Review: Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants

Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants

Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants, Nick Sharratt
Kirkby Gallery, until 22nd April 2017

Words, Melissa Dowell

Every millennial’s favourite childhood author, Nick Sharratt, has a new exhibition at Kirkby Gallery.

Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants, here until 22nd April, connotes everything Nick is known for. Full of colour, imagination, fun, and all about children.

In a technology crazy world it’s refreshing to see an exhibition which encourages children to use their imagination and pick up a pencil and be creative.

Almost everywhere you turn there’s the opportunity for children to channel their inner Nick Sharratt. With a variety of different activities to bring out their creative side and create new clothes for one of Nick’s most recognizable characters, Tracy Beaker. There’s the opportunity for children to create their own “sharracter” or submit a seaside postcard which will be displayed in the gallery.


If drawing isn’t for you then there’s a corner full of all the books Nick has illustrated. Probably best known for illustrating for Jacqueline Wilson, the book section might just appeal to a slightly older audience. For me personally, most of the books Nick illustrated were a massive part of my childhood and imagination and I could have easily got lost in the world of Tracy Beaker all over again.

What I loved most was learning more about Nick Sharratt, about his upbringing and what he loves drawing most, and how he’s always inspired by children and their passions. Learning more about his drawing style and how he’s always loved bright colours and lively and cheerful patterns. It was also interesting to read how he puts a story together via his illustrations and makes characters come to life.

Specifically aimed towards families and schools, the exhibition is perfect for children and even adults. I’d encourage anyone to get lost in Nick’s colourful world and get fully involved. No matter what age you are I can guarantee it will be enjoyed by all. Kirkby Gallery is open Monday-Friday 9-5 and Saturday 10-1. Schools are encouraged to ring the gallery beforehand and book in advance.