What do you call a man with rabbits in his pockets? Warren. What do you call a man without shins? Tony (toe-knee, geddit?). And what do you call a mischievous claymation man who can change shape at will? That’s right, Morph.
Well in summer 2023 we’ll be welcoming not just one, but an army of life-size Morphs to the capital, courtesy of Whizz-Kidz, the charity for young wheelchair-users, and Aardman, the original creators of the famous stop-motion character (and later Wallace & Gromit).
This Morph battalion, 70-figures strong, will form an accessible art trail across the city, step-free and wheelchair-friendly, in a first for London.
London landmarks will include all the big-hitters, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, The Globe, Borough Market – ensuring that you can pick up some tasty snacks en route – and the Tower of London, where the threat of chopping his head off might make Morph behave for once.
When the trail launches next year, visitors will be able to download an app to help them find the Morphs, plus dedicated social media channels to keep up to date with news of Morph’s Epic Art Adventure. Once the trail ends, each uniquely designed statue will be auctioned off, which will raise money for Whizz-Kids, working to ensure every young wheelchair user is mobile, enabled and included and to raise awareness of the need for accessibility and inclusion.
Now, in case you’re wondering, Morph is also a term meaning ‘change smoothly from one image to another by small gradual steps using computer animation techniques.’ The loveable animated rogue first made an appearance on BBC kid’s TV back in the 1970s and right through the '80s as a naughty disrupter of art activities led by presenter Tony Hart, so it’s completely apt that he’s taking residence on our streets in the near future like a grinning plasticine Banksy.
Need more art, free in your life? Here’s the best in London.
And here’s a round-up of the best galleries.