The Great Exhibition of the North is taking place this summer. It is a celebration…
Morphs Epic Art Adventure is a North Tyneside art trail featuring 20 individual Morph statues which you can track down in the borough until 3rd April.
Morph in the North
If you are a regular reader then you will know I am a lover of the art trails that spring up from time to time in the area. They usually feature well know characters from children’s books or films. Artists are given a blank template and use it to create their own vision of the character. Each Morph is unique and has its own name.
At the moment Morph’s Epic Art Adventure is running across North Tyneside. This features 20 individual Morph statues in and around the area. The challenge is to try and get a photo of them all.
Who is Morph?
You may remember Morph from your childhood. Created in 1976, he is a loveable plasticine figure. He got up to all sorts of adventures in the children’s art program Take Hart, featuring Tony Hart. He lived in a wooden box on the artist’s desk and they would frequently have conversations. Being plasticine he could change shape easily, miming other objects or extending into a cylinder to reach up high.
Fittingly the inventor of plasticine, William Harbutt was born in North Tyneside, specifically North Shields, so it makes perfect sense to have a Morph art trail in the area.
Where are the Morphs?
You can find the Morphs in and around North Tyneside, specifically Whitley Bay, Cullercoats, Tynemouth, Wallsend, Forest Hall, Killingworth, North Shields and the Royal Quays.
The first four Morph’s are hidden in and around North Sheilds.
1. Inside the Beacon Centre – Green Fingers
Green Fingers is the work of artist Laura-Kate Draw (a great name for an artist). He shows a love of gardening and growing your own with decorations of flowers, vegetables and gardening tools. He stands inside the Beacon shopping centre.
2. Outside the Beacon Centre – The Starry Night
The work of Glenn Brook The Starry Night takes inspiration from the painting by Vincent Van Gogh. You can find him just outside the Beacon Centre.
Timeless shows how Morph is timeless, never ageing and loved by new generations. He is the work of artist Ray Meat and has decorations of clocks and original Morph animations. I was not able to find him but he is somewhere near the Beacon Centre and the YMCA.
4. North Shields Fish Quay – Meandering Morph
Meandering Morph overlooks the river Tyne and the fishing boats on the Fish Quay. He depicts a meandering path through the mountains, a great Morph adventure. This Morph is created by RP Robert.
5. Royal Quays – Mr Create
Mr Create is the work of Jenny Leonard and takes inspiration from drawing equipment from an artist’s studio, like the crayons on his legs with instructions for creativity. I need to track this one down.
Killingworth and Forest Hall
There is one Morph in Killingworth and one in Forest Hall.
6. Killingworth – Inside the White Swan Centre – Not So Handy Man
Not So Handy Man is inside the White Swan Centre in Killingworth. It represents Morph as a cheeky character who has been busy making a mess. It is a great representation of the Morph I remember who was always ending up in bother, upending paint tins and stepping on paint tubes accidentally. If you look closely the swirls are made up of hands with smiles inside. The artist is Lei-Mai LeMaow.
7. Forest Hall – Near the Shops – Morpheus
Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams and communicates messages from the gods to people while they sleep. Morpheus is very Greek in his starry toga and Greek sandals. He is the work of Jodie Silverman.
There are five Morph statues hidden around Wallsend
8. Outside Aldi – Morph and Friends
Morph and Friends shows all the Aardman characters through the decades, Morph being one. You can spot Wallace and Grommit and Sean the Sheep among others. There is even a picture of Tony Hart. This is the work of Jessica Perrin.
Inside the Forum Shopping Centre
There are two Morphs inside the Forum Shopping Centre. One is by New Look and the other is by Iceland.
Metamorphosis is the work of Donna Newman and he shows the life cycle of a butterfly. You can see it as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. This is a perfect Morph for the Spring.
PolyMorphism is half parrot, half Morph. His brightly coloured feathers are cheerful, just like Morph. He is the work of Sue Guthrie.
10. Outside Lloyds Bank – Morph in the Jungle
Morph in the Jungle’s bright green colours blend in well with the colours of the bank. He is obviously on a long trek through the undergrowth encountering exotic and colourful creatures on the way. He is the work of Amanda Quellen.
11. Outside Asda – Astromorph
Astromorph is a dedicated astronaut. After years of training, he is ready to follow his dreams and fly off into space. He is the work of Megan Heather Smith-Evan.
While you are in Wallsend, why not pop along to Segedunum which is where Hadrian’s Wall ends. It is an interesting Roman fort. It also marks the start of Hadrian’s Wall Path which takes you along the length of Hadrian’s Wall.
The remainder of the Morphs can be found at the coast, in Whitley Bay, Cullercoats and Tynemouth.
13. Outside Spanish City – Tiger Morph
Tiger Morph stands next to Spanish City on the promenade overlooking the sea. He is looking fab in a tiger onesie. This Morph is the work of Sandra Russell.
14. In Whitley Bay Town Centre – Mighty Morph
Mighty Morph is by Steve Johnson and transforms Morph into a superhero to go on his epic adventures. He always saves the day.
Near Park View Shopping Centre
Wildermorph celebrates the wonderful British wildlife you can discover both during the day and at night. It is the design of Jina Gelder.
Flora is an abstract pattern of flowers, berries and leaves and is the work of Lisa Kirkbride.
Tesselate is the work of Jim Edwards and uses a simple triangle to create an abstract triangular pattern.
I hope to capture some pictures of these soon.
18. Near Whitley Bay Metro – Fish Ahoy
Fish Ahoy is inspired by the seafaring folk. He has caught a load of fish and is wearing a stripey Breton shirt and yellow oilskins. He has lots of tattoos, which have meanings. This is the work of All Elly Design.
19. Tynemouth – A Taste of Whats to Come
This Morph is the work of Emily Ward. It is inspired by the beautiful North East mixing the colours of sunsets with the daisies we will see blooming in the Spring.
While you are in Tynemouth, why not pop in and see Tynemouth Priory and Castle, which you can see just behind this Morph.
20. Cullercoats – Morph Code
This Morph is the design of Glen Brook and mixes the dots and dashes of Morse Code into a colourful design. The Morse code is similar to Morphs language and the design is inspired by Tony Hart’s creations on his show.
Where can I get a map?
You can get a map to download and print at home here. You can also get free maps from Customer First Centres across North Tyneside until stocks run out.
Where can I get Morph’s Epic Art Adventure App?
Like the other art trails, this one also has an app so you can track which Morphs you have visited and find out exactly where they are. The app uses google maps to give directions to each Morph, which is helpful as the map is not that detailed. When you find a Morph you can click the “I’ve found it” button will add it to the My Morphs section of the app.
Download on the play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.nebulalabs.morph
Download on itunes: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/morphs-epic-art-adventure/id1606362797?uo=4
Morph’s Epic Art Adventure was created by Wild in Art and is presented by North Tyneside Council and North of Tyne Combined Authority.
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