Monkey sculptures currently on display in a trail across Hartlepool are being auctioned to raise funds for charity as part of the grand finale of the 2021 Northern Festival of Illustration.

The auction of the distinctive artworks that were decorated by community groups as part of the festival will take place at the newly refurbished Elephant Rock Arena on the Headland on Sunday 28th November at 4:30pm. Gary Philipson from BBC Radio Tees will host the event and the money raised will be donated to Hartlepool Carers.

On Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November people can see all the monkeys displayed together in St Hilda’s Church on the Headland before they make their way to the arena for the auction. The festival’s finale links in with the Wintertide Festival taking place on the headland the same weekend, which is organised by BloominArt CIC who worked to help the community of Hartlepool to decorate the Monkeys. 

The Northern Festival of Illustration Director and Vice Principal of The Northern School of Art, Pat Chapman, says, “Over the summer it was great to see families and groups having such fun decorating the monkeys. It has been great to see people following the monkey trail, searching them out. We know that people have visited Hartlepool especially to see the sculptures which is great, after all our aims where to give our local community some fun and to get people back into our local businesses.

“My thanks go out to everyone who decorated a monkey and to all those local organisations and businesses who have had one living with them for the past few weeks – we hope they won’t miss them too much! We are also really grateful to Hartlepool Borough Council for allowing us to use the fabulous new Elephant Rock arena. Hartlepool Carers is such a fabulous and important local charity so I hope the auction raises a lot of cash for them!”

Entry to the auction is free. There will be no minimum bid and each monkey will be auctioned separately. Pre-event bidding will be available online during The Wintertide Festival via the festival’s online auction site at 

The Northern Festival of Illustration is developed and delivered by The Northern School of Art. It is funded thanks to Arts Council England and its ongoing support from the National Lottery Project Fund and the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority Festival Recovery Fund.

Photos by Dave Charnley.