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.

_Z1A7489-PanoWEEK22 b

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.”

_Z1A7330WEEK22 b_Z1A7334WEEK22 b_Z1A7339WEEK22 b_Z1A7340WEEK22 b_Z1A7344WEEK22 b_Z1A7348WEEK22 b_Z1A7353WEEK22 b_Z1A7355WEEK22 b_Z1A7358WEEK22 b_Z1A7373WEEK22 b_Z1A7376WEEK22 b_Z1A7379WEEK22 b_Z1A7384WEEK22 b_Z1A7388WEEK22 b_Z1A7392WEEK22 b_Z1A7396WEEK22 b_Z1A7398WEEK22 b_Z1A7414WEEK22 b_Z1A7422WEEK22 b_Z1A7431WEEK22 b_Z1A7437WEEK22 b_Z1A7442WEEK22 b_Z1A7443WEEK22 b_Z1A7459WEEK22 b_Z1A7461WEEK22 b_Z1A7466WEEK22 b_Z1A7472WEEK22 b_Z1A7481WEEK22 b_Z1A7487WEEK22 b_Z1A7500WEEK22 b_Z1A7503WEEK22 b_Z1A7506WEEK22 b_Z1A7508WEEK22 b_Z1A7520WEEK22 b_Z1A7525WEEK22 b_Z1A7530WEEK22 b_Z1A7532WEEK22 b_Z1A7535WEEK22 b

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…


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.

_Z1A8624WEEK22 b

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.
_Z1A8623WEEK22 b_Z1A8691WEEK22 b

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.

_Z1A8624WEEK22 b_Z1A8628WEEK22 b_Z1A8643WEEK22 b_Z1A8644WEEK22 b_Z1A8657WEEK22 b_Z1A8662WEEK22 b_Z1A8665WEEK22 b

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.

_Z1A8638WEEK22 b_Z1A8671WEEK22 b_Z1A8673WEEK22 b_Z1A8676WEEK22 b_Z1A8677WEEK22 b_Z1A8681WEEK22 b_Z1A8683WEEK22 b_Z1A8685WEEK22 b_Z1A8687WEEK22 b

_Z1A8649WEEK22 b

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.

Anete Sooda


There is a reason behind the word “challenge”. This week I was super busy with personal project Beardology, night of comedy and taking part in the Larkin Out festival at the Larkin’s Bar down Newland Avenue, plus many other life things, so I had to really push/challenge myself to get cultured regards Hull City Of Culture 2017 this week.

This week the focus was on Daffodil display and my own interpretation of it [just cos I missed it].
Ferens Art Gallery and Skin: Freud, Mueck and Tunick was another must see this week.

_Z1A4350WEEK16 b

When it was too late, I discovered that the Lego Daffodil display is gone. The daffodils were given away to people of Hull for small donation that week. I was very gutted, but I still went down to see it for myself.

But I was told that somewhere in Hull I can find two awesome kids who will show me the daffodils and I will be able to have my own photograph of these amazing Lego creations.

With bribery and good chat-up lines, they proudly showed off their daffodils and talked me through the day when they were queuing, waiting and ended up on TV. I was super jealous, but really happy for them.

Inspired by cheesy mainstream fashion magazine edits, I had an idea of how to have my own daffodil display – bit of patience and work, bit of Hull City Of Culture 2017 colours and yeah- I have my own LEGO DAFFODIL DISPLAY.


Skin: Freud, Mueck and Tunick

LONG STORY SHORT – during the week I watched the film about Sea of Hull in making [incredible sense of unity and a lot of naked, blue people], I knew that the exhibition is out and I headed down there. I had a gut feeling that Mr. Tunik will be conscious about people taking credit of his hard work, so there will be no photos allowed. Which is really crap, cos my visuals are better than words.

And I was spot on – no photos are allowed in the Skin: Freud, Mueck and Tunick exhibition.
The staff has got more than three eyes, so I was constantly followed –  I think it is written on my face – I am a nosy photographer.

I am really sorry, but just as I was told off I took a miserable picture with my phone.


I think it is ridiculous. This artwork would not be if not Hull. And the whole experience and photos is a fantastic reminder that Hull is amazing and people are absolutely crackers in the most incredible way.
Just have the recordings of the exhibition would mean a lot to me and potentially few other.

Just a quick feedback on the actual photographs and the quality of work.

There is no argument about the content, composition and overall idea. But MR. Tunik clearly used a camera that is not suitable for large scale prints. Very bad print quality and it kind of spoiled the viewing experience.


I did study about Ron Muek and his fascinating life-like sculptures at Uni and I was hoping that I will have the opportunity to see his work in real life. Thanks to Hull City Of Culture 2017 it happened.

Ron Muek is Australian born, London based artist with incredible talent of shocking viewers with his sensitive and exposed sculptures of human beings.

“Mueck’s works command an uncanny ability to amaze with obsessive surface detail and intense psychic discharge. Engaging and wildly popular, they expose our need to validate our humanity, even as they thwart our attempts at full disclosure.”

Source and interesting interview with artist himself via link below:

The Progress Big Man A Conversation with Ron Mueck by Sarah Tanguy

I don’t know about my need to validate my humanity, but I was gazing at the sculptures for quite a while. It felt like I am a tiny ant looking at humans, analysing the danger they can cause.
It is magnificent execution of detail, skin and dimension.
The sculpture Wild Man without a doubt was the one that amazed me the most. The more time I spent looking at it, the more comfortable I felt.

It is definitely a must-see.

The exhibition is part of Artist Rooms Tour and will be there until 13th of August 2017.

Also I was told that there is a small gallery with samples and sketches of Mueck and I WAS ALLOWED TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS.

_Z1A4889WEEK17 b_Z1A4888WEEK17 b_Z1A4887WEEK17 b_Z1A4890WEEK17 b

+ a random photograph of a random art workshop.

_Z1A4895WEEK17 b

This Bank Holiday Weekend I was hanging out at Larkin’s Bar Hull and Larkin Out festival, so I spoke to a lot of people. In some conversations Hull City Of Culture was mentioned and it is not always sweet.

For example, there are people [from Hull obviously] who feel like this year isn’t really about Hull. We get fed with art that “they” think we should be looking at and relating ourselves with. The people I spoke with are definitely with decent IQ’s and have some sense of culture, so their opinion really matters. And what if they are right? What if we blindly follow what the Hull 17 board is giving us as Hull’s legacy, culture and history. Some of it is a bit out of context, random and too arts’y farts’y.  We have been given a choice of many different culture experiences, but how do we filter what really is important for old and new Hull?

My own experience has been wonderful, I have had the opportunities to be part of amazing things and I appreciate art for its being, for the change that it is bringing to Hull and the sense of coming together to get cultured as a city.

But I also see these points applying to the events.

There was another conversation about Hull 17 bringing photographers outside of Hull to record the celebration – that is a joke considering the talented few in Hull have to hunt for jobs. To make it worse  – one of the photographers have slagged of local photographers… I have no proof of this, but even having the rumour amongst those who live in Hull being a truth, puts the whole Hull 17 to shame.

This year is a distinctive year for local artists, businesses and people, everyone should have a piece of the Hull 17 cake – that was the whole point of this.

Something to think about and reflect on.

See you next week!!!!!!