MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 11

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.

SATURDAY.

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.

 

SUNDAY.

 

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.

Love

Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 7

At the start of the week 7 of the City Of Culture 2017 I was thinking of taking it steady – stay at home, make my Slinkachu City Of Culture set  [read more about what is Slinkachu here: Slinkachu.com Street Installations and Photography] and watch BBC 2 Welcome to Hull presented by Hull-born comedian Lucy Beaumont.

But things turned out a bit different as the week progressed.

I started the Slinkachu, first testing the tiny people figures near The Blade  to see the scale and if I have the right lens to capture the installation.

It was fascinating to admit that I kind of feel like those tiny humans when I am near The Blade.

At home I designed City Of Culture 2017 branded flags, set up a rough idea of how I am going to work this crazy idea.

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Work in progress, cos the figures are very tiny and I have to be sure that I know what I am doing before start super-glue them to the base.

On Friday I decided to visit the good old Hull School of Art&Design. It’s not only the place that changed my life, but funny enough – a spot on the City Of Culture 2017 map, hosting an exhibition in the downstairs area, plus an display of abstract architecture prints by imagesaremoments.

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Sunday and the weather inspired me to get out and get cultured. I had three people with me, so we headed down Humber Street and Fruit Market.

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Last time I had to miss out on Humber Street Gallery, cos the child and the content was not the mixture to go for.

First, on the ground floor I rushed to see Sarah Lucas Power in Woman display, mainly because of the combination of colours and capacity of the place/sculptures. And I was stopped by a volunteer, cos no photographs allowed.

 

Really?

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Do I understand the cigarettes in the holes, do I understand why one of the sculpture was placed on a massive freezer…NO AND NO. But there was something about the roughness and boldness of these sculptures. It feels like they have been made by a man and is that the whole point?

Upstairs – COUM TRANSMISSIONS. The exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge.

Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.

Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.

[Source: https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/coum-transmissions/]

 

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For what I gathered  – COUM has been quite challenging for the society to understand and accept, but there it is many years later  – exhibited for people to apply another value to the work they did. Have we changed since the 1970’s?

I might have to get there another time, because I was unable to soak it in straight away.

People viewing the work certainly had something to discuss throughout and after.

 

Last but not least – Humber Street Gallery  top of the roof deck. AMAZING.

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The location and the opportunity to have this view accessible is what Hull needed. And thank you for making my day. It was beautiful.

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Overall I have to say that I am so happy to see that Humber Street and the Docks are buzzing, full of life and people are getting some sense of old and new binding together, creating today.

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Every single thing has been thought out/about, even to the tiniest detail and are giving people an opportunity/reason to get out, get some fresh air, get to know Hull and most importantly – GET CULTURED, COS CITY OF CULTURE.

 

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.