For those who’ve been following my work since early days of “professional” will know my secret love for End Of Life theme, especially in a form of art and visual media.

Couple of weeks ago I went to some of the events of Remember Me Conference in Guildhall, Hull. The conference was across four days with different speakers, papers and exhibits, even a Remember Me Memorial Trail.

Remember Me project seeks to explore the nature of memorial practices and processes. Their research, made up of nine stands, includes historical and contemporary studies, ethnography, qualitative interviews, free-writing texts and photographic essays to explore the changing face of memorialisation over time.

In simple words the conference was about exploring “the changing face of memorialisation” and raising the topic that to this day is still a taboo. The conference was open to all interests and someone like myself.

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Due to my schedule I was unable to attend all of the talks and exhibits, however I managed to soak up enough “brain food”.

My background into this subject starts when I was in my last year of university. My Final Major Project was slightly controversial – END OF LIFE CELEBRATIONS. My cultural background, Latvian heritage and personality brought me to explore the challenging topic of death, end of life and funerals. Throughout my project development I learned and discovered interesting studies and of course, got introduced to Remember Me Project.
Time flies by, work takes over life and I got less and less time to sneak through the bushes and photograph funerals [joke, I did that once].

There is full commitment and involvement required if to be fully aware of what is happening, it is like a world of its own in all forms and shapes. The topic is vast and, as much as I love it, at this stage of my photographers life, I don’t have the luxury to have unpaid project developments.
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Yes, it might sound ridiculously serious and of course, the study is serious archaeological topic with a high importance to understand history, but Dr Welch was like the neighbour chatting about the Thursday’s bin drama down the next street. That sort of passion and ability to make it interesting for uneducated potatoes like myself, only comes from great interest and love for the job.

Second was the small exhibit in the main social point in Guildhall.  A SUITCASE FOR THE FINAL JOURNEY EXHIBIT. First of all, Google is struggling to give me some information, just traces of Europe-inspired exhibition currently happening in San Francisco.
But no doubt I’ve got it covered as usual taking all leaflets available.

“The project is about reflection: on the finiteness of life, the need for identifying personal essentials. We provided 103 persons with identical suitcases and were curious: would they all pack similar items or completely different ones? Sentimental or practical? Momentos or equipment?
The result is a touching, fascinating image of what is important and dear to us – or close to what we really wish.
The project had far-reaching impact: the TV documentary about the project attracted over 1.7 million viewers already when first broadcast in 2006 and has been broadcast repeatedly since then. The book is already in its third edition, and over 2.5 million visitors attend travelling exhibition until now…”

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There was other two talks I went to:

Celebrating The Life? The Hidden Face of Dementia.

The talk addressed questions of ambiguous identity and the purposes and functions of memoralisation in today’s society. The study explores how people with dementia are remembered and their lives celebrated. The study also promotes a dementia friendly society as well as providing insights into the tensions around identity. The last part was very interesting perspective of three stages of self-understanding when being ill with dementia and the ways dementia patients are looked at within social groups/family and friends circle.


Second was the one I rushed to Fridays sessions for:

Liz Nicole and Jane Hutchinson

Right up my street, huh?

This speaker was not just talking, she also had two exhibitions at The Brodrick Gallery at Hull School of Art and Design.
The talk was about photography being a medium to explore the vast subject of end of life and memoralisation. Photographer was multilayered with the subjects – from photographs of cemeteries and grave stones from the Great War, to using cyanotype method to record traces of objects, the hanging branches and leaves of the Weeping Willow and the First World War monuments examined through the lens of 100 year-old KODAK.

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There was a relation between her and me, she was expressing the never ending search, never ending question and ongoing photographic explorations. And I felt exactly the same when I was doing my own work around the subject.

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The experience was rushed and there was other brilliant speakers that I had only a few snippets of. One of them discussed the Great War photographs as post cards from those days.

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Writing blog about this was more for myself as a reminder of what makes me alive with photography and challenging the ordinary.

For those who feel like this is mind-tickling and interesting, pushes the boundaries for what we perceive as normal to talk about, there is loads of information and often events like this [on a smaller scale though] happen nearby. I will be your buddy, give me a shout!

Thank you to Hull University and Remember Me for hosting this interesting and much needed conference, it was my greatest pleasure to be part of it.




I must admit that it is hard to write and focus on work today, I am in a 100% long weekend mood.  So I will try.. and if by accident I publish it only on the 2nd April [today], you’ll know that I gave in on chocolate eggs. And a nap.


March brought some lovely culture experiences and quite a tense works schedule at times. I have been in and out of “busy” and running low on fuel reserves from winter season. We are ready for spring!

Culture highlights:





Since 2018 unfolded as the year after an amazing year of 2017, I can easily make my own rules of how I will culture myself, I feel no pressure. Everything is in a relaxed manner. So in March I tried to combine personal interests with must-see’s and bit of good old Hull walks with camera. That applies to the need to witness the change and progress and see where do we go from 2017.

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Collecting photographs and stories in March has been the easy part. Writing can get tricky.

I try to have some one-to-one time with the city, get on the road geared up with camera and in March I soaked up one day of spring in an hour long walk through derelict area of Hull [kind of].
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Some of the “edgelands” is up for a development soon, so maybe it is worth catching few photographs of the land, before it changes.

The best experience in March was the HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2018

I was invited to be their photographer this year and that rolled me straight into a number of cultural events. Hull based company E52, in conjunction with renowned venue and producer Battersea Arts Centre, presents some of the most exciting contemporary British and international theatre at venues throughout the city of Hull.
The festival takes place twice a year, with Spring and Autumn seasons, and also includes locally-curated and produced work, workshops, new productions, networking events, talks, art events, school projects, and exhibitions.


First one was UGLY CHIEF – artist and performer Victoria Melody teams up with her dad, TV antique dealer Mike Melody, for her most ambitious show yet. Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true-life events, performed by a real-life father and daughter. As I can create any spoilers  – it is about setting up a funeral by Victoria for her dad, who was falsely diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given five years to live. In the show, they preform two funerals – one that Victoria wanted for her dad, and second funeral that dad wanted to have for himself.


The show was wonderful, witty, clever and emotional at times. And the fact that it was another take on taboo subject such as death, funerals really made it my cup of tea.

Two of the events took place in Kardomah94 across the week.
Heads Up Introducing with Lyn Acton, singer with Pearls Cab Ride and Bill Drummond Daffodils&Death

Both brought me some new knowledge about different art forms, I got to know Lyn Acton and Pearls Cab Ride , not just as one of the bands playing at Freedom Festival, but as culturally important figure in Hull and jazz music scene in Yorkshire.

She laughed, cried, shared and cherished her stories and musical influences and favourites.


Bill Drummond Daffodils&Death was just a bit random. Enjoyable random.
But my favourite new knowledge was that Bill once was in a band called The KLF and had hell of a performance at 1992 BRIT Award Ceremony.

And to back up that it really happened in 1992, Bill Drummond, between he’s shows came to the sound desk and said  “I can’t wait for this to be over, so I can have a proper drink”



Third one was SPONGE by Turned On Its Head

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That was ultimate kids show using sponges in various shapes, forms, colours and sizes, that will be stuck in my memory as a nightmare light change to capture in photographs.
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The last event of the festival, I was taking photos of was the DARK WINTER by David Mark.

I was present at the last of the dress rehearsals and only stayed for 30 min. And in that short time I witnessed some serious theatre. Set in Hull and based on the thrilling crime novel by bestselling author David Mark, E 52 bring Aector McAvoy’s first case to the stage in a stunning adaptation by award winning writers Richard Vergette.


And hell yeah, it was mind blowing. The level of acting and theatre performance was high standard and having Hull as main characteristics made it to be my favourites. The sound and light was to match the high standards of performance. One word – gutted not seen the full performance.

Photos above: Production team, E52 crew and stage manager.



Million thanks to Heads Up team for having me on board. Great pleasure, great pleasure.


In March there was an important note in my diary – to see Jason Whilsher-Mills with my own eyes in his artist talk about currently displayed Unexpected Engagement at Artlink. I rarely get to see artist gatherings and talks, as I am working evenings, so this was real treat for my brain on Saturday, 13th March.

Jason Wilsher-Mills is Square Peg’s artist-in-residence for 2017.

Square Peg, the user-led diversity and disability arts programme from Artlink has teamed up with Jason to bring the stories of diverse communities in Hull to everyone’s attention.

New technologies have helped Jason give life to his ideas on disability, childhood memory and popular culture, creating new narratives. We met to discuss this and his upcoming exhibition Unexpected Engagement at Artlink.

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More than anything, I took away Jason’s story of how he embraced digital technology, instead of sticking to what he was used to. He stepped out his comfort zone, embraced the change and it took him to the highs of a success. And for someone like me it is the best lesson to learn. Change is scary,but change is good.

The talk itself was wonderful, I really liked Jason’s sense of humour, honesty and the event was a great experience to see his other work.

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At the end of it, I joined the rest for a second look at the exhibition and helped others to get their heads around the 3D experience with sculptures and tablet.

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The end of the month got a bit distracting and I kind of ditched the culture for a bit. I had few little culture things on my mind, but instead I went for a nosy at newly refurbished Trinity Market and have the famous Cone Queen – Cone Pizza.

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The space is very “fresh” at the moment, but I could already see the potential and Hull’s own stamp on the units available. Hull people have turned in proper foodies  and I am really liking it.

_Z1A6657MARCH2018 b_Z1A6653MARCH2018 bThe Cone Queen – Cone Pizza was very pleasant and most importantly – we had a little tour behind the process of making it.

During the last days of March, I also wanted to make it to BLUEBEANY’S talk at GROUND GALLERY HULL
Ground Gallery is one of my favourite discoveries in 2017 and Anna Bean with her exhibition is definitely a very good news to have for the gallery.

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I was very late [cos of work], so I had no hopes of seeing the talk and I kind of made it to the very end. Just as I got to the gallery, I realised that it is fully packed with people and that brought a big grim on my face – for Anna Bean and for the Ground.

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The last few days of the month of course went a bit mad – Easter, all the excitement of nationally long Bank Holiday weekend and unfinished business.
But I had to see one last thing – Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase last day with cakes, tea and artists themselves.
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The space gives a good ground start to artist to exhibit, have the experience of sharing their work and running workshops and in the future we are about to see more work exhibited.

So… the more the spring, summer is mentioned, the more culture we are going to see – good news for me and exciting times for Hull.
Hull Street Food Nights are back in April, Humber Street Gallery has some exciting exhibitions already on display, Studio Eleven is providing us with some high end and super quality sculpture-work and so on…

I have some of the above on the menu,  Auschwitz and work in April. Yaass!

Happy Culture!