MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – AUGUST 2018

Summer is the busiest time of the year for me and I feel like in August I haven’t really engaged with culture in Hull. But then I forget that my photographers job is very cultural and Hull based, so actually I have been in a very centre of culture this month. YAAS QUEEN.

Highlights:

STUDIO ELEVEN: Marie Lofthouse&John Crreighton

TRAENERHUS

DOMINOES HULL by Station House Opera

Yum Food&Drink Festival

NOT SO IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Anna Bean and Sam Fowler @Queens House Showcase

HUMBER STREET SESH 2018 

+ Hull bits

STUDIO ELEVEN: Marie Lofthouse&John Crreighton

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STUDIO ELEVEN is a small space with big potential always having high quality art displayed. Due to its opening times, I don’t often pop in, but this exhibition was worth making effort to come in. John Crreighton is witty and detailed prints draws my eye close in. Marie Lofthouse in contrast to that offers bold, clean shapes that to  my culture-experienced eye [sorry, couldn’t resist] remind me of arms reaching up.

As part of ILLUMINATE PROJECT: LEGACY I went down to TRAENERHUS explore my project aims and subjects, but promised not to miss them on my August Culture review.

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This art space/shop/workshop space is a beautiful celebration of Hull talent in art/crafts and general sustainability of local talented people. To my surprise, the space is loaded with a wide range of gifts, bits’ n’ bobs, framed artwork, postcards…plus it hosts many workshops across the year. Some are tempting to be part of, some interesting to view. I was welcomed with opened arms, the staff is super lovely and friendly.
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One of the weekends in August was ultra busy. I was working for Drunk Animal Creative Studios for ITS NOT TOO LATE CAMPAIGN  Hull University

In between all that I managed to photograph DOMINOES HULL by Station House Opera and Yum Food&Drink Festival

Yum Food&Drink Festival is always a good treat for Hull food lovers. And Saturday was packed busy._Z1A6256ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6260ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6504ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6506ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6516ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6518ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6522ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6524ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6525ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6528ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6534ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6537ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6539ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b_Z1A6743ITSNOTTOOLATESAT b

Special shout out to Atom Beers. Your brews are delicious across the board.

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DOMINOES HULL by Station House Opera was one of those where you really see the sense of the community. The city centre was packed with people, everyone keen to see the long waited fall of the dominoes. Laughs, smiles, cheers and all the good vibes.

I was kind of following the trail of dominoes, but looking at the promo video, I missed quite a bit.
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Massive shout out to Absolutely Cultured volunteers. You are the most important element of most all the celebrations, you are hard workers and often feels like you are the glue that holds together the whole thing. Thank you.

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NOT SO IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Anna Bean and Sam Fowler Queens House Showcase

I know how great Anna Bean is  and I was so so excited to see her exhibition alongside Sam Fowler [new artist to my fave list].

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Queens House Showcase transformed into a whole new level and Anna Bean signature cult fantastical worlds is running the place.

 

So the few Hull bits alongside the culture chunk:

Do you know about the bench in Hull that repeats what you say if you speak to it close enough? I do. Guess were it is…

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Bean & Nothingness is officially opened and I am so glad to come back over and over again.

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And how about a whole new and eco-friendly way of shopping at the refurbished Trinity Market

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The Eco Shed is pretty cool, little shop that sells my new favourite toothpaste.

Hello to Face Painting 4 You for always being on my side at most of my event-based photo jobs. It is always so good to see you and keep a track on your good work.

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AND FINALLY MY FAVOURITE PHOTO FROM RECENT MONTHS
[it can’t get any more Hull than this]

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WHAT WILL SEPTEMBER BRING? FREEDOM FESTIVAL, HULL SCIENCE FESTIVAL, HEADS UP FESTIVAL…..

 

BEST OF ‘ULL @BONUS ARENA

A LITTLE WHILE BACK I WAS INVITED TO PHOTOGRAPH BEST OF ‘ULL AT THE NEW BONUS ARENA IN HULL.BEST OF ‘UL IS PART OF THE HULL COMEDY FESTIVAL THAT COMES AROUND NOVEMBER TIME EACH YEAR. I HAVE BEEN A FRIEND AND PHOTOGRAPHER TO THE FESTIVAL FOR FEW YEARS NOW.

 

I THOUGHT I WILL SHARE THE FUNNY BITS AND THE EXTREMELY TALENTED LOCAL COMEDIANS ALONGSIDE FAMOUS ANGELOS EPITHEMIOU.

NEVER NOT FUNNY JED SALISBURY

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EVER SO RUDE GARY JENNISON

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PRIMARK FAVORITE TOO FUNNY JACK GLEADOW

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ADELE’S VOICE KIND OF GIRL  LOUIS MILLS

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ALWAYS MENTIONS BOMB DISPOSAL STEVE RIMMER

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WIFE JOKES SUPERSTAR DAVID SMITH

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NEW TO MY COMEDY CATALOGUE&FAMOUS ANGELOS EPITHEMIOU

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P.S. ALL THE TITLES ARE SUBJECT MY OPINION

 

 

HUMBER STREET SESH 2018

Humber Street Sesh matures with age and gets more delicious with each year. It sounds rather strange, because the Humber Street Sesh isn’t that old. It’s save to say that the festival is one of the highlights of the year for all of us, especially creatives. This year the Sesh was bigger and better than ever, spreading across two days, exploring new areas of Hull city centre.

Highlights:
SPIDERS FROM MARS BIG TOP TENT
HULL UNIVERSITY BEACH HUB AND PLASTIC RECYCLING CUPS [BIG AND SMALL]
DANCE TENT
SILENT DISCO
SPEAK EASY STAGE
THE BOSS BAR

I was photographing Sesh in all means – music, people, performances, Hull University Beach Stand as part of My Plastic Pledge campaign , all the bars in connection with Drunk Animal Creative Studios [BOSS BAR MY FAVE].

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SILENT DISCO by far my favourite thing of the festivals – to be part of and capture.

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The weekend of the Sesh is probably my highlight of the year so far and I am so happy to be working with Drunk Animal Creative Studios and say hello to loads of lovely people. VERY HAPPY WEEKEND. ROLL ON 2019.

WHAT WAS YOUR HIGHLIGHT?

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MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JULY 2018

FASHIONABLY LATE HERE’S MY JULY – CULTURE WONDERS IN HULL.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Drunk Animal Creative Studio Hull University Beach Stand Queen Victoria Square

Queens House Showcase Liz Knight “Seeds”

Ground Home? by No Twaddle Theatre Company

Bean & Nothingness Whitefriargate Hull

A Jar Full Of Art The Brain Jar

PRIDE IN HULL 2018

Despite things looking rather hot[meaning busy] I want to share the culture love affair with Hull before the Humber Street Sesh 2018 madness starts tonight [EXCITED]

First – my friends Drunk Animal Creative Studio set up their Beach Stand in Queen Victoria Square for Hull University graduates to have a little feeling of summer and great photo opportunity. As I’ve seen it being built back in June, I was very proud to walk past it this time in Hull city centre and snap the goodness.

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p.s. This will be featured in the VIP area at Hull University Main Stage at Humber Street Sesh 2018

Hard to trace on the world wide web – amazing and talented textile designer Liz Knight was the residency artist at Queens House Showcase in July.

Delicate, sensitive, emotional and bright viewing experience “Seeds” run from the 21st – 20th July.

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The space at Queens House Showcase  run by Creative ENRG offers great opportunities to various artists display and showcase their work. The exhibition was one of my favourites seen there in the recent year and I felt great emotional bond with the works. Liz made the most of the space and created a landscape indoors [if that makes any sense].

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Ground Home? by No Twaddle Theatre Company

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Those rare and precious times I get my arse down Ground are my favourite. The gallery is unique and chilled out. At the time of my visit I saw an exhibition/community project by No Twaddle Theatre Company. HOME?

I will allow the images speak for themselves, as I don’t want to ruin the message.

And let me just mention how happy and proud I am to see Ground thriving and getting the recognition. Its an amazing space with great people running it. And the selection of zines available is just tempting to become a full time reader. Nice.

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A Jar Full Of Art at The Brain Jar

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Featuring artists:
Sue Caufield, Hayley Booth, Kjersti Goss Emberton aka Sessa Ceramics, Lauren Saunders, Diane Allerston and Sharisse Ullah.

First – the cafe space at The Brain Jar is absolutely lovely. Both floors. And having had great coffee there upstairs, it was awesome to see the space used to showcase local artists and have a little art fair.

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Kjersti Goss Emberton aka Sessa Ceramics

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I am Latvian and for the first glimpse I gathered that Sessa Ceramics is not 100% British. There was a Northern feel to the ceramics. And I was right as Kjersti originally comes from Norway. Bang. Absolutely loved the ceramics and I hope to own some next time I see her.

Lauren Saunders

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Lauren is an absolute babe. She is talented, determined and ace young lady.

Diane Allerston

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Diane was super lovely and shared her story and techniques with me and my fellow culture lover and I thought that capturing Diane’s smile would be the perfect way to celebrate her talent and good heart.

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Next one is something exciting, but I’ve not searched for current updates if the space is open to the public. I had a exclusive preview whilst the place was set up and I am looking forward to go back soon and see the changing walls and artist showcasing their talents.

Bean & Nothingness down Whitefriargate Hull.

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PRIDE IN HULL 2018

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As I missed Hull Pride in 2017, I was determined to photograph the most colourful event of the year in 2018. And I did. And I loved it.
Love, equality, acceptance, community spirit, peace, happiness and pride.
The Pride in Hull 2018 was so grand, that wrote a separate blog post to make sure I celebrate it fairly. Follow Anete Sooda Photo Pride in Hull 2018 for a full gallery. Thanks to everyone who said hello and gave me fantastic feedback.

Summer is always busy, but OH MIGHTY COW how summer of 2018 is turning out. I will be happy to be alive at the end of August, but I am hoping to be part of many culture wonders in August, so I can tell everyone how great I am and how awesome Hull is.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

PRIDE IN HULL 2018

PRIDE IN HULL 2018 WAS SO GRAND AND AMAZING THAT IT DESERVES ITS OWN BLOG POST. INITIALLY I PLANNED TO INCLUDE PRIDE IN MY CULTURE REVIEW FOR JULY, BUT LOOKING AT THE SCALE OF THE EVENT – I NEED TO DO JUSTICE.

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HIGHLIGHTS:

ABSOLUTELY CULTURED AND HULL17 VOLUNTEERS

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BACK TO OURS

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FACE PAINTING 4 YOU AT PRIDE IN HULL 2018

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PRIDE DOGS

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THE FEELING

The feeling of love, unity, happiness, joy, equality, acceptance, celebration. And the colours. It is mad to think that decade ago this would be a forbidden parade. The Pride in Hull is far from in-your-face screaming for attention, it brings city and people together. And that is all we need.

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MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JUNE 2018

It’s a bit an alien moment to type in the “MY CITY OF CULTURE…” as I feel like its been ages since I wrote about culture.

June was a month that barely existed in the means of culture engagement.
Half of it I worked my arse off and half of it I spent away in Latvia. There was very little time to get cultured. Plus, here we are again – late [3rd July]

There was two highlights, plus one that’s has no art culture, but still a social culture.

Humber Street Gallery  IT TAKES A VILLAGE

53 DEGREES MUSIC ORGANISED GIG AT ZEBEDEE’S YARD SLAVES AND DREAM WIFE

JANE TOMLINSON RUN FOR ALL ASDA FOUNDATION HULL 10K

Therefore I will short and sweet.

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE is something very pleasant for the eye, but difficult at times to digest for the mind. Right – I don’t mind sarcasm, consumerism concerned slogans and taking the piss out of stupidity and our generation problems, but can we have something new for a change.

The displays are full of professional skill and technical abilities, beautiful light installations and textile masterpieces and clever use of space. But deep inside I wish there was art about dreams, aims, goals, unicorns and pink flamingos. I laugh at our century, our society is a bit of a mind fuck to understand, so can I have something that we all have hidden deep inside – hope that everything will be fine, hard work pays of kind of message, dream big-reach your goals kind of theme.

I seriously need some cheese in my life or a faith in humanity. So the experience of the exhibition is divided.

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53 DEGREES MUSIC in co-operation with The Warren Youth Project organised a amazing gig with DREAM WIFE and SLAVES headlining. I actually won the tickets via their competition and that sent me off as the happiest person ever. I was torn between enjoying myself [drinks’n that] and running the JANE TOMLINSON RUN FOR ALL ASDA FOUNDATION HULL 10K the next day, but you can have it all, I enjoyed both to the fullest.

There was no official permission for me to take photos, but of course I couldn’t resist to have few snaps with SLAVES.

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The energy was amazing. Thank you for giving the opportunity 53 DEGREES MUSIC

 

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Above actual proof that everything is possible. With my friends we cheer and celebrate at the JANE TOMLINSON RUN FOR ALL ASDA FOUNDATION HULL 10K
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Just as the finishing touch for the June culture wonders. The street art/graffiti/mural culture that is peaking in recent year is really making me smile. I keep spotting cool wall art and noting down to take photos of those.
This one is located in Fruit Market area. I have few spotted down Holderness Road and Beverley Road which I need to visit this month.

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Keep the culture going people!

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – MAY 2018

HELLO CULTURE LOVERS AND FOLLOWERS

I AM JUST GONNA PRETEND IT IS NOT THE 8th JUNE …. OK, I AM 8 DAYS LATE TO PUBLISH MY HULL CULTURE STORIES.

GOOD NEWS IS – I HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY BUSY PHOTOGRAPHING AWESOME THINGS. MY PHOTOGRAPHERS LIFE IS AS MANIC AS I WANT IT TO BE, LOVE THOSE “OFFICE” DAYS WHEN MY “DESK” IS NEAR SEASIDE OR WITH INSPIRING MUMS IN HULL, OR WITH AMAZING PEOPLE FROM ESKIMOSOUP DRIVING AROUND EAST YORKSHIRE.. LOVE ALL THAT.

OK, CULTURE BUSINESS. MAY WAS LIVELY, ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH WHEN MOST OF MY CONTENT WAS CREATED.

FERENS ART GALLERY – MASTERPIECES IN FOCUS FROM THE ROYAL COLLECTION

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20% INSPIRED BY INSTAGRAM FAVOURITE STEFAN DRASCHAN

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P.S. I USED TO DO THAT A LITTLE BIT ANYWAYS, BUT NOW THAT IS AN OFFICIAL FOCUS POINT.

FERENS ART GALLERY CLANGERS, BAGBUSS&CO

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THIS WAS AN EXHIBITION OF CONFUSION ALTHOUGH LOVELY CONTENT. I HAVE NO SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT TO “Bagpuss, see the Soup Dragon and behold Noggin the Nog. Oliver Postgate’s voice and Peter Firmin’s puppets shaped the childhood memories of millions since they started collaborating in the 1950s. As well as telling the story of Bagpuss and The Clangers, the exhibition goes behind the scenes of their other creations; Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.Discover original puppets, sets and filming equipment. See how characters developed, and learn how Oliver and Peter developed their stop-frame animation techniques alongside a selection of toys and puppets from Hull Museum’s permanent collection.”

SOURCE: HULL17 WEBSITE

 

BUT I SAW SOME LOVELY SMILES, FEEDBACK AND GENERAL SENTIMENT AROUND THE PUPPETS AND SETS.

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REALLY IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHT OF MINE – HULL COLLEGE STRIKES WITH UCU HULL

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FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ME WILL UNDERSTAND MY ANGER. MY CAREER STARTED THERE, HULL SCHOOL OF ART&DESIGN WERE PART OF MY JOURNEY IN BECOMING A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER AND BEING ABLE TO WORK AS ONE IS A LIFE CHANGING THING TO HAVE AS LEGACY OF EDUCATION. SO I WROTE TO EMMA HARDY, I WROTE TO HULL DAILY MAIL MY VIEWS ON JOB CUTS AND COURSE REMOVALS.

HERE IS A BIT OF THAT:

“I am taking the time to write because I feel incredibly let down by Hull College Chief Executive Michelle Swithenbank, who has announced plans to cut 231 jobs as part of a five year reconstruction plan to make the organisation financially self-sufficient.
Reconstruction implies that something is broken and needs to be made whole again. That is not my experience at HSAD at all. My course provided me with everything I needed: knowledgeable and experienced tutors, well equipped facilities and a varied curriculum that included studio photography, use of film cameras, printmaking, filmmaking and business skills. It was a life changing three years that gave me an opportunity to build important foundations that I needed in order to work as a photographer in the real world. I spent three years surrounded by experienced, clever and intelligent photographers and artists who made me believe that anything was possible. They pushed me to achieve my goals and challenged negative and small thinking, opening my eyes to what I could achieve.
I understand the need for the college to be financially solvent and am appalled to hear that college leaders have allowed a £10m deficit to be racked up and that an additional £1m plus deficit is forecast (as reported in the Hull Daily Mail, 8 May 2018). However I do not feel that full consideration has been given to alternative money saving or money making measures. Innovative ideas like broadcasting live tutorials in photography, film-making and computer game design would put Hull where it deserves to be – at the forefront of creative education. Opening up facilities to the public and local businesses would also generate additional income. Can Michelle Swithenbank really tell us that job cuts is the only way out of the mess?”

I ALSO DID MY PART AND WENT DOWN TO ONE OF THE STRIKES TO TAKE SOME PHOTOS.

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THIS MIGHT NOT SEEM LIKE A VERY CULTURAL TOPIC, BUT IN FACT IT IS, BECAUSE HULL SCHOOL OF ART&DESIGN IS PART OF CREATING A NEW GENERATION OF ARTISTS.

IT WAS ALL A BIT DAUNTING, BUT THE SUN WAS OUT AND EVERYONE UNITED FOR ONE IDEA. AND THIS WILL BE THE CHANGING POINT FOR FUTURE, BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO CARE, WILL NEVER LET THINGS GO EASY. WELL DONE TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART.

 

CULTURE/ART AT QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE RUN BY CREATIVE ENRG ON TWO OCCASIONS:
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ABOVE CHRISSY COLLINSON SITES UNSEEN

BELOW ILLUSTRATOR MIKE WARLEY AND HIS WONDERFUL CREATIONS.

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I ALSO WENT DOWN TO THE HULL TAPESTRY AT THE GUILDHALL

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IT WAS ON MY LIST FOR MONTHS AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. IN A NUTSHELL – FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING, THE HULL TAPESTRY ILLUSTRATES, IN COLOURFUL AND VARIED STITCH, THE HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CITY OF KINGSTON UPON HULL OVER PAST 700 YEARS.  DEPICTING HULL’S DIVERSE HISTORY AND PIONEERING SPIRIT, THE HULL TAPESTRY GROUP HAS FASHIONED A BREATHTAKING MONTAGE OF HULL LIFE THROUGH THE AGES.

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I ALSO HAD A STROLL THROUGH HULL ONE DAY WHEN THE SUN WAS OUT AND REVISITED THE SOLAR GATE ‘N QUEENS GARDENS.

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FIRST TIME VISITED THE DAZZLING EVENTS FOOD AND ARTISAN MARKET AT THE LAWNS COTTINGHAM.

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ON TOP OF THAT I TOOK PHOTO OF A NEW SCULPTURE ARRIVAL IN TOWN: RESEARCH STILL GOING ON WHAT THAT WAS, GOOGLE AT THE MOMENT IS NOT HELPING,SO IF ANYONE KNOWS – EDUCATE ME.

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ALREADY MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY – I WILL BE ONE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR THE  ILLUMINATE PROJECT: LEGACY

WE HAD OUR FIRST MEETING LAST WEEK AND IT IS STILL EARLY DAYS. AS SIMILAR AS THE LEGACY SEARCH TOPICS ARE BETWEEN US, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT PHOTOGRAPHERS AND WILL PRODUCE VERY INTERESTING PHOTOS. THAT’S THE PLAN. AS A START UP I AM LISTING AND REVISITING ARTISTS FROM 2017 THAT INSPIRED ME TO WRITE ABOUT THEM AND FIRST ONE WAS MARK WIGAN. HE KINDLY OFFERED ME TO GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT HIS WORKSHOP, BUT DUE TO WORK COMMITMENTS I WAS UNABLE TO JOINT, SO WORK IN PROGRESS.

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SO THESE ARE SNAPS FROM HIS THE TRANSGLOBAL ART OF MARK WIGAN EXHIBITION, JUST AS I CONVINCED HIM TO BE PART OF MY SEARCH FOR CITY OF CULTURE 2017 LEGACY:

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST:

WAS TAKING PHOTOS OF INCREDIBLY TALENTED ILLUSTRATOR CALVIN INNES IN THE NEWEST BANKSIDE GALLERY.

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I CAME ACROSS THE BEAUTY OF INDUSTRIAL ESTATE IN THE AREA. IT WAS A BIT OF A EMOTIONAL CONNECTION MOMENT AS I FOUND THE SITES AND SCENES DISTURBING AND BEAUTIFUL AT THE SAME TIME.

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I AM OK NOW. I AM EXCITED FOR THE SUMMER AND EVENTS, EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS COMING UP REALLY MAKE ME FEEL ALIVE.

STILL RE BRANDING AND HOPELESSLY TRYING TO MULTITASK, BUT EXCITING TIMES AHEAD.

NEXT MONTH I’LL BE HALF HERE, HALF IN LATVIA, SO JUNE 2018 CONTENT STILL TO BE DISCUSSED.

HAPPY CULTURE PEOPLE.

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – APRIL 2018

April was 80% usual and 20% summer  [including the feeling that winter is over and tops off kind of vibe].
So I’ll start with a moment that represents the above for me. Shot taken down Humber Street with probably the most famous dog in culture crowds.

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Culture month #4 and I am hopeful for the future. Legacy ‘n stuff, another culture-bursting year for the city and buzzing/happy people in all areas of Hull. Yes?

April started well,I was lucky to be involved with Illuminate Project:Legacy  I feel very fortunate to be able to tie work done in 2017, continuous photo/blog Hull City Of Culture in 2018 and look for the legacy, that I have discussed over and over again. Pop the question is important for someone like me, who’s really believed that Hull has changed and there is no way back. It will be a challenge as well, but I don’t mind a chunky challenge.

Work will be started pretty soon and there will be an exhibition in autumn. To top it all up I will be working with some pretty exciting photographers. Anna Bean/Bluebeany, Verity Adriana and Karim Skalli

Back to April and culture.
I had a list of exhibits I wanted to see this month, including No one knows me like Dawn from Jobcenter at Humber Street Gallery, because title seemed intriguing.

If being honest, April was difficult month for getting out with true passion and get involved in culture. Things got sad, difficult and being out with camera was more like an escape. Plus, I have been focusing on re-branding my business face, which always requires energy and ability to face your devils.

The start of April and my first go-see was the new light announcement down Queen Victoria Square at the very first weekend of April. I was unable to see the lights Saturday/Sunday, so I rushed there on the opening night. I got really frustrated by light switch being late, I didn’t had tripod, so I guess the photos are just a record that I was there. Still not sure what I was supposed to see, as very similar lights have been there through out last months?

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Whilst waiting and chatting to fellow photographers, I snapped the fountains there too. Tuns out this is the first time I see them at night. Oh well..

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On my way there, I briefly rushed through first Hull Street Food Nights of 2018. It was very brief and I was very gutted that I can only “smell” the event. Next one maybe as it looked so lovely…

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After that is was exhibitions. Luckily there are quite a few available to view from April onward.

First trip I took to see HIP Gallery in Princess Quay. I was aiming to see the freshly brewed LAUNDERAMA by David Drasdo, but I was a bit too early. Instead I got to see the DOCK. The exhibition is a selected visual history of St. Andrew’s Dock.

Once St Andrew’s Dock was the beating heart of Hull’s fishing industry.
Today it stands derelict and unloved, a sorry reflection of a once proud and thriving place.
These images are just a snapshot of the story of its falls from grace.

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The exhibition contains photographs by Will Slater, Peter Marshall, Ben Barrass and Oliver Turpin.

The extend of loss from the industry feels so genuine, once I finished with the viewing. For someone like me not born in UK and Hull, exhibition serves as a good eye opener for the past and present. I always hear the stories about how great it was, but it never really felt like I know what people mean by it.
I was curious to find out from volunteers when it all “cracked”, but the conversation revealed a lot more. For example, back in the day, people that worked in the industry were called three day millionaires- they became rich very quickly for a short period of time, then spent all the money as quickly as they earned it. Also, I found out that Hull was once called the City of East Coast. Just that.

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Massive thank you to the volunteer that chatted for 40 min about Hull, fishing industry, even about studying photography and writing dissertations. I wish I noted his name down on piece of paper….

After that I went to see something that I purposely left for April.

No one knows me like Dawn from Jobcenter at Humber Street Gallery.

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The culture or social groups that are regulars to Jobcentre are always linked with lack of life quality, lack of future perspectives and generally are the underdogs. Rightly so for those who work and pay taxes. But there is no country in the world without a unemployment issues. To be able to draw the lines between art and stereotypes around the subject is intriguing and tempting.

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I feel like my photos show every corner of the exhibition, leaving nothing to imagination, but that’s how I felt like at the time – it was too good to be missed out.

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The artwork sets many questions and leaves me to wonder if the reality is mixed with great dose of sarcasm. Really good exhibition in my opinion, although I felt like I want more.

After that I popped downstairs to see the FOREVER or GOLDEN SHOWERS by Tim Noble and Sue Webster.

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I am convinced that these light installations are detachable from their current meanings. It also wasn’t as excited as I expected. It was more about getting that one perfect shot of three very different light bulbs.

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Maybe, and only maybe, I would like these installations in a meaningful location? I don’t know….
Just to quickly mention and justify image below – the shirts really brightened up my mood. These lads deserve a free drink.

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My next exhibition was at Artlink. Only in last few months I have realised that Artlink is very warm and welcoming space, including staff working there.

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This time it was the GRAFT in FLUX. An collaborative exhibition in a nine year partnership between Artlink and HMP Humber’s Graft Fine Art Studio.

The exhibition is focused on the changing landscape and the aspirations of those currently working and living in the secure prison units.

It also has got an interesting way of treating the “artists”. Most of them have no prior training, skills or education in arts, so they all have been thrown in an adventure. That is the most precious part of the idea, I think.
From what is displayed, I couldn’t tell that there is no experience. Fascinating.

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All exhibits are part of an experiment, covering each person’s voice and back-stories.

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There are Drop-in workshops available on 19th May and 16th June.  The workshops will recreate elements and working practices from the Studio to allow visitors to observe and take part in the environment, projects, techniques, and journey of HMP Humber’s students. I am hoping to squeeze one of the workshops in my diary for June [that’s if someone would like to join me].

 

The only downside of space there – it sometimes isn’t pleasant to fight with falling shadows and colour cast. So I hope I have hidden that in these captures. [sorry]

Last but not least – TWO GINGERS COFFEE HOUSE and a small coffee/bear/live music  summer start up gathering on the 28th April.
I remember first time I went there was early days for the Two Gingers, but I am so pleased to see them thriving and having coffee lovers on their side.

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I literally popped there for 10 min to see the atmosphere, my mind was far away from celebrating and mingling with people.
I hope they do more events like these and I can properly enjoy myself.

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There you go – my little culture April in Hull. I hope as the year goes on, I will get more diverse cultural experiences through the lens.

For now – re-branding, Illuminate Project:Legacy, culture in May and work.

 

 

REMEMBER ME CONFERENCE HULL APRIL 2018

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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My favourite was DR. Christina Welch and her talk “EXPLORING EXTANT CARVED CADAVER MEMORIALS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND”

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
THE PHOTOGRAPH AS A VEHICLE FOR MOURNING AND REMEMBERING.

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.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – MARCH 2018

HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY[yesterday], HAPPY DAY TO BE ALIVE.

HAPPY.
AND WELCOME TO THE MARCH EDITION OF MY CULTURE IN HULL 2018.

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:

#1 HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2018

#2 ARTLINK JASON WILSHER-MILLS UNEXPECTED ENGAGEMENT ARTIST TALK

#3  GROUND GALLERY HULL PRESENTS BLUEBEANY’S ARTIST TALK

#4 TRINITY MARKET EXPLORATION NR. 1

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.

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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.
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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.

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!