To celebrate Morph’s 40th birthday, the team at Aardman has partnered up with Europe’s largest live street and urban art festival, Upfest to create an official portrait of the much-loved character.
The mural will be designed by well-known Bristol graffiti artist CHEO. Known for bringing his own spin to well-known characters, Aardman approached CHEO last year about a possible collaboration and the team instantly fell in love with his sketch of graffiti Morph.
The portrait has been revealed today and will be sprayed live at the festival, which will take place on the 29th – 31st July to create a giant mural. For those who just can’t wait until July, an exclusive limited edition print of Graff Morph by Cheo will be available as a reward on Upfest’s crowdfunding campaign which launches today at 8am.
Now in its 9th edition, the festival has launched its third crowdfunding campaign through fundsurfer.com/Upfest to raise £20,000 to help the festival team pay for part of the infrastructure to manage the 30,000+ expected visitors at the free festival. This will also enable the crew to give away additional materials to the festival’s 300 attending artists who support themselves with flights and accommodation over the duration of the festival.
Apart from playing a part in the continued success of Europe’s largest Street Art & Graffiti festival and the chance to get their hands on the exclusive new print of Graff Morph by Cheo, fans that support the crowd funding campaign will also have the opportunity to receive this year’s festival print by Pahnl, a private wall painted by My Dog Sighs and many more stunning works donated by leading street artists.
Stephen Hayles, Upfest founder and gallery owner explains;
“We are very honoured to be working with Aardman to celebrate Morphs 40th birthday at Upfest 2017 by bringing together two of Bristol’s most famous exports – Aardman and street art.
“The festival has grown significantly since the our humble beginnings in 2008 with just 50 artists and 500 visitors to more than 350 artists flocking to Bristol this July to share their art with the 30,000+ expected visitors and now, the city’s much-loved Morph!”
Peter Lord, Aardman Creative Director and co-creator of Morph added:
“I’m so happy that Morph will be taking part in Upfest this year – it’s a fantastic local event celebrating the creativity at the heart of Bristol. And I love CHEO’s version of Morph, it fits so well with his artistic and mischievous nature!”
Morph first appeared on television screens in 1977, introduced to the world on the children’s TV programme Take Hart alongside the artist and presenter Tony Hart. Created by Aardman founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton, the character was a simple terracotta-coloured figure that could change shape, and because he could metamorphose he was called Morph. Since then, Morph has enjoyed a long and varied career.
As part of Morph’s 40th birthday celebrations at Upfest, as well as the giant mural and exclusive prints a series of smaller Morph portraits will also appear across the festival site, along the streets of Bedminster and Southville over the three days.
For more information visit the festival’s website www.upfest.co.uk or keep up to date on social media by following @Upfest on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.