MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 33

LATE SUNDAY AND I AM DETERMINED TO QUICKLY DELIVER SOME CULTURE -WEEK 33

FASHION & FREEDOM – IN PARTNERSHIP WITH 14-18 NOW by Freedom Festival Arts trust

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One of the most radical changes during the war was the huge change in women’s lives. With the men away fighting, more than one million women went to work for the first time. These new responsibilities led to a new look, and a century later, this era has inspired Fashion & Freedom, an ambitious, multi-faceted exhibition that examines the fashion legacy of the First World War.
Exquisite craftsmanship courtesy of fashion stalwarts Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton and Sadie Williams are also on display.
A series of specially commissioned original short films complement the garments, including films by directors from Nick Knight’s award-winning SHOWstudio and Luke Snellin, who wrote and directed First, which reimagines a young woman’s first day as a bus conductor.
Source: Hull 2017

This fashion exhibition is like breath of fresh air in the Princess Quay Shopping Centre and for once the exhibits come together nicely with what people visit the shopping centre.

Most of the dresses are a pleasure for the eye, some are so tempting to be touched and put on.

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The same day I had a look at the new arrival in Princess Quay Shopping Centre
Artist Claire Morgan has created the new artwork, named Elephant in the Room, which highlights Hull’s relationship with the sea and reflects on the environment and sustainability. It has been hand crafted, created from 12,000 fragments of paper and 4,270 individual threads.
It is pretty impressive, but you need to know about it, otherwise it just seems like an early Christmas decoration.

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On Thursday I had a stroll down Hull Marina/Fruit Market/Humber Street in the search for a new arrival – graffiti by Calvin Innes and Spray Creative.

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The graffiti murals liven up the place and I like the ever changing face of the streets. + both artists are pretty cool people too.

The morning was a bit dull and quiet – a different scene from few weeks back at the Humbers Street Sesh back when streets were buzzing with people. Humber Street Gallery had its doors closed and it was soooo quiet.

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AND OFF COURSE I HAD TO SEE THE SOLAR GATE SCULPTURE AT QUEENS GARDENS THAT EVERYONE WENT MAD FOR.

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Solar Gate is the latest addition to a host of new public realm artworks, including Shane Rhodes’ poem The City Speaks which encircles the newly-installed fountains in Queen Victoria Square.

I thought that setting out an artistic gallery from few photographers of the giant being installed was pretty rushed and even when I visited it did not looked finished. Patience, patience people.

I think it looks fantastic, Queens Gardens might be the next hot spot for visitors and well deserved – the park is beautiful.

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THIS WEEK MY CULTURE VENTURES ARE RUSHED – I WAS RUSHED ALL WEEK AND MY HEAD OCCUPIED WITH MAD THINGS.
BUT I AM STILL LOVIN’ MY PHOTO CHALLENGE AND SOON I WILL HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO SHOW OFF.

GET CULTURED AND KEEP CALM

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 25

LIKE EVERY WEEK FOR THE PAST 25 WEEKS THIS YEAR I AM SAT DOWN ON A MONDAY, REFLECTING ON THE CULTURE IN HULL.

This week has thought me a lesson to plan ahead. And try to stick to a plan. On Friday I literally failed to go out and photograph and I was annoyed with myself as never before.

I know that I can’t get to everything that Hull City Of Culture 2017 has to offer, but I have to take the advantage of the freedom when it comes to choosing where to go and what to see/photograph.

Thursday I was [first fail of planning] supposed to photograph the (In)visible Dancing down Jameson Street. I was super excited for it, but to my disappointment it was not on until the next day.

Oh, well… so to make sure I didn’t drag my kit in town for nothing I captured the Water Fountains in Queen Victoria Square in the early hours with the steam n stuff.

Hull Queen Victoria Square Water Fountains mum and daughter

The Fountains is one of those photo-popular destinations and I am not tempted too much, but it feels quite special and privileged to be there when it gets the steam clean.

Hull Queen Victoria Square Fountains SteamHull Queen Victoria Square Fountains Steam Women walking past

 

Saturday was the WORM FESTIVAL visit day [the festival spread across three days] in Humber Street Gallery.  I was lightly hangover [happens to me sometimes], so I decided that a long walk in Humber Street through Old Town will heal me.

First was the newly painted Drypool Bridge. The design is celebrating the work of John Venn – a 19th century mathematician and philosopher born in the Drypool ward.

Drypool Bridge Hull 2017

Then I followed the route and strolled through Street Life Museum grounds.

Streetlife Museum Hull people feetStreetlife Museum Hull garden

Hull Streetlife Museum people watching fish in the pond

And surprise, surprise – there was something going on. Maritime Memories Machine tour arrived in Hull to collect stories about sea – we like our waters don’t we?

Maritime Memories Machine Van

I met two lovely people from London, and they gave me a little tour around the Ice Cream Van without any ice cream that was full of secret jars and pots, items and collections.

Maritime Memories Machine inside the Van

They showed off their fantastic hats and cute lil’ seagull.

Maritime Memories Machine in Hull Seagull wearing scuba diving glassesMaritime Memories Machine view from the window inside the van

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull handmade hat with seashells and stuff

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull member of staff holding a very special handmade sea themed hat

It was very interesting indeed, it was like a tiny world squeezed in few square meters.
Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull propsMaritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull what is sea boardMaritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull on the Streetlife Museum grounds

I told my two different stories of what sea means to me – Martin Parr and The Last Resort for British seaside and late sunset seaside visits in Latvia when I was a kid.

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull postbox

Before I entered the WORM FESTIVAL I took a few more of Hull at its best- sunny Saturday.

Hull Old Town and City Of Culture flagCouple in Hull

C4DI building and people on the bridge Hull

Poorboy Vintage Clothing Humber Street

Humber Street in Hull Tidal Barrier in the background

And these photographs show off the good news – it is never dull in Hull this year in particular. It even feels a bit overwhelming….

Anyway, the WORM FESTIVAL was on the radar because of few reasons – these guys are from Rotterdam and the city is bonkers – I have been there and it is a cultural madness. Second  – THE PERFORMANCE BAR PLUGS YOU IN!   –  I was not entirely sure what it was and it was embarrassing to ask the stupid question to the artists – where is the best spot to watch the tricks – “WHAT TRICKS?”….

Third – Humber Street Gallery exhibits diverse stuff and it is never boring.

And this was one these – weirdly happy shocking whatthehellisgoingon. 
I arrived early for the time slot for the THE PERFORMANCE BAR PLUGS YOU IN! so I stuck to the plan to stay around and not to miss it.

It was delayed [very artist way to run things] so I had plenty of time to get familiar with environment.

Humber Street Gallery Live MusicHumber Street Gallery Live Music wide shotHumber Street Gallery Smiley Face ProjectionHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists drinkingHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL mask on the head

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL live music playing
And the unknown form-shape artists were up for a photograph – lights and sass was on.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists posing for cameraHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artistsHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL BAR PERFORAMCE PLUG IN

It was so weird and annoying not to know what to expect, but when the first artist came on, I got the picture – it is nothing to do with an actual bar and drinks/cocktails been tossed in the air, no flames and smoke magic.
The bar was the place where artists can express their inner madness and desire, wild side and send the message to the culture-consumers.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL performance on bar

This lady was the first one to get on the stage [and the only one I had the patience/time to wait for] and it was a killer- weird one.
THE TITLE THAT I HAVE TO GIVE IS  – SHAVING FOAM AND A GIRL.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Saturday's performance girl on stageHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists performing WITH SHAVING FOAMWORM FESTIVAL at Humber Street Gallery artists performing WITH SHAVING FOAMHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists performingHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artist performing WITH SHAVING FOAM sprayed on her body

The funny thing is – I did not get the message behind it, but it was so funny to watch peoples reactions that I enjoyed it.
The other reason why I decided that this is enough of BAR ART FART – I don’t think I dealt with the light very well.

Upstairs was the rest of the exhibition/activities and I expected some kind of normality. But I was so wrong – upstairs was another Rotterdam culture/art shock and my brain was tickled even more.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three Alien expositionHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three with a plant on staircaseHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three with photographs of celebrities

Even getting to the gallery two and three is the art in itself – art to welcome. I got the sense that this is not an ordinary exhibition, which appears to be spot on, as I mentioned.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three no white walls anymore

The clean – white wall- don’t touch the artwork – only watch with your eyes – listen and be quiet sense was gone. I entered a world of moving art, artists making art there and then, eating and shitting in the same place [in a good way]. The gallery was turned into a workshop with different elements.

I took me some good few minutes to feel like I know my grounds, although it was busy, it felt so focused and quiet.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Man looking at the exhibitionHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two against Trump

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Boxing Ring with boxing gloves on displayHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two boxing ring in prepHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two music records from HullHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Artists make artworkHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Boxing Ring Close Up with wooden slippersHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery TwoHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two media artHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two on set living room with man sat in itHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two artist reading poemHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Coca Cola bookHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two on set living room
The sign of normality was the Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteer and the camera around my neck – everything else – different world.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Hull City Of Culture VolunteerHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two on set living room

“hello”

I had to sit down with the guy that seemed to be the curator/artist. Because I had to understand.

The conversation was about them, Rotterdam and Hull. The exhibition is not the exhibition that the gallery has seen before – it is a hands on workshop creating art around building babies and bridges between Rotterdam and Hull, Ground Gallery  included. This is what they said, this basically quoting them. There was no obvious explanation, but what I have gathered with my art knowledge – everything is made from complete scratch [like babies] and the involvement is the bridge between two cities.

The artists seemed real people, true people and what they do is who they are. Honesty about them, Hull and “the art” is what I appreciated the most.

and it was sad at the same time.
They said that the first time they arrived in Hull, walked through Humber Street they wanted to run away from the exhibiting here. Because it did not seem real – the newly built fresh breath of art, shops, galleries, bars, restaurants and antiques shop. They have said yes to the invitation to exhibit here, but they were not sure if they belong in the space given. They decided to do it their way anyway and collaborate with Hull heritage.

And this is not made up, this what we were talking about. And to not to forget the conversation and feeling, I recorded myself on the way home. I listen back and it really helps not to forget that artists from Rotterdam have came to Hull and feel like the Hull City Of Culture 2017  is ugly. Not the city and the people, but the brand, the logo, the investment and the idea to force on the culture they want us to consume. Of course on Friday they could have been chatting to some pro-city of culture visitors who told them of the nonsense, but that couldn’t influence them this much.
There must be a good reason of why that comes across…

 

So the bear is not as brown as we thought..hahaha.

My views about this is simple – he title has improved my relationship with Hull, given me so many opportunities to practice the photographic skill, I have met some fantastic people and seen amazing things/events/performances.
And a lot of people are aware of the “ugly scene” behind the curtains, but find a way how to gain something from the Hull City Of Culture 2017

The big bonus is  – it is not dull in Hull from Monday to Sunday and that is the most amazing thing.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two ALIEN PEAKING THROUGH

I really want to see the journals that WORM FESTIVAL will publish [as I was told] and the thoughts of returning to Rotterdam are present.

 

Happy #getcultured week 26!!!!!!!!!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 22

Hull City Of Culture 2017 and the photo challenge has become part of my life. Sneaked up on me at the beginning of the year and now I can’t imagine my week without the random visits, walks, places and people. Random – this week has been one of those. Every Sunday or Monday I sit down, panic about the deadline and look through the photos taken. Although this week has been work-crazy, I have managed to photograph two different [completely] cultural things.
CASTING ON HUMBER: Castaway Act on Sobriety.

The Sobriety Project in partnership with Castaway Goole received funding for this unique project from Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s Creative Communities programme.

Lady called Sarah Louise Davies was so lovely, she sent me the press release with some more info about the performance.

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The cast are all experienced members of Castaway Music Theatre who work together weekly in Goole with Sarah Davies.

15 members of the group will be joined by additional professional performers, Hull City of Culture volunteers and members of community groups who are participating in workshops in Hull and Goole.

Castaway Music Theatre member Anna said: “We know what we’re doing. But we don’t know what will happen.

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: “The Creative Communities Programme encourages local groups and performers to think outside the box and this project has certainly done that.”

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It really was something different in the most beautiful way. I went to the very first performance, mid week, early daytime, so I saw the first reaction from the public.
It made me smile, art and culture is for everyone, not just to view, but to be part of. The members of public had the opportunity to become part of the performance and jiggle along. And I have learned to dance whilst on camera duty…

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The second #getculturedmovement activity was something completely different. Other spectrum of the culture. The long hunted Ground Gallery down Beverley Road was hosting a PEACE PARTY.

One culture event leads to another – that is how I got an invite to the party. Martin Berger –  saxafonist and clarnetist from Spain was playing at the Casting On Humber, so he invited me to come along.

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Saturday was an intense day that was measured in 18,000 steps and a lot of fresh air, and  a lot of photos taken. DO I REALLY FEEL LIKE A PEACE PARTY??

But my gut feeling told me to get my camera back on and at least have a nosy. I guess after two attempts to see the gallery – art gem in the middle of quite a culture-quiet area, this was my chance.

I arrived and there was “peace” hippies gathering and I was about to experience a cultural awkwardness…

I am familiar with the culture, back in the day I was hanging out with few and the lifestyle, although not for me, seemed fascinating.

But the shock hit me – all dressed up in Ray Bans, fancy camera, Ombre hair…I was feeling like the capitalist pig [yeah, I’ve got the definition for you to read] and I guess I am a little bit, but that was right in my face.

People there have the community that is based on love and peace, ideology they share and the lifestyle that makes them free spirits. At least the outer shell says that.

There was a lot of friendly and chatty people, it was welcoming, but more than ever I had to convince them that my presence is genuine.

About the gallery – strong vibes of artist PINKYVISION. I have been following the work on social platforms and that made me feel a bit more comfortable.
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Also very strong vibes of the workshops that Ground Gallery  hosts – art is covering nearly every inch of the space, it is like an art hub, the feeling seeing all that is quite special. It is like you are in someone’s world.
So I hope that one day I can go back to the gallery and be part of the art/making of art.

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The space is a magical as I expected, so I am so happy that made sure I am not imagining things.

When it comes to the party itself – there was some poetry, talks, music and jokes. Most of it covered the subject of peace and support of the Campaign Against Arms Trade.
These people care and they came together to celebrate that…

Thank you guys for answering my very straight questions, letting me be part of it and sorry if I need more time to feel comfortable around you.

The galley at the moment is on and off with the wokshops, so if you subscribe to their mailing list, you can be updated with the upcoming events, work shops.

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This week of Hull City Of Culture 2017 has been full of amazing things, so I’ve heard..I wish I could be at more than on place at the time, have more time on my hands…

Let’s see where the 23rd week takes me.

LOVE
Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 19

Another Hull City Of Culture 2017 week has gone by – for me it sometimes feels like I am unaware of so many things happening and my challenge is becoming content-less.

My excuses are workload and prioritising/juggling the life of newly established photographer.

This week I wanted to pay a visit to Artlink Hull, capture some people action in Queen Victoria square and Film&Talk: Dancing with Strangers:From Calais to England [unfortunately I exchanged this activity for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with family].

On Friday I also went down to Hull University for Death Cafe. From a professional/personal point the gathering was so important. For those who have been following me are aware of my photographic END OF LIFE CELEBRATIONS project. The project touches my heart strings, I don’t think that I have ever had such a deep affection with what I am doing as that, so it was good to be surrounded by people who don’t think I am a weird bird. I was also able to reflect on importance of the subject of end of life and death in our lives and that the imagery I have taken has got an original quality.

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The event took place in Derwent building, so I was thrown into this beautiful world of picturesque scenes. For that reason I thought I’ll try and capture some more and celebrate the cityscape of Hull.

 

Artlink Hull was hosting a Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary Shortlist, weeks before the winner exhibits a single exhibition.

Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary offers a bursary and three month residency at high profile gallery to mid-career disabled visual artists based in the UK.

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Anna Berry

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Anna Berry

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I found that this exhibition was quite intimate and with a lot of personal reflections, so enjoyed it with my eyes, rather than behind the lens.

My favourite was Aidan Moesby’s Syndrome (ii). His work explores the Lima And Stockholm Syndromes. For me it was a throwback to the years when I was trying really hard to understand chemistry and the Periodic Table. What the artist has done – every element has a emotion/feeling underpinned and that is what I was feeling when going through it for exams and stuff.
It was a lovely reminder of why I have gone into photography.

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Artlink Hull is a very lovely space with lovely members of staff, so I hope I can go back in the future for some exciting things.

Over the weekend I managed to get out for a bit and I was rewarded – the light seemed to adjust to what I would like to see. It was like I was in control of it.
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It is valuable to see the ever changing city in a good light – we all look better when we are lit with light the right way.

 

This week I am super excited to be going to Depart on Saturday, so that will most likely be my highlight. But if I can I will squeeze in a visit to Ground down Beverley Road, cos that has been on my wishlist for weeks, also the The Train Track and Basket – Claire Barber is on my list.