to complete. You can see how it all came together in the timelapse video below. Anime Limited's CEO and founder Andrew Partridge says "Belle reflects just how entwined the digital world is with our own, so we wanted to ensure that promotion for the film lived up to that spirit. Establishing a meaningful physical presence in the heart of London to pair with our online efforts felt like the most sincere way to do that. I think it’s impossible to see such stunning artwork in person and not ask yourself, ‘Who is Belle?’"