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May 2003
The Big Grin cartoon festival
Big Grin logo
Big Grin logo
Nottingham’s annual cartoon festival, The Big Grin takes to the streets for its second year running on the 12th and 13th of July.


Words by Deirdra Tunney
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Over 40 professional cartoonists from all over the UK will be descending upon the Lace Market and Hockley, the very centre of the city’s creative and cultural core, to take part in the UK’s biggest cartoon festival.

quote Big Grin is all about demystifying the art of cartooning for the people of Nottingham. quote
Pete Dredge (cartoonist and organiser)

Riding high on the success of last year’s festival, this year’s Big Grin will be bigger, better, and bursting with cartoon fun.

Big Grin maps will lead visitors on a cartoon trip through the eight venues that will play host to cartoon, digital and animation workshops and cartoon clinics for both children and adults, covering everything from how to make a cartoon mask, to how to get a cartoon published.

Special screenings of cartoon movies will be shown at Broadway Cinema, and venues will be swarming with artists making live drawings, including free caricatures for everyone.

As well as Nottingham-based and international artists, special guests attending the festival will include Viz magazine and Funday Times cartoonists.

Visitors will be given the opportunity to see a number of hugely contrasting exhibitions; Broadway’s Mezzanine gallery space will hold 30 ground-breakingly irreverent Viz cartoon originals, (a rare chance to see the "Fat Slags" in the flesh), and The Galleries of Justice will exhibit a retrospective collection of works by the late radical middle-eastern human rights cartoonist, Mahmoud Kahil.

A Fat Slag dressed as Maid Marian. (c) IFG/Fulchester Industries.
The man behind the 'Fat Slags' >>

Also attending the festival will be Mahmood’s daughter Dana Trometer, a documentary film-maker and author, who is currently promoting her father’s highly powerful and controversial silent cartoons.

Others exhibitions will include, "God that’s funny!" at St.Mary’s Church, comprising of works by some of the UK’s top cartoonists, and "Draw not War" Human Rights cartoon exhibition at New College Nottingham.

One of the main ideas behind the Big Grin is to embrace many of the aspects of cartoon art, from the sublime to the downright political.

Equally importantly, the Big Grin seeks to be as inclusive as possible, making cartoons an accessible art form that can be enjoyed and understood by many, often universally.

Pete Dredge, Nottingham-based cartoonist and festival organiser says:

"Big Grin is all about demystifying the art of cartooning for the people of Nottingham.

"As an art form cartooning falls somewhere between art and journalism…the festival aims to engage the public by bringing some of the best cartoonists into the heart of the city’s burgeoning cultural quarter."

The festival culminates in The Big Grinny Awards Ceremony where honoured cartoonists will be presented with the much sought-after Grinny Award.

For further details contact the Broadway.

 

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