Josie Brookes

Will be in residence

Josie Brookes will be in residence at The ConTemporary, 13-14 Church Street, Hartlepool, TS24 7HE on Tuesday 7th May 10.30am-4pm,
Wednesday 8th May 10am-4pm,
Friday 10th and
Saturday 11th May 11am-4pm,
Monday 13th and
Tuesday 14th May 10.30am-4pm,
Wednesday 15th May 10am-4pm and
Friday 17th May 11am-4pm.

An illustrator is taking up residence in Hartlepool as part of the build-up to The Northern Festival of Illustration 2019. Established north east illustrator Josie Brookes will be based at The ConTemporary gallery and events space on the town’s historic Church Street from 7th – 20th May. As part of the extended programme for the third biennial event, which is organised by The Northern School of Art, Josie is joining the festival to run a pop-up studio where she will be creating a body of new illustration work and running a series of workshops. The free to attend sessions include a range of themed bookable events for people to come along and explore their creativity. A drawing session inspired by local music, workshops on stop frame animation and collage and a children’s printing workshop, where young creatives will make their own colourful monkey print, are all scheduled to take place as part of the residency. Over-18s can also attend a Drink and Draw event on Friday 10 May from 5-7pm where the walls, floors and even windows of the pop up studio will provide a blank canvas to draw on in a fun, informal way, whilst having a drink and chatting with others. Josie says she is really excited about the residency: “I visited the last two festivals and was very impressed with the calibre of the work exhibited and the amazing creativity around the event. “I had a good look round Hartlepool then and I’m really looking forward to getting to know the town and people better through my pop-up studio and events in the run up to The Northern Festival of Illustration.” Newcastle-based Josie has enjoyed a successful career in illustration since she moved back to her native north east after graduating from university in Brighton in 2004. “I made a conscious decision to come back to the region and not stay in the south,” she added. “There is a great creative scene in the north east and I would highly recommend it as a place where there is lots of potential and plenty of opportunities.” Josie specialises in editorial illustration, with a focus on colour experimentation, collage and print making techniques. Her published work includes children’s books ‘The Flower with Feelings’, ‘The Making of U’ and e-book ‘My Random Digi Life’. She is also a key member of the Illustration collective ‘Set of Drawers’, who curate exhibitions, drawing events and undertake group commissions across the north east region. Alongside her professional practice Josie works as a participatory arts practitioner, working both independently and on behalf of organisations, delivering creative workshops in illustration, print, animation and graphic design to groups of all ages and abilities. She continued: “The workshops are going to be fun and there are also lots of opportunities for people to drop-in to the studio, say hello and ask questions about the work I’m creating. I’m really looking forward to people engaging in what I’m doing.” The Northern School of Art’s Vice Principal, Pat Chapman, said that Josie’s reputation and the quality of her work made her an ideal appointment as one of the illustrators in residence as part of The Northern Festival of Illustration’s expanded programme this year. “It’s fantastic to have Josie working and delivering workshops as part of this year’s expanded festival programme. She is well-known as an illustrator in the north east and has lots of highly relevant experience of delivering creative projects within communities. The quality of her work is also highly impressive, which people will be able to see first-hand when they call into the studio at The ConTemporary.” Carlo Viglianisi, joint director of the non-profit arts organisation, Empty Shop, which runs The ConTemporary gallery in Hartlepool where Josie will be based, said: "We are really looking forward to hosting Josie's residency and welcoming even more people into the space. It promises to be a fantastic couple of weeks" For further information about Josie’s residency and workshops visit http://festivalofillustration.com/ To find out more about the workshops contact Josie at josiebrookes@hotmail.com or on 07803124527. To book onto the Drink and Draw event on Friday 10 May from 5-7pm visit HERE The 2019 Northern Festival of Illustration takes place from 1 June – 15 September at Hartlepool Art Gallery and at venues across the Tees Valley. The Northern Festival of Illustration partners and supporters include The Northern School of Art, Hartlepool Borough Council, Sir James Knott Trust, northern print, Lottery-funded Arts Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Association of Illustrators, Newspaper Club and The Gillian Dickinson Trust.