A magical exhibition: Harry Potter to appear at Seale-Hayne, Devon

Harry Potter at Seale Hayne

Harry Potter at Seale Hayne - Credit: Archant

Everyone’s favourite young wizard is flying in to Devon as part of a fascinating exhibition, writes Chrissy Harris

Harry Potter at Hannahs

Harry Potter at Hannahs - Credit: Archant

Harry Potter - as you’ve never seen him before - will be at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne in July in a series of new illustrations, sketches, models and final prints, guaranteed to delight his army of fans. The nationally important exhibition is the long-awaited work of top illustrator Jim Kay, who was personally selected by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling to bring his own touch of magic to the world-famous books.

Jim has spent months working on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and his incredibly intricate drawings will eventually be used to illustrate all seven of the books in the series. Visitors to the exhibition at Hannahs will be able to see Jim’s early sketches, stunning pencil drawings and come face to face with fascinating portraits of their favourite characters.

Staff at Hannahs – a charity that supports children and adults with a range of physical and learning disabilities – say they are delighted to be one of only a handful of venues in the country chosen to host this unique event.

“The illustrations are beautiful and we are looking forward to a summer filled with Harry Potter,” says Anna Gilroy, Hannahs creative and cultural development officer. “We are thrilled to be working with Seven Stories: the National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle, to bring this fantastic exhibition to Devon.”

The Illustrating Harry Potter exhibition has been put together by Bloomsbury Children’s Books and Seven Stories.

Seven Stories senior curator Gillian Rennie has been looking all over the country at potential venues and visited Hannahs earlier in the year. She was instantly impressed. “The exhibition is going to be amazing there,” she says. “It’s so atmospheric and looks as though it could be Hogwarts! When I came to visit, they took us into lots of different little rooms, down these corridors, through lots of doors. It all just felt right.”

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The exhibition will run from 3 July to 25 September, giving Devon locals and visitors plenty of time to indulge in a little wizardry. The gallery will show Jim Kay’s hugely detailed drawings and his model of the Hogwarts Express, the train used to transport young wizards to school.

There will also be artwork of iconic scenes and characters, plus a short film revealing how Jim Kay approached the task of illustrating Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Speaking during an interview with publishers Bloomsbury, he admitted it was a daunting brief: “Hearing the news that I’d got the commission was an explosion of delight, followed instantly by an implosion of brain-freezing terror.”

As well as the illustrations, there will be a host of other Harry Potter-themed activities on offer at Hannahs. Children will have the chance to learn wizarding skills. There will be an open air cinema, treasure hunts, storytelling and even the chance to try your hand at Quidditch.

Exhibition entry £2 per person, Under 8s Free. To find out more about a Summer of Magical Events, visit discoverhannahs.org/harrypotter

Harry Potter exhibition

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‘The exhibition is going to be amazing there. It’s so atmospheric and looks as though it could be Hogwarts!’

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