I was asked to cover ReRooted Festival on Friday and bit on Saturday and I had a blast.

Top highlights:

  • Give Me A Sign by artist Mark Waddell.

    I had the pleasure of meeting him, he spared his time to display his posters in front of some very Hull landmarks and he was a good crazy character.

  • Meeting Gillian Dyson and Mike Stubbs

    Gilliant Dyson was not only the curator of the festival, she also has a diverse portfolio that incorporates socially engaged practice, higher education pedagogy, academic research, and performance and visual art [yes, the info is taken from her website. Over the weekend I found out that she is curating the festival, then I found out that she is the lecturer of the contemporary theatre students and on Saturday she also did an art performance].

    Mark Stubbs was the co-curator of the Lineages: The legacy of Live and Media art in Hull. The talks aim is tackling themes of life after Brexit, feminism and the decline of western civilisation, the festival seeks to spark debate and celebrate the lasting legacy of former commissioning agency Hull Time Based Arts.

  • Dave Lynch and his old-tech BULWARK.

    BULWARK is a technological barricade created from fragments of abandoned technology using the age-old construction technique of drystone walling. The installation was way cool and I think for a split moment I cracked the shy artist about the wall and if he has got any relations with the tech-pieces seen in the wall.


    A series of solo performances by Leeds Beckett University Performing Arts students informed by an exploration into how we are shaped by our actions, how others see us, and the changing conditions in the world.

    The performance turned the Humber Street into a society/stereotype zoo. Or changing times display… Each character was well thought out, costumes, props, actual performance and sound effects…amazing.
    The best thing was to over-hear people reacting to what they are seeing.

On Saturday there was also some skateboarding workshops, good sausages and sunshine for everyone to enjoy the festival.

One thing I was hoping to see was the respected artist Anne Bean performance [She returns to Hull for ReROOTed, having taken part in the first ever Hull Time Based Arts public exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery in 1984 with the Bow Gamelan Ensemble. This time, Bean will tap into the principles of Sympathetic Magic to conjure up fragments of her 45-year art practice LINK BELOW ]



I am sharing the 50ish best moments, really grafted over the weekend to be able to share this with you on a Monday…so have a look and spread the #getcultured movement.









Week 11 of my challenge being involved in Hull City Of Culture 2017 started off with a little panic – the work load glued me to the computer screen during the days, so how can I go out and be part of the celebration??
Also, the sudden reminder that The Blade is moving on Sunday, made me realise that the unfinished Slinkachu project must be executed this week.

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I finished off the set, little worried of how I am going to get two fragile sets in town.

My aim was to photograph these sets of Slinkachu and Hull City Of Culture 2017 [home-made] flags near The Blade. I’ll explain my reasons later in the post.


On Thursday however, I had a meeting in town so to be efficient, I decided that I finally want to visit HIP Gallery in Princess Quay and Hullywood Icons exhibition. There has been a lot of excitement about the exhibition, so I had to see the execution of photographs by Quentin Budworth .

Also, I got Oliver Fisher [very wise man and my accountant/marketing adviser] cultured.

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I have mixed feelings about the exhibition. First, the idea is really good, I like that local “celebs” and “known” people are involved and have been turned into these fantastic characters. The project is about Hull, about the world around us.

But then, I am slightly disappointed about the photographic and editing quality. Photographs are lacking professional quality and post-production on few are quite dreadful [like the one above]. I understand that everything is about the content and we celebrate…but everything from the idea to the end result should be 100% quality.
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Why on earth would you edit this together, if it is a lot more easier to do in real life. It is funny and a bit sad at the same time.

The other problem I had was the information about how the final photographs come together.
Instead if Quentin coming up with the idea of the movie, theme, characters and location/props, he asks to do all this to the people wanting to be part of the project and he just turns up with the camera.

The hype around the artist made me think that the whole thing is set up by the artist, I guess I just have to read in between the lines next time…

Overall, 6 out of 10. Great to see people involved and the ideas in each photograph.

Whilst in the gallery, I had a quick chat with the Creative and Cultural Company volunteers about the upcoming events, exhibitions [need to be informed at all times].

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On our way to the exhibition I approached a familiar face of a Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteer to make sure I know the exact date/time of The Blade leaving Queen Victoria Square.

It was lovely that she remembered me from another event I went to few weeks ago. When I asked if she could spare a smile, she was more than happy to have her picture taken.
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The same Thursday morning I walked down the  Whitefriargate and Preston Likely’s Amuse Agents – Hull’s Premier Inconvenience Store

I was there on the WEEK 1  of my challenge, but I wanted to have a second look during the day.
Sometimes exhibitions and other art events have to be seen twice to have a complete understanding.

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People still stop by and have a sneaky look. Maybe because some of the posters/photos/adverts are hard to believe or are too bizarre to be true.

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The installation is very much Hull and it feels comforting in a strange way. Sense of unity and a whole…

I don’t really walk through Whitefriargate that often, the shop windows have changed. Years ago it was busy shopping area, but now it is kind of dead.

There a lot of promises given, by the looks of it, so hopefully the area will get its charm back soon.

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There is more…as I was passing the Queen Victoria Square multiple times, I was lucky to see the Roots&Routes season POPPIES: WEEPING WINDOW installation being set up.

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I was trying to get the Hull Maritime Museum in the frame, I climbed on top of the men’s loos, near the monument just opposite the building. Being there for two minutes gives me an opportunity to watch people from above and ohh, there was a few characters.

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This guy was completely from 90’s with his sunglasses/glasses – the ones that you can flop. haha.


On Saturday I neatly packed my Slinkachu sets and headed in town.

I draw a lot of attention from the public and volunteers, as they wanted to know what is going on.

One of them kindly tried to help me with the execution.


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Sadly there was problems.
The first one was the equipment – 24-70 mm 2.8 and 85 mm 1.8 did not cope with the small set.
My phone camera [Huawei Leica] did a much better job.
I will have to get my hands on a macro lens to be able to photograph this properly. In the past I have tried Slinkachu technique, but with much bigger figures, so I was kind of expecting the failure, but hoped that I will find a compromise.

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The reason why I wanted to create this is to express how I feel around The Blade – I feel small and being put on a scale. The Blade is fascinating piece of structure [art now] and no one can pass it without feeling something.

I also struggled to position the set, so that it looks like real life [the whole idea behind Slinkachu], I was even on my knees in the square.

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The plan did not work, but I have kept the sets and will find a way how to make this work.
I also have another set for a attraction point in Hull, so keep your eyes out for that.




On Sunday I walked down to Humber Street Market. My purpose was to photograph a lovely family business BLOSSOM’S BAKERY stall and try their gluten free, vegan cakes and other sweet things.

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Such a lovely lady/family, everything made with love and I wish them the best luck in succeeding.

Off course, I spent a bit more time and money in the market.
But I have to say, that Hull now has a regular socialising place and if you are super bored at home, you have an opportunity to get out and do something.

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Last but not least, I visited the Female Gaze exhibition at the Kingston Art Group Gallery and spent QUALITY TIME with Anna Bean.
She got me and Melanie THE KID cultured, along with other artists featured in the exhibition. We chatted about the meaning of female gaze, about narcissism and how complicated art can be.

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As you can see I have been here, there and everywhere, bringing you the most random combination of Hull City Of Culture 2017 so far.

Until writing the finishing lines to this post, I did not realise how much I’ve managed to pack in this week.

I will see you next week with more exciting stuff.


Anete Sooda


This week work duties took me to Beverley [posh Hull], so I finally had a chance to visit the Beverley Art Gallery and Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

The day was filled with positive people anyways, but as I made my way to the exhibition it got better and better.

I came across a man dressed as a banana. Not just an ordinary banana – he was a Fairtrade Banana. I approached him, asked for a selfie and had a little chat. He was there to spread the word about Fairtrade Fourthnight [fun-filled highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries].

He directed me to the shop just few meters away from his hot spot. The shop was selling Fairtrade products, giving away free banana and a free drink from nearest coffee shop.

The shop also had some artwork displayed, but I am not 100% sure about its origins..just indulge in the art of its own…[excuses, excuses]

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Next stop was the Beverley Art Gallery/Treasure House/Library [as locals directed].

At the entry a welcoming security guard directed everyone and Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition wasn’t the only thing to look at.

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In the Library area a textile sculptures of wild animals, impressive classic artwork that permanently lives in the Beverley Art Gallery, a taxidermy fox that was little too cute and smaller exhibition of a wildlife/urban life photographs by the younger generation.

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It was quite overwhelming – the pants sculpture was a wonderful thing to look at and the massive painting that was way to big to be captured without a distortion.

The place was packed with people, seems like a popular art gallery and so happy to see so many visitors at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

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I had a lot of excitement for the visit of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for over 50 years [a bold statement on the Beverley Art Gallery website].

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And it had my 100% attention through out. I was reading nearly every single caption, stared at every single print for ages. In between I had to sit down and figure out what shots could do justice to this fantastic exhibition.
I even shared my comments and compliments with other viewers – I never do that.

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This particular image took my breath away – it was beautifully captured meadow in a sunrise. The black seeds looked so three-dimensional that I wanted to wipe them away with my hands.
My photograph of this master piece and success of capturing a moment is not even close to what it looks like in the gallery, but I had to record it and point out that it needs a special attention [see – you all have to visit the exhibition now].

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Also – it was very interesting to see what camera, lens, settings and extras have been used to get to that winning photograph – some of them truly remarkable shots.
Popular amongst photographers – Canon Mark III and Canon Mark 1D [off course] and 15 mm lens [definitely will do my research].

This week has been mental-busy-manic-crazy, so I was lucky to have that spare time to follow my weekly challenge and Beverley is so lovely. It is nearly Hull, it is posh Hull and City Of Culture is spreading even in Beverley.

See you next week!!!!!




Week 9 of Hull City Of Culture arrived with the new edition of two seasons – Roots&Routes and Freedom.
This year will be over before we know it [good reason why to get involved ASAP]
Week started off busy and exciting. And then I got bad cold. The cold drained me through the week, all the work commitments couldn’t wait, but I was hoping that the week 9 plan will go ahead.

And it did. I pulled through and went ahead with meeting two City Of Culture volunteers – Linda and Carol.


The reason why I asked Linda and her sister Carol was the enthusiasm and involvement in the year long celebration – City Of Culture. Not even that they volunteers – sisters are getting cultured on a weekly basis by attending numerous events.

It was in early stages of my challenge that I wanted to celebrate the army of volunteers, finding those who would like to share their story.

There are around 3,000 volunteers and 28 different types of volunteering roles. Volunteers and their colourful and beautiful uniforms across the city gives a good feel that we are all in it together, we are celebrating together.

I arranged to meet them in the Hull Paragon Interchange after their shift at The Blade.


Whilst waiting, for the first time I stepped my foot in to The Welcome Pod  – its like a Hull City Of Culture rainbow full of information and a smiley face of a volunteer happy to help.

Linda and Carol where near the The Welcome Pod [not so secret meeting spot] waiting and we headed off for a chat.

We went into the nearest coffee shop and my plan was to sweeten them up before I start asking millions of questions.


Sisters are very lovely and chatty, we feel like we know each other for many years and the discussion around  City Of Culture comes out really naturally – at the end of the day – we all work around City Of Culture out of true passion – not as an obligation.

Why did you get involved in volunteering for City Of Culture?

Linda: I went to the Place des Anges in Queens Gardens back in July and felt the pride and excitement for the upcoming year. I wanted to do something positive. Also – it is a once in a life opportunity.

Carol: The reason why I  signed up to volunteer is because I am from Hull and I feel responsible to be welcoming and celebrate the good things about Hull. The year was promising and I wanted to be part of it.

What is the best thing about being Hull City Of Culture volunteer?

Carol: It is so amazing that we are part of it, so that for me is the best thing. The volunteers are well looked after – training is given, very flexible shift opportunities, no pressure and we get provided with uniforms.

Linda: It was the Made in Hull where I volunteered and I will never forget that feeling – seeing the pride in peoples faces. It was an uplifting feeling and all the negative comments made in media before the year started, was wiped away. We were proud to be from Hull and living in Hull.
And so many people from other parts of UK are coming just to see the events – wonderful feeling. And  a lot visitors said that they would definitely like to come back to the city.

Carol: Another great thing is the opportunity to meet other volunteers. There are so many people along the way, everyone different – different background, story, area they come from.

Also, whilst volunteering you get to speak with different people from Hull – people that you wouldn’t meet otherwise.

Linda: I have noticed that being a City Of Culture volunteer and wearing the uniform gives me a boost and confidence to communicate with people.

Carol and Linda: We are finally seeing that people from other areas are changing the perception about Hull. We are no longer the underdogs of the North, we have something to offer – great platform for businesses, artists, education.

What is/was your favourite venue/place to volunteer?

Linda: Basil Kirchin festival. It was something different and I was able to meet interesting people, some of them artists. I also found out that Kirchin died at Dove House Hospice [Linda works in Dove House] and he had a great connection with the hospice.
Also the music genre was new to me. I really enjoyed it.

Carol: The Welcome Pod. You never know who is going to come and ask questions so I have to be ready to step out of my comfort zone and speak to people.

In your view, what legacy will 2017 leave for Hull?

Linda and Carol: PRIDE. Hull has always been a little shy, we are used to put ourselves down, but deep down we are proud that we are from Hull. Now things will definitely change.

Carol: This year gives the opportunity to find out more about the city we live in and we will continue to embrace it even when 2017 finishes.

Linda: It will be good for the economy  – before Hull had to beg for businesses to come over, but things have changed now.
Hull has great platform for businesses, artists.

Carol: During 2017 people from Hull will have tried different things – for the future everyone will be more open-minded. The city will thrive.


Thirty minutes I spent with Linda and Carol made my day, my week.And I had that feeling again-proud.

It is quite funny – how many time I have written the word pride or proud in the 9 weeks I have been doing this..countless. Did we really needed the title “City Of Culture” to tell everyone how proud we are in Hull, about Hull.

Thank you Linda and Carol for spending time with me. Thank you for sharing your stories.



There was two other things on that day:

In House of Fraser you can find the Hull City Of Culture Merchandise Concession. You can get pretty much everything city of culture and it looks bright and colourful. Sean, who is managing the shop, is a great artist to talk with by the way..

Second: The Hull Paragon Interchange has its own fingerprints of Hull City Of Culture.





Last Friday I was asked to photograph KCOM Smile Campaign at North Point Shopping Centre.

The event was brilliant. It was for the locals from Bransholme to have a happy Friday with free balloons, crayons, re-usable shopping bag, free face paint for kids by very talented and incredible artist Tracy Nicholson and opportunity to ask KCOM representatives about KCOM services and find out when the ultra-fast broadband will be installed.


KCOM representatives a pleasure to work alongside,  super fun, answered all the questions and were great with kids.


North Point Shopping Centre. is a great space for events. It brings different people for a shopping journey, often hosting events that most of the time are free to attend.


Bransholme is one of Hull’s areas that have the most interesting and diverse people. They are honest, bold and “crackers”. Lovely to meet the new generation and see their smiley faces after they see them selves turned into a fairy or Spiderman.

Here is a quick insight of what happened.



You can also view the photos:
KCOM Facebook Page