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Discover the Unique Exhibitions at Hartlepool Art Gallery this Summer

Places to go
June 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

This summer, world-renowned illustrator Jonny Hannah stages a takeover of Hartlepool Art Gallery and the Museum of Hartlepool in a series of unique exhibitions

Jonny has spent the last year plumbing the depths of local memory to uncover the strangest stories and most curious characters from past and recent history, and now the two venues will present a vision of the town as it's never been seen before. Visitors will encounter tales of colossal crustaceans, spectacular ships and local legends which are all brought to life in Jonny's inimitable style. With many brand new works created as a result of his research, on display will be extraordinary paintings, prints and cut-outs, many of which visitors will have the opportunity to buy (the Own Art scheme even helps to spread the cost of any purchase over £100).

Jonny has been let loose in the historic collections of Hartlepool Borough Council and has selected his favourite paintings and objects which will also go on display. So as well as The Darktown Museum of Hartlepool Paraphernalia (or museum objects that don’t actually exist) and discovering Jonny’s take on the infamous Hartlepool Monkey legend, visitors will see the collections curated as never before.

‘Hartlepool is a treasure trove of stories and characters’

Speaking about the exhibitions, Jonny says: ‘Hartlepool is a treasure trove of stories and characters. From its dramatic sunrises, to the grandeur of St Hilda’s church on the headland, it’s also a very handsome town, with much to explore. Making friends along the way is important – from the Northern School of Art, to local artists, to singing songs at a local folk group, I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in very welcoming areas of Hartlepool life. There are ghosts, myths, legends, but also folks that very much existed, like Fish Annie, selling fresh (or not too fresh) fish from a pram. This is golden material to an illustrator like me.’

Both exhibitions are free to enter and open from 24th June until 4th November 2023. Find out more at

Hartlepool Art Gallery, Church Square, Hartlepool TS24 7EQ Museum of Hartlepool, Jackson’s Dock, Maritime Avenue, Hartlepool TS24 0XZ

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