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Art Attack, the iconic children’s television show, captured the hearts and minds of young artists around the globe during the 1990s and 2000s. With its unique blend of creativity, humour, and entertainment, the program became an enduring symbol of imaginative exploration for a whole generation of kids. In this article, we take a nostalgic journey through the world of Art Attack, discussing its origins, unforgettable moments, and memorable clay characters.

As a child, Hickman Design was deeply inspired by watching Art Attack at their grandmother’s house. The interest in art sparked by this fantastic show led to the eventual creation and development of this site.

The Origins of Art Attack

Art Attack first hit television screens in 1990, created by Neil Buchanan, an accomplished British artist and presenter. Produced by Television South and later by The Media Merchants and Buena Vista International, the show was aired on ITV network in the UK and subsequently syndicated to various countries around the world. Art Attack’s unique concept of combining art and entertainment to inspire children to create their own masterpieces quickly gained widespread popularity, earning the show multiple awards and accolades, including a prestigious BAFTA Children’s Award.

The Unforgettable Moments of Art Attack

Throughout its run, Art Attack captivated audiences with a plethora of creative ideas, tips, and techniques to spark the artistic spirit in children. Some of the show’s most memorable moments include:

  1. The Big Art Attacks: Neil Buchanan’s large-scale, awe-inspiring artworks made from unconventional materials such as clothes, newspapers, and even food, never failed to amaze viewers. These creations showcased the limitless possibilities of art, transcending the boundaries of conventional mediums.
  2. PVA Glue: Art Attack popularised the use of PVA glue in various crafts, especially for creating the show’s signature “sticky-back plastic” collages. This versatile adhesive became an essential component in countless art projects for kids around the world.
  3. The Gallery: A segment dedicated to displaying the creative artwork sent in by the show’s young fans, The Gallery served as an inspiration to budding artists, encouraging them to continue exploring their artistic talents.

The Charming Clay Characters of Art Attack

Art Attack’s cast of lovable clay characters added an extra layer of amusement and charm to the show. These animated figures entertained and educated young viewers with their antics and art-related wisdom. Some of the most memorable clay characters include:

  1. The Head: A talking, disembodied clay head with a thick British accent, The Head appeared in each episode to provide art tips and comic relief. His quirky personality and amusing expressions were a hit with viewers of all ages.
  2. Morph: Although not exclusive to Art Attack, Morph, a small, clay humanoid figure created by Aardman Animations, made guest appearances on the show. Morph’s delightful antics and misadventures injected a healthy dose of fun into the program.
  3. The Clayosaurs: These prehistoric clay creatures often accompanied Neil Buchanan during his art demonstrations, adding a whimsical element to the show. The Clayosaurs came in various shapes and sizes, each with its own unique personality.

Art Attack’s legacy as a groundbreaking children’s television show endures to this day. By inspiring a love for art and creativity in countless young minds, the show has left an indelible mark on the hearts of those who grew up watching its imaginative and engaging episodes.

Luke Hickman is a printmaker and artist with over 15 years of experience. He studied at Norwich University, graduating with a BA (Hons) Fine Art, and has worked in both the commercial printing and digital marketing industries for over 7 years. Luke's work revolves around the idea of creating art that can illustrate a story with topics covering war, politics and history.

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