Touring exhibition The Art of Aardman: Shaun the Sheep & Friends recently opened at the PAFF! International Museum of Comic Art in Pordenone, Italy. Created in partnership with Art Ludique, The Art of Aardman celebrates the intricacy, humour and artistry of the Aardman studio. The Art of Aardman: Shaun the Sheep & Friends exhibition is open from 12 May to 24 September 2023.
Having toured Paris, Frankfurt, Melbourne and Seoul, this exhibition included Wallace’s cracking contraptions, Gromit’s vegetable patch, sets from the Shaun the Sheep Movie, the flying machine from Chicken Run and the fabulous five-metre galleon from The Pirates In An Adventure with Scientists. Also, there were more than 400 drawings, character studies and set studies, watercolour paintings and storyboards plus Nick Park’s student sketchbook, which contains some of the first drawings of Wallace & Gromit.
“In just five years, PAFF! has become an international hub for comics. What makes it unique is how it uses comics as a cultural hook and draws on other disciplines to create something exceptional,” said PAFF! artistic director Giulio De Vita. “The Art of Aardman: Shaun the Sheep & Friends represents the culmination of this journey, as we broaden our gaze beyond comics to animation, alongside one of the world’s most famous and well-loved production companies.”
“In this exhibition, we want you to pause along the way to share some of our experience and meet some of the people whose creativity has made the journey possible. Because the drawings, designs, puppets and models you’ll see here are beautiful things in their own right,” said Aardman co-founder Peter Lord. “Personally I love model animation. I love the fact that for me it is as instinctive as moving myself. And I go further and say that stop motion animation is really just a form of live performance. It’s the most thrilling and absorbing activity.”
This exhibition brings with it a great blessing, a magical world of beautiful objects, surrounded by amazing art created and illuminated by the best artists.
In its new home, the collection has expanded to include drawings and the original puppet from the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated short Robin Robin. Visitors can also see a national preview of the brand new CGI series Lloyd of the Flies and the BAFTA nominated stop motion series The Very Small Creatures.