Aardman and Whizz-Kidz launch Morph accessible art trail

Published 9th June 2022

Aardman, Wild in Art and Whizz-Kidz, the UK's leading charity for young wheelchair users, have launched a major new initiative – “Morph’s Epic Art Adventure in London” which is set to be the first accessible, step-free cultural event of its kind.

The spectacular public art trail and tourist attraction will see up to 70 super-sized sculptures of Morph take over the streets of central London in summer 2023.

The step-free family-friendly art trail of colourful Morphs will span across iconic London landmarks including St Pauls, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market.

The launch was attended by contributing artists, sponsors, and representatives from Whizz-Kidz, Aardman and Wild in Art along with young wheelchair users to give their take on the accessible trail as well as plans for the epic adventure taking place next summer.

Presenting Partners Barratt Developments and Sky are supporting the charity to deliver this ambitious cultural attraction.

David Thomas, CEO of Barratt Developments, said, “We jumped at the chance to continue our long term partnership with Whizz-Kidz helping to enrich the lives of young wheelchair users. Morph’s Epic Adventure in London will highlight the restrictions placed on wheelchair users and we think this is a really positive campaign which we were keen to support. It will be the first step free art trail of its kind which is exciting, but which has a serious purpose too.”

Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids Content, Sky commented, “We’re delighted to be able to sponsor Morph’s Epic Art Adventure in London. Everyone loves Morph and his cheeky escapades and this trail is a brilliant way for all kids to play, explore and share time with their families as they track him down in real life. As well as being brilliantly accessible for young wheelchair users, this Epic trail will spark important conversations about why accessibility matters.”

Whizz-Kidz is embarking on this fun, fully accessible trail across London to raise awareness of the need for better access and inclusion for young wheelchair users, and to raise vital funds to support their work. The money raised will enable the charity to provide life-changing wheelchairs and confidence-building opportunities for young wheelchair users in the capital and across the UK. The Morph sculptures will be canvases for conversations about diversity and inclusion for wheelchair users.

Morph, the iconic animated clay character who first appeared in 1977 in the BBC children’s programme Take Hart, and was a regular fixture on children’s television throughout the 70s and 80s. Art is part of Morph’s DNA, which makes him the perfect ambassador for this art trail. Ever since his early days on our screens, Morph has been making mischief and encouraging generations of kids - and adults – to get creative, just as he will continue to do on the streets of London in 2023.

Each of the 70 Morph sculptures stands at 6ft tall and will be adorned with bespoke designs from a range of artists, supported by sponsors including Sky, Barratt Developments, EY, Kids Industries, Evenbreak, and Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd. Once the trail has closed, each of the bespoke Morph sculptures will be auctioned with the aim of raising £500,000 for Whizz-Kidz.

A trail app, website, map, guidebook and dedicated social media channels will enable trail-goers to navigate the route, tracking down each sculpture and unlocking fun facts and rewards.

Penny, Chair of Kidz Board said, "Morph and his new epic adventures have captivated us all at some point in our lives. As a child, watching him was the only thing capable of preparing me for a visit to the hospital. Now we're teaming up, I want to aim bigger - preparing every disabled child to go on their own adventures.’’

Sarah Pugh, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz said, “We’re delighted to launch Morph’s Epic Art Adventure in London. This accessible and fun trail will bring the London business community, creative artists, schools and families together in the summer of 2023. The awareness and money raised will have a huge legacy for young wheelchair users we support for years to come.”

Peter Lord, Co-Founder of Aardman and Creator of Morph, said “We are totally thrilled to be working with the excellent charity Whizz-Kidz on London’s first step-free art trail. Morph started his career in animation back in the seventies, appearing alongside Tony Hart on the artist’s work-table. Ever since he’s been a source of entertainment and inspiration for kids, with his unique blend of creativity, mischief and fun. I’m sure that local residents and visitors to London – young and old – will also be inspired to get creative and join Morph for an Epic Art Adventure.”

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art said, “Wild in Art passionately champions the importance of art for everybody and the social, cultural and educational benefits which it provides. Morph will bring colour and creativity to the city next summer and we are thrilled to be teaming up with Whizz-Kidz and Aardman to create this exciting event.”