ALTERNATIVE HERITAGE PLAQUES – DRUNK ANIMAL CREATIVE STUDIO

This blog post is dedicated to Hull and Drunk Animal Creative Studio – both close to my heart.

Drunk Animal Creative Studio had an idea and they brought it to life – we all know not all ideas see daylight, so the fact that this idea brought Hull into spotlight across UK once more, is absolutely AMAZING!

Hull is a city filled with people… and occasionally those people do things. Some of those things are kind of interesting. Some are pretty funny too. Others are actually quite impressive, and others… well, they’re just weird.
The thing is, we think each of these stories is equally important. They are what makes Hull the city it is today. The weird, the wonderful, the obscure, the fascinating stories and facts that permeate every street and every community in the city are now celebrated through our Alternative Heritage plaques.
Source: Drunk Animal Creative Studio

 

Alternative Heritage Plaques was on my radar before I was actually asked to take photographs of them officially. I was interested in its predicted momentum and the hype it created.
And knowing the personality and characteristics of Hull, I was sure that the plaques won’t disappoint.

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The story started with a list of plaques spread across Hull – from Orchid Park to Brough [not in Hull really, but the drive there was fantastic].

Legends like Rony Pickering and his moment of fame, the famous pedestrian crossing down Castle Street where poor Clare nearly died waiting for the green man and, former Chip Spice Factory, Hull dialect and Croggy. Some plaques stood long and strong, some where half-taken down and taken, some covered in mud and some admired by seagulls and pigeons.

Can you already see that the paragraph above makes you smirk a bit?
I captured all plaques displayed at the time, two new arrivals where photographed last month and the very, very new one is still to be found.

It was one of a kind job to be asked to do and one reason why I love working with people like Drunk Animal Creative Studio.

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Have you seen them all?

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – 2019 – PART II

2019 is still happening and I am still plodding along. The second culture post of this year is another story of recent happenings in Hull and another “left it too late” kind of a thing.

Not going into too much detail, this year is odd, in a long run the disconnection that I have at the moment with everything photo will be one of the regrets of 2019.

However, I am continuing [in a much slower pace] to follow the cultural activities, mainly focusing on events that I feel close to in some way.

 

There was a moment in May when I was asking myself a question When was the last time I saw an exhibition? When checked my last records of any cultural goings, I didn’t like what I saw, I didn’t like the gap.

It all started again with Ferens Art Gallery and the Microbes exhibition – puffy, floating creatures that inflate and deflate to everyone’s amusement. The exhibition also includes various activities throughout its opening.
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The exhibition is an interesting way of exploring the complex world of microbes for young ones, at the same time amusing for the adults. I found my self with my mouth wide open in a surprise when the microbes inflate.

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On the other side of Ferens Art Gallery an exhibition IS THIS PLANET EARTH? was happening. I believe it is closed by the time I am posting this, but it was worth a visit. Few glimpses of exciting installations, videos of floating seashells and a young little person showing me how to view an exhibition in her way.
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All the installations and art on display only reached 50% of its excitement capacity in my view – we all must remember that we were fed with too much of a good content over the past two years, now the expectations are high. Still, the exhibition was worth a visit.

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Ferens Art Gallery in general never disappoints and to discover few new bits to the collection was a bonus for the day.

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End of June brought me a hectic Saturday were I was managing three things at the same time – Dove House Hospice’s IT’S A KNOCKOUT 2019, Friends on Every Street event at the Humber Street and a portion of closing exhibition The Red Dress by Nigel Walker at the HIP Gallery .

In that one day I felt I have achieved weeks worth of work, I absolutely loved it.

IT’S A KNOCKOUT 2019 + 10th Anniversary at Dove House Hospice.
And yes, I am including this in the culture blog, because it is all for good cause, good entertainment and it is a very happy event.

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Friends on Every Street Takes over Humber Street

Absolute highlight of the summer so far. Oliver is a legend and it was a pleasure to see his genius slogans, logos and ideas in general in one place. He made Humber Street exciting again.
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Nigel Walker is a local photographer that I had a pleasure to co exhibit at the Queens House Showcase back in March 2019, so I ran to the last day of his solo photographic exhibition The Red Dress at the HIP Gallery to celebrate him and his witty approach to photography.

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July brought exciting end to the Remote Control Humber Photographic Mentorship Project in a form of an exhibition. I was so lucky to be part of it and to this day I can’t really wrap my head around the greatness of the project. And the fact that we had an exhibition at Brynmore Jones Library. Stewart Baxter AKA Hinterland Creative and Anna Bean AKA Bluebeany are amazing creatives that inspire and encourage. We learned a lot from each other. We made friends and I sure learned a few things myself from the participants.

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Here you can see the Remote Control Humber Project in a whole and the exhibition preparation.

Whilst on the grounds at Hull University I was keen to see A Totem For Hull sculpture created by Jason Wilsher-Mills. The University of Hull and Artlink Hull  partnered-up to commission a unique, interactive sculpture aiming to celebrate those in the local community living with a disability. It had a grand opening with a TV star Reece Shearsmith on the 28th June and by the looks of it, was a blooming success.

The sculpture is a way for local disabled people to explore the representation of disability in the region through retelling their personal stories

I was also keen to see the interactive side of the sculpture. Viewers of the sculpture can download an app which will launch them into an augmented reality experience with full stories told through animations, text and audio.

Sadly [and I can forgive] that the app is only available for Apple users, and since I am not on the band wagon for I phones, I had to skip the experience.

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Mid July good news came through emails and I was invited to be one of the photographers for a community based project Spring Bank’s True Colours. That was a good reason to see The National Archives of the Republic of Homeless exhibition at Artlink. Artist Vanessa Cardui spent six moths working with Hull homeless community and Artlink on a project that has become an exhibition.

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The exhibition also features images from a collection of The Museum of Homelessness, London.

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Creating art that links to social issues of our time, especially subjects that are sensitive, is tricky. Artists are under pressure not to offend, do justice, highlight and raise awareness, but also let their talent and personality shine through the work. Does this small collection has the power to do all that? I would need a second visit to answer that question.

 

The last, but not least is the Pride in Hull 2019.
I will let the images tell the story – love, pride, colours, inspiration, freedom, randomness, joy.
This year I was thinking a lot about the other side of the coin – how can I feel part of the community if I wanted to and if I am invited at all. I also wished that the expression of your unique self is truthful and not a fasade for the event only. There was questions this year, for sure, but Pride in Hull for the second year in a row [my second year] put a big photographers grim on my face.

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This is another story, another great vision of the city that we share.
I have few bits planned to show off this week before I travel to Latvia for a while. End of August will start another journey, hopefully a better one.

We have great things to look forward to – Humber Street Sesh and Freedom Festival. There are also some interesting exhibitions currently at Humber Street Gallery, HIP Gallery.

To my blog readers – I am off tune this year, invite me to cultural gatherings, I really need a push! Thanks!

 

REMOTE CONTROL HUMBER PHOTOGRAPY PROJECT EXHIBITION @BRYNMORE JONES IBRARY

To continue the story I started this morning… And of course to say that I sadly didn’t attend the private view last night. My heart is bleeding and  I’m jealous, and sad that I wasn’t there to see the first reactions and friendly faces.

Anyway.
In the last few weeks Stewart aka  Hinterland Creative and Anna Bean aka Bluebeany worked hard to plan/curate/select works for the exhibition. From Monday the exhibition started taking place and yesterday before the launch final pieces were put together.

I still can’t believe that the exhibition is at the Brynmore Jones Library. The space is perfect for exhibitions of all types, the space along the years have been in my top three for its versatility and service. It is also on high demand, so that makes Remote Control Humber Photography Project very special.

I was helping with some of the stuff, but nothing compared to Stewart and Anna’s dedication. Cheers to you both!

Prints are from GF Smiths and Ditto4Design – both equally high quality and beautiful. The Newspapers are from Newspaper Club and film created by Flygirl Films.

Yesterday however I popped down before the launch to make sure I see it before it goes “live” and also to surprise someone with the content that I submitted [I’ll talk about that a bit more on my next post about the exhibition].

 

I’m keen to see the finished exhibition, so I will head down there on Thursday this week.
The exhibition is open until 28th July, so you have plenty of time. Make sure you bring friends and family and grab a newspaper with you.

Massive congrats to Stewart and Hinterland Creative for their first curated exhibition and well done with the choice of location for the exhibition – top choice!

REMOTE CONTROL HUMBER – NETWORKING & MENTORSHIP PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT – THE STORY

The reason for this blog post is that Remote Control Humber Photography Project reached its culmination last night with a beautiful exhibition at Brynmore Jones Library.

The story and my involvement in this project is a wonderful example how great people across the region can come together and create something outstanding.

I guess it started with a idea and a pot of funding available – Stewart Baxter from Hinterland Creative saw a potential and need for a photography project across Humber region. He united with the amazing local artist/photographer Anna Bean [aka Bluebeany] and mapped out cities/towns that hides talented photography interests.

When I was approached to help out I had no second thoughts – I am great believer that being a photographer and road to success is networking, or as I call it “make friends”.

And this project was all about making friendships, meet other photographers, inspire someone that lacks courage and be inspired myself.

My role was to document the project and I also spoke about my work on few occasions.

The project was everything that we ever wanted and the exhibition is a beautiful collection of that.

We travelled to Scunthorpe and Driffield, also making things happen here in Hull.
We had amazing people involved – Christopher Manson, Joanne Coates with workshops to develop skills in documentary and storytelling photography.
We had inspiring photographers and filmmakers like Alec Gill and Katie from Flygirl Films, our own Stewart Baxter thrived as a photographer throughout the project and Anna Bean made sure we all dare to experiment with our ideas.
We went on BBC Radio Humberside to tell Burnsy and people in Humberside that we are here and ready to exhibit and showcase the work we’ve done. We went to GF Smiths to learn about paper and photographic printing, we created newspapers through Newspaper Club for our project and we had a nosy at the HIP Gallery in Hull. We also ran a workshop for image editing and post process and we for sure made friends like Pam in Driffield.

I will allow images to speak for themselves in the gallery below:

 

Some of the project participants were handed with Lomography B&W film cameras  and that was another great addition to the project:

 

To reflect on the project – it was an amazing journey that made me feel like I am part of something important. I’m so lucky to be part of the project and, most importantly – lucky to have met Stewart, Chris, Joanne, James, Mike, Lee, Ann, Ivy and everyone else involved. They inspired me and gave me more confidence and I sure feel like I gained more than ever expected. It was a pleasure to document everything along the way.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – 2019 – PART I

Not really knowing how to start this blog post … so I am just going to welcome you and say “HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY”!

 

Firstly, the decision to write a periodical culture reviews in Hull was a big mistake. Four months have passed very quickly and despite having a very mellow involvement with culture and the city, a lot has happened.

2019 started with a positive outlook on upcoming life and work events and I really didn’t want to skip the commitment to the city and its culture/arts scene. I gave myself a relaxed task to share periodical cultural experiences, making it less of a chore.
And here I am  – slightly regretful, unsure and of course still happy to have an archive of four months worth of culture.

To be able to deliver this, I really need to travel back in time.

January ’19

The month started with general wonders around local areas and quick visit to Humber Street Gallery Place to Place by Liverpool Biennial.

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From what I remember – it was a simple, minimalist experience that didn’t really had a wow factor. But I appreciated the tones, simplicity and shapes.

The thing about Hull, camera and me is that in my head I have various visions of specific locations and potential images. So I sometimes plan a random journey, hoping to discover something unseen or not photographed previously.
The next selection is one of those. I wanted to travel down to one of my favourite streets in Hull Boulevard for the mural that has been there for a while.
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Moments before I drove past Hull Marina and recorded the beautiful morning light – this pretty much sums up my January.

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February ’19

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February was a busy month and I remember being surprised by the workload.
Most of my culture consisted of work duties and getting ready for an Artist Takeover #4 exhibition in at Queens House Showcase
Full insight here: ARTIST TAKEOVER #4 @QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE

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During the exhibition I held various activities – photo booth, talk about my HOME GLORY series and COME AS YOU ARE photo project.

Free photo booth was a lovely way how to invite people into the gallery and do what I do best – take a photograph.

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The talk about my HOME GLORY series was a an interesting experience to have – it turned out to be an intimate talk with small group of people about my heritage, photographic journey and stories I am trying to tell.  I didn’t need crowds to feel the  support and I am thankful to those who came.

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COME AS YOU ARE was a thing I wanted to do for a while and I was lucky to get a small platform where to test out the idea.
I asked a question to people – what do you carry with you every day and what role does that “thing” play in your life. It all came from the question of why I photograph Latvia and the mundane everyday whilst I am there, family and country.

Again – the attendance was mild, but I felt very lucky to see the people who came. Quality over quantity.

Regards culture two things happened that month in Hull. Annual Ferens Open Exhibition and The Knife Angel in Queens Gardens.

This year I missed the deadline to apply, but it happened for a reason. I didn’t feel like there was anything to exhibit and previous year proved that if you don’t feel it in your gut, don’t submit.

However, to visit the exhibition was a pleasure.
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The Knife Angel left me slightly speechless and amazed. The travelling National Monument against Violence and Aggression gathered people from all over the region and in a way united us once more. It felt like short period of time, but it definitely left a mark in 2019.

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March ’19

By mid March my life was starting to take a bitter turn and my health got in the way of everything. There was a fantastic opportunity to photograph the last Heads Up Festival, Creative ENRG came to a closure and I was part of the Creative Juice event at C4DI.
Plus I went to a very random gig at Union Mashup and stumbled across an exhibition by Lauren Saunders, Rebbeca Addinell and Sinitta Beadle at Hull Central Library.

Creative Juice @C4DI was a farewell event to the amazing journey we all had with Creative ENRG – there was a book launch, great food and very interesting programme all thanks to brilliant event organisation by Eskimosoup

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Being at the event reminded me of the friendships made and the amazing photo opportunities I created for myself by getting involved with the Creative ENRG

Heads Up Festival 2019 was so special this year, it was my third and probably the last as it was announced to take a break for a bit.

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THE PAPER CINEMAS MACBETH

Read a full review here: HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2019

LITTORAL VISTAS @HULL CENTRAL LIBRARY was an accidental discovery whilst in the library for the festival.

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The exhibition space at the library is very well lit and clean from distractions. And the work suited the space well [or the other way round]. I am pleased that Lauren Saunders is getting out there and pursuing her goals.

Make Noise Birthday Bash @Union Mash Up was a very random visit thanks to my friend Oliver. Make Noise Collective describe themselves as “Hull gal collective, working to improve safety at gigs and visibility for women in the local scene”

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One girl really did stand out – Jodie Langford with her spoken word performances. The ultimate highlight of the night.

April ’19

April brought Bankside Gallery event at the Preston Road derelict housing estate, Alec Gill’s Hessle Roaders at Hull Truck and new art space in Hull – Prospect Gallery [it is very new and at the moment the gallery don’t have any online presence].

Bankside Gallery  was a pleasure to visit despite the weather and my moody mood. A lot of new works created in a very unique gallery.

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Hessle Roaders by Alec Gill has been an ongoing journey for many people in past year or so and Alec has made sure that his work don’t just sit in the shelves in folders hidden away. Hull Truck hosted another extension to the work and I as promised to Alec I went to see it.

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I first heard of Prospect Gallery was at the Queens House Showcase at one of the events. It was mentioned and it soon became the place to visit in my [imaginary] list.

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I also got an amazing offer to have my portrait drawn and I agreed. Since then it happened twice and it as an experience to experience. It is a strange task to sit and find a point of interest that becomes your world for an hour or so. And the end result gives you a sight that you never see yourself.

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The space has got a lot of potential and it could become one of the hot spots to visit in Hull.

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In between everything I also was invited to photograph an opening at Humber Street Gallery for A TITTLE-TATTLE TELL-A-TALE-HEART by Athena Papadopoulos and caught a snippet of the CUT.

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CUT  is a a residency project exploring themes of social expression and the acts of self-care centred around their practice of hairdressing. The project takes form of a sculptural installation and events programme where haircuts and client interviews are gathered to create sound and sculptural artworks.

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There was more adventures and exciting work things throughout the four months, but I think I have covered the highlights. And learned a lesson to be more consistent. And discovered that Hull is still breathing culture.

 

HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2019

My initial plans to include Heads Up festival within the future culture post changed after seeing NOW IS TIME TO SAY NOTHING. I really want to tell you the multilayered story of how the installation made me feel and what impact the festival has on people.

NOW IT IS TIME TO SAY NOTHING by Caroline Williams and Reem Karssli is a 60 minute long interactive video installation, that also requires viewers participation.

Reem Karssli is a Syrian film-maker who witnessed Syrian conflict living in Damascus. Caroline suggests to connect with a group of young Londoners via Skype and talk about her life and work. It turns into a four year long collaboration and the end product is a powerful 60 minute long experience. There are no words that I could type here to give justice to the work, it is something to be experienced.

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The idea behind the installation is to question and challenge the armchair passivity. The installation starts with a circle of comfortable armchairs and a small, old fashioned television in front of each chair. The viewer puts on headphones and delve into the armchair for the unknown.

Throughout the installation there are various stages where you are asked to get up and get together with other viewers. Again to challenge a perception of emotional safe space that you save for yourself when most vulnerable.

 

Over the years I have seen a few contemporary art installations, exhibitions, cultural experiences, but never before I felt speechless and emotionally shattered at the end. I needed a few moments to be able to look up and discuss what I have seen, but as soon as the words crossed my lips, tears started choking my throat.

The moment during installation where your hand was inches away from the screen and you felt the static nipping your fingers was the only thing I could imagine visually as a photograph.
The rest was an experience to be felt with every inch of your body, every brain cell.

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My mind was in a state of confusion. The most powerful part was the young niece expressing her hopelessness, interviewed by Reem. I wished at that very moment that I could show that part of footage to the evil that is behind the Syrian conflict. Tie him/her/group of to the chair and make him/her/them watch it over and over again until he/her/they can’t see the screen and hear a word. I was upset and angry.  The other moment that I will not forget was the falling snow and dancing in a circle with myself. I embraced the moment and it took me to my own experiences in the past. It was beautiful and sad at the same time.

Over the following days I felt an urge to discuss the installation with others, I wanted to know if others had the same impact. On Saturday before another Heads Up event I met up with Michelle Dee, the writer and freelance journalist who reviews all the shows. The fact that she was also feeling similar was comforting. In her review she wrote:

“I’m tearing up even now recalling the image of a young girl, Reem’s sister I think, carefully folding and refolding a red shirt, packing it away into a suitcase in a cramped bedroom. She is clearly traumatised, she breaks down, her words escaping her mouth faster and faster, until becoming a cry of despair. She says that she would rather die than face the daily, monotonous torture of being trapped inside by the threat of the bombs falling outside.

What can one person do about a war that is happening thousands of miles away? The pillars of democracy in the west are about as stable and secure as the crumbling remains of the bombed buildings in Syria. Now is Not the time to say nothing. ”

You can read the full review and the other Heads Up reviews via link below:
Michelle Dee Review Now Is Time To Say Nothing

 

Today nearly a week after of seeing the installation nothing has changed in my life. I still watch television occasionally from my sofa or bed, I hear news, watch documentaries and allow everything pass quietly as I am too busy to live my own reality. But there is this lingering shame and feeling of helplessness that I am not part of the global concern about the conflicts that happen around the world or social issues in my own community/city.  I question if small actions and good causes can make up for the ignorance? Or if everything is just too big to grasp and I need to focus on my own life and family?

I can definitely say that Now It Is Time To Say Nothing is the most important contemporary art I have ever seen.

Heads Up festival is a very special festival – a mixture of theatre, contemporary art and installations that makes you think, question, imagine and explore. For the third time I had the honours to photograph the events and I am so thankful for the opportunity.
Thanks to E52 team and artists involved for amazing feedback.

 

Here are the highlights from heads Up 2019

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IS HE ON THE LINE..? by British artist Jez Dolan and Icelandic composer Ingibjorg Yr Skarphethinsdottir

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Dean Wilson: East Coast Fever A short film by Dave Lee

Dave Lee The Orchidian

The Orchidian, a monologue written and directed by Dave Lee

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RACE CARDS by Selina Thompson

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THE LAND’S HEAR IS GREATER THAN ITS MAP by Olivia Furber, Ramzi Maqdisi, 9t Antiope and Hannah Mason

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THE PAPER CINEMAS MACBETH

 

Did you had a chance to see any of the events? What are your thoughts?

ARTIST TAKEOVER #4 – QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE

Same time this week I was rushing around and getting ready for the opening night for the fourth Artist Takeover at Queens House Showcase  run by ENRG Hull.
It clearly has been a challenging experience, since it has taken me a full week to man up and write the blog post about the exhibition and opening night.

Over the past year I’ve been building a bond with Creative ENRG Hull. family. It started as few artist workshop photography assignments, ENRG Hull  ambassador filming with Fly girl Films and being interviewed myself for few times as one of the people who had help setting up a creative business.

Over several months in 2018 Queens House Showcase featured in my monthly blogs of culture wonders in Hull with exhibitions and other ARTIST TAKEOVERS.

It was a slow but steady friendship and as the result I was asked to be part of the last ARTIST TAKEOVER of the programme.

We were asked to exhibit work around Landscape and from that point on the whole experience took a twist that I was not exactly ready for.

I am known for certain work – Hull based, bright, happy, celebratory and creative events, festivals, client work and so on.. and to show to a very public eye a slice HOME GLORY series felt strange. Even today when it has been a week and I am already planning activities throughout exhibition it feels out of the character.

There was uncertainty of how people will embrace the work I’m exhibiting and the story I am trying to tell.

The work exhibited focuses on Latvia in the 21st Century and the derelict landscape across the countryside due to migration to cities and abroad. I say “focuses” because I found that the landscape my eye can catch is different to a standard scenery landscape.
Every time I visit Latvia, especially past three years, I feel the urge to bring my professional gear and eye and capture the home land. It varies from silly set ups, to portraits with photogenic friends, to travels and explorations, often focus is close to my family members and family home/land. It is a another dimension of thought process that I don’t often get chance to use in the UK and the imagery has got special place in my photographic collection.

The exhibition includes five photographs and installation that aims to engage on more than one level with the viewers. The installation includes a special diary that my sister wrote me whilst living in one of the remote regions of Latvia and a newspaper article from 1992 that my grandmother passed on to me few years ago.

 

The other two artists exhibiting are Nigel Walker and Pierino Hristov.

Nigel Walker

Photographer Nigel Walker lives in East Yorkshire and has been making photographs for over fifty years. Most recently he has been concerned with why he takes them and how they are used. He supports the postulation that meaningful photography should comprise of geography, autobiography and metaphor.For Artist Takeover #4 he presents a new body of work, ‘Say Something’, which considers the distance between current generations and seeks to encourage a reconciliation through communication. The East Coast signals a border and semaphore a way of telling – a concept, an idea and a cipher as much as a means. At 17 years old, the model, Olivia, is on the cusp of moving into the responsibilities of adulthood. How will she choose to make her world and negotiate with others who have made it? How will she and her generation change it, preserve it and mould it for themselves? This collection of works explores this challenge …Nigel will be in the gallery on Wednesday 13th February, join us for refreshments and cake & chat to Nigel about his work. He’ll also be giving an in depth talk about ‘Say Something’ and other projects at 6 pm on Wednesday 20th February – see you there!

Pierino Hristov

A Bulgarian artist now resident in Hull, Pierino uses a vibrant palette to combine traditional and contemporary motifs in celebration of enduring heritages and landscapes. Using digital approaches and inspired by the flower filled terrains of northern Bulgaria, his complex arrangements of florals, colours and patterns echo shared traditions of quilting & stitching. Producing a fresh and contemporary fusion of familiar forms, his carefully constructed arrangements reflect the changing seasons and their moods. Influenced by David Hockney’s digital palettes, works are conceived to bring joyful and uplifting affects into everyday experience.

Source: ENRG website

Before I am getting into the opening night, I want to say massive thank you to Christoper Hopkins and Gill Hobson. Both pushed me to dive deep and helped to make the most of the opportunity.

Massive shout out to Ditto 4 Design Printing – they are the best printing company I worked with across the board. They saved my day twice and the delivery of images was super quick.

On the day of the opening I was still finishing up the display that involved searching for rubble, polishing up the artwork and figuring out what to expect.

With no major expectations and excitement to meet the other two artist the night began on a really positive note.

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It made me very happy to see faces of John Gilbert, Oliver Fisher+familiar faces. Thank you to previous artists exhibiting Emma Garness and Lucy Kelly. Thank you for coming and making me feel happy.

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In the following weeks I will be present at the gallery come and say hello!

  • 22nd February – THAT FRIDAY FEELING – free photo booth and chat with me
  • 28th February – HOME GLORY in conversation with me
  • 7th March – FREE PHOTO BOOTH AND WE WILL BE DOING A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT OR SEARCH FOR YOUR TOUCHSTONES AND TALISMANS – I invite all my friends and family to come along and take part!
  • 14th March – last day of the exhibition – come in, say hello and tell us what you thought of the exhibition.

 

Also if you would like to read my contribution to the Creative ENRG and ENRG Hull project, click here:

In Conversation with Anete Sooda Photo

 

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – 2018

It is 2019 and we are fast approaching the last days of first month of the year. On my last blog post in December, I was still wondering if I want to continue my culture journey through monthly photographs and blog posts.
The short snipped of 2018 in Hull is a visual journey through last year and despite some disappointments I still had a pretty good year embracing and celebrating culture scene across the city.

 

I have come to a compromise to have periodic culture reviews and not let go the commitment fully.  I will keep it as a luxury opportunity to photograph for my own pleasure and will potentially meet new people and see new places.

I also want to raise a discussion amongst regular followers and see what are your thoughts on 2018 and expectations from 2019.

Share your experiences!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – DECEMBER 2018

Well, well. 31st of December and with a great pleasure  I am writing a finale post of the year.
Of course the culture wonders gradually went downhill, but I still kept a good housekeeping throughout the year.

Last month also brought new perspectives on City Of Culture with the Illuminate Project Legacy event at Artlink in support from Redeye: The Photography Network in the early days of December. The legacy and its future is under a question mark, many creatives left feeling disappointed and I found out things about how the system was run throughout 2017.
I still take my own experience as valuable and I remain grateful. I very much enjoy being part of the Illuminate Project: Legacy and my wonderful experience and work created lifts up my spirit.

Anna Bean [Bluebeany] and Verity Adriana shared their take on Hull City Of Culture legacy and all attendees had a great discussion around the legacy in Hull.

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Mark Wigan The Museum of Club Culture

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Lyn Acton The Legend, singer and a member of Pearls Cab Ride

 

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Alec Gill a wise man with a big heart and camera. Hessle Roaders

Another wonderful moment in December was to see film A Northern Soul by Sean McAllister

The description of the film briefly tells the story of Steve aka Redeye Feenix and his journey:
“Steve is a warehouse worker by day, hip-hop artist by night. He represents a forgotten generation whose dreams haven’t been met. But Steve is also a deeply community-driven optimist, who has also been trying to find a way to bring creativity and culture to the disadvantaged kids of the city. Kids like he once was – kids whose opportunities to build a better life are restricted by the world around them. Music has been his dream for 30 years and he saw the opportunity in the City of Culture year to start a project: the ‘Beats Bus’, using a bus donated by his company and converted into a sound studio, allowing him to visit some of Hull’s poorest schools and give kids a voice through music training and performance – a chance he never had.”

My own reflections of the film however are much more deeper – first of all, I think that the film was the best documentary I have seen in a long time and secondly it made me feel inspired. I have seen Steve’s and Beats Bus journey in 2017 and 2018, taking photographs of them at Hull’s festivals. They were so engaging with the public and youngsters seem to have loads of confidence. And the film showed how much Steve had to invest, how he shared his passion and energy and that the kids got their inspiration and strength from Steve.  He is an inspiring local artist and we have more common that I would ever imagine. I am sending my love and best wishes to Steve and Beats Bus.

Another moment was a special Monday when I had to find a spot where to be interviewed for Creative ENRG annual report. Of course, I don’t have an amazing office space, just my boring home office and there was no chance to nail an interesting client to shoot on early Monday morning so I decided to go somewhere appropriate for my work – Preston Road derelict housing estate “decorated” with graffiti.

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Friends on Every Street slowly are creating amazing legacy with their work and are the key elements on previously visited Bankside Gallery and this too.
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Here is me and my boyfriend spreading the love for the Peter levy and Look North Mate!
The end of 2018 is also bringing me to a closure to another year of culture blogging and I have a big question of what is next. Do I continue or do I move on with my life and career?
I need to dive in January and see how enthusiastic and faithful I feel to continue. I need time to reflect and revalue my input on the culture legacy in Hull.

Last but not least was my magical Christmas visit home and I really want to share few moments of picturesque snow. I am so grateful to my family for time spent together and white Christmas just topped it all and made it so special.

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On the last festive note I want to wish everyone Happy New Year! I hope it brings love, success and you all have the energy to make your big and small dreams to come true. Lots of love from me to everyone who follows me and my life/career journeys!

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – NOVEMBER 2018

For the first time I have delayed the monthly culture blog for so long. It is confusing to write now about what happened then, because December already has given me different emotions and experiences. So I will try to screw my head back round and go back in time.
As usual in the second half of 2018, I feared that I will have nothing to write about, but somehow I have tricked myself and November was productive.

First –  to my deep sadness I missed out Hull Comedy Festival 2018, but I went to Big City Of Culture Quiz of the Year to make up for it.

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It felt like I have missed a big yearly family gathering and being there to see few familiar faces made me load more happier.

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I also went down to Queens House Showcase to see the ARTIST TAKEOVER #3.

Again – pretty much a regular there since I  have Creative ENRG mentor on my side and I go there on a monthly basis.
Thought for the future – exhibit there myself..

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Artists on display  – Lucy Kelly, Hannah Green, Ingrid Holborn and Saffron Brown

Hannah Green

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Ingrid Holborn

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Saffron Brown

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Lucy Kelly

I have worked with Lucy before, taking photographs of her paintings, textiles and ceramics and she is a raw artist so hard not to love. Her work is complete and made with thought about global issues. Her personality is bold and I am very honoured to have her on my client list.
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Very end of the month I had a very special visitor – my sister and I wanted to share my love for the city and we both went to the URBAN LEGENDS:NORTHERN LIGHTS

In all honesty – the camera was pretty much a habit rather than intentional tool for the experience and after seeing fantastic photographs from the event, I wish I took it more seriously. These days we don’t get events like that in the city often and it was a great photo-opportunity that I missed out on.

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One of the creative directors was Anna Bean known as Bluebeany [alongside other great ones] and her stamp of fantastic creations was all over the displays.

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OH THE NIGHT!  by IMITATING THE DOG

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As an outsider my sister loved most of the installations, some more than others. At least, she got to see why I love the city so much.
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Oh, at the beginning of the month I had a visit to the Portraits at Sea Hull Maritime Museum.

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I think my favourite moment was the conversation with the volunteer about the exhibition next door and how she got emotional. Or when she said that there aren’t many opportunities to volunteer these days… If you ask me, that is the “legacy” that we have to deal with – we are hungry for culture and we are getting starved.

As part of my Illuminate Project: Legacy I went to see Alec Gill’s Hessle Roaders Guided Tour at Brynmore Jones Library.

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Across my social media I have been banging on about it a lot, but for those who need filling in: Alec Gill and hes Hessle Roaders photographs seen back in September 2017 at St Johns Church inspired me to invite him as part of my search for City of Culture legacy. He is an absolute sweetheart – caring, loving, warm, kind and witty. He has welcomed me in his home, introduced with his poetry writing wife Audrey and shared his side of the story. Going to one of his Guided tours was not just for the project, it was also to see and hear him again, proving that he carries the legacy flag in his heart and inspires me do the same.

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Throughout November I had some thoughts about City Of Culture, the impact that it had on me and how it slowly starts to fade. Since the city and Absolutely Cultured is having less cultural events, I feel like loosing the connection with the city. And I start to wonder if having less interest from the Hull people is mirroring my experience. Or is it just that thing where I need to crack on and have my own cultural journey on my own terms, like I did in 2017.
And it leads me to the question – do I continue my culture blogging in 2019? What is your thoughts?
Should I stick to the promise that Culture Company gave us in 2017 about three years of legacy and just crack on?

December is half way and I am full of reflections – Illuminate Project: Legacy Redeye event happened, I went down Preston Road derelict housing estate and had I have emotional review to write about A Northern Soul.