Students from a north east specialist art and design college have descended on Hartlepool’s Historic Headland and took to the streets with graffiti, all in the name of folk.

The second year Art & Design students from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) campus in Middlesbrough have worked on a live project with Hartlepool Folk Festival organiser Joan Crump to design and create a series of pop up art images for the town’s first folk festival this weekend.

The brief was to visually interpret phrases from local folk songs such as ‘Sea Coal’ by Graeme Miles, which was inspired the Headland, and ‘Hartlepool is blooming’ by Middlesbrough-born Bob Beagrie, as well as taking the history of Hartlepool for their design concepts.

IMG_2792 - Hartlepool is blooming


The programme for the upcoming Hartlepool Folk Festival proved to be very inspiring for the young artists, with evocative lines such as ‘You should to see us rally, the wind a-blowing free, a passage from the Dogger Bank to Great Grimsby’, ‘It’s a cold place in winter, is old Hartlepool‘ and ‘My love has not come’.

18-year-old Beth Clark from Eaglescliffe, a student on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design said: “It was a totally amazing project to mix music with designs, and great to be able to legally spray paint on the streets of Hartlepool!”

After spending the last two months creating their own stencil designs based on the lyrics, the students were given special permission to use a special spray paint called NeverWet to create the artistic images on the pavements around the Headland, which only show up when it rains or exposed to water. The paint is used specially for the invisible graffiti, which will erode naturally over two to three weeks.

IMG_2772 - Beth Clark


Joan Crump, Hartlepool Folk Festival organiser was delighted with the designs the students created. She said: “”It’s been great watching the students really get excited about the project, and I love how they’ve visually interpreted the folk songs – some of the images are gorgeous. I think it will be a lovely surprise for visitors to the festival! Many thanks to CCAD and to the tutors who have supported the project.”

IMG_2800 - Joan Crump, Amanda Smith, Hannah Chapman, Alisha Watts


Amanda Smith, course leader for art and design, said: “At CCAD we really strive to get our students involved in exciting innovative projects such as this one, using a new product which is water resistant, so the images designed by the students won’t show up until it rains!  This has allowed them to devise and implement the whole project from start to finish. Having experience of real projects that they have successfully completed at such a young age will really help with their future careers!”

Hartlepool Folk Festival runs from 16th – 18th October. For more information, please visit