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The Crack Magazine

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Hart & Soul

Jonny Hannah’s ‘Shipbuilders and Fisherfolk’ show at Hartlepool Art Gallery is a real love letter to the town.

Jonny Hannah is one of the foremost illustrators in the UK and his exuberant and joyful work has been used by everyone from the Royal Mail to Domino Records (the prestigious Folio Society has also used his designs – one of the favourite books I own is their volume of John Kennedy Toole’s ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’, beautifully illustrated by Hannah). He was born in Dunfermline, but now lives in Southampton. For this show, however, he embedded himself into the community of Hartlepool in order to lean about the town. Consequently, all manner of quirky stories have bubbled to the fore, all of which are reflected in these new works that are fizzing with invention. It’s been a big year for the town – what with the tall ships and all – and this exhibition is another feather in their cap. DP

Jonny Hannah: Shipbuilders and Fisherfolk, until 4 November, Hartlepool Art Gallery,