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Animating Hexham

Inspired by Hexham’s rich heritage, Animating Hexham returned in 2024 and saw our historic town centre once again animated by artists and local families. 

Attracting hundreds of visitors, the project brought Hexham town centre to life again for three evenings in February 2024, sharing inspiring animations created by artists and families. The animations aimed to inspire conversations about accessing culture in the town centre, how we explore heritage and draw attention to Hexham’s HSHAZ.

Couldn't make the event this year? We're delighted to be able to share one of the animations commissioned in 2024...

It’s Home Isn’t It 
By Jennie Brewis
Animation by Lily Mae Kroese

Using the voices of local people and the sounds of nature and the environment It’s Home Isn’t It? captures the positive communal experience of Hexham.

This piece was made in collaboration with Gary Bowden, Chrysalis Club Tynedale and the patrons of The Coach and Horses, Rowan Lees, the young people and staff at Corbridge Middle School, Rob Mackay, David de la Haye, Julie Bartley and the families involved in Queen’s Hall’s Sound Explorers workshops as well as John Ashton, who worked on the audio post-production.

Watch this video to hear more about It's Home Isn't It? from Jennie Brewis

Watch this video to hear more about It's Home Isn't It? from Lily Mae Kroese

The Hexham Dragon animations
In 2023, Queen’s Hall ran a writing competition for local children to create a story about The Hexham Dragon. Sheryl Jenkins, a professional animator, then worked with the winners and their classmates from Hexham First School and Sele First School to bring the stories to life using stop-motion animation. The end results were enjoyed by hundreds of visitors at the 2024 event.

Other exhibiting artists included Liam Owen and Stevie Ronnie, Charlie Riddle, Sheila Graber, Ken Patterson, Joanna Byrne, Yoan Segot, Dennis Sisterson, Rachel Campbell Hewson and Isabel Graham.

The programme of cultural activity is led by Queen’s Hall Arts on behalf of Hexham HSHAZ (High Street Heritage Action Zone). It is an ambitious project seeking to deliver cultural activity that boosts the town centre and enhances awareness of the Conservation Area. It aims to revitalise Hexham’s historic town centre making it a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work, invest and visit.

Animating Hexham: 2021 Pilot

The project was piloted successfully in 2021 with animations across the main shopping streets. Have a watch of this look back video...

Previous artists...

Our 2021 artists commissioned to create animations based on stories and memories about the High Street collected by Northumberland Archives and Hexham Libraries included Erin McGrath, Jason KerleyPetra Szemán, Ronan Devlin and Rozi Fuller.  Animator and filmmaker Sheryl Jenkins also worked with families to create a series of animations which were showcased online and projected in Hexham town centre.  

“Last night we were lucky enough to visit the streets of Hexham for Animating Hexham a project run by Queen's Hall it’s so wonderful to see people able to stumble across artworks in real life again.”

Audience Feedback

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