MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – 2018

It is 2019 and we are fast approaching the last days of first month of the year. On my last blog post in December, I was still wondering if I want to continue my culture journey through monthly photographs and blog posts.
The short snipped of 2018 in Hull is a visual journey through last year and despite some disappointments I still had a pretty good year embracing and celebrating culture scene across the city.

 

I have come to a compromise to have periodic culture reviews and not let go the commitment fully.  I will keep it as a luxury opportunity to photograph for my own pleasure and will potentially meet new people and see new places.

I also want to raise a discussion amongst regular followers and see what are your thoughts on 2018 and expectations from 2019.

Share your experiences!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – DECEMBER 2018

Well, well. 31st of December and with a great pleasure  I am writing a finale post of the year.
Of course the culture wonders gradually went downhill, but I still kept a good housekeeping throughout the year.

Last month also brought new perspectives on City Of Culture with the Illuminate Project Legacy event at Artlink in support from Redeye: The Photography Network in the early days of December. The legacy and its future is under a question mark, many creatives left feeling disappointed and I found out things about how the system was run throughout 2017.
I still take my own experience as valuable and I remain grateful. I very much enjoy being part of the Illuminate Project: Legacy and my wonderful experience and work created lifts up my spirit.

Anna Bean [Bluebeany] and Verity Adriana shared their take on Hull City Of Culture legacy and all attendees had a great discussion around the legacy in Hull.

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Mark Wigan The Museum of Club Culture

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Lyn Acton The Legend, singer and a member of Pearls Cab Ride

 

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Alec Gill a wise man with a big heart and camera. Hessle Roaders

Another wonderful moment in December was to see film A Northern Soul by Sean McAllister

The description of the film briefly tells the story of Steve aka Redeye Feenix and his journey:
“Steve is a warehouse worker by day, hip-hop artist by night. He represents a forgotten generation whose dreams haven’t been met. But Steve is also a deeply community-driven optimist, who has also been trying to find a way to bring creativity and culture to the disadvantaged kids of the city. Kids like he once was – kids whose opportunities to build a better life are restricted by the world around them. Music has been his dream for 30 years and he saw the opportunity in the City of Culture year to start a project: the ‘Beats Bus’, using a bus donated by his company and converted into a sound studio, allowing him to visit some of Hull’s poorest schools and give kids a voice through music training and performance – a chance he never had.”

My own reflections of the film however are much more deeper – first of all, I think that the film was the best documentary I have seen in a long time and secondly it made me feel inspired. I have seen Steve’s and Beats Bus journey in 2017 and 2018, taking photographs of them at Hull’s festivals. They were so engaging with the public and youngsters seem to have loads of confidence. And the film showed how much Steve had to invest, how he shared his passion and energy and that the kids got their inspiration and strength from Steve.  He is an inspiring local artist and we have more common that I would ever imagine. I am sending my love and best wishes to Steve and Beats Bus.

Another moment was a special Monday when I had to find a spot where to be interviewed for Creative ENRG annual report. Of course, I don’t have an amazing office space, just my boring home office and there was no chance to nail an interesting client to shoot on early Monday morning so I decided to go somewhere appropriate for my work – Preston Road derelict housing estate “decorated” with graffiti.

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Friends on Every Street slowly are creating amazing legacy with their work and are the key elements on previously visited Bankside Gallery and this too.
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Here is me and my boyfriend spreading the love for the Peter levy and Look North Mate!
The end of 2018 is also bringing me to a closure to another year of culture blogging and I have a big question of what is next. Do I continue or do I move on with my life and career?
I need to dive in January and see how enthusiastic and faithful I feel to continue. I need time to reflect and revalue my input on the culture legacy in Hull.

Last but not least was my magical Christmas visit home and I really want to share few moments of picturesque snow. I am so grateful to my family for time spent together and white Christmas just topped it all and made it so special.

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On the last festive note I want to wish everyone Happy New Year! I hope it brings love, success and you all have the energy to make your big and small dreams to come true. Lots of love from me to everyone who follows me and my life/career journeys!

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – NOVEMBER 2018

For the first time I have delayed the monthly culture blog for so long. It is confusing to write now about what happened then, because December already has given me different emotions and experiences. So I will try to screw my head back round and go back in time.
As usual in the second half of 2018, I feared that I will have nothing to write about, but somehow I have tricked myself and November was productive.

First –  to my deep sadness I missed out Hull Comedy Festival 2018, but I went to Big City Of Culture Quiz of the Year to make up for it.

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It felt like I have missed a big yearly family gathering and being there to see few familiar faces made me load more happier.

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I also went down to Queens House Showcase to see the ARTIST TAKEOVER #3.

Again – pretty much a regular there since I  have Creative ENRG mentor on my side and I go there on a monthly basis.
Thought for the future – exhibit there myself..

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Artists on display  – Lucy Kelly, Hannah Green, Ingrid Holborn and Saffron Brown

Hannah Green

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Ingrid Holborn

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Saffron Brown

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Lucy Kelly

I have worked with Lucy before, taking photographs of her paintings, textiles and ceramics and she is a raw artist so hard not to love. Her work is complete and made with thought about global issues. Her personality is bold and I am very honoured to have her on my client list.
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Very end of the month I had a very special visitor – my sister and I wanted to share my love for the city and we both went to the URBAN LEGENDS:NORTHERN LIGHTS

In all honesty – the camera was pretty much a habit rather than intentional tool for the experience and after seeing fantastic photographs from the event, I wish I took it more seriously. These days we don’t get events like that in the city often and it was a great photo-opportunity that I missed out on.

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One of the creative directors was Anna Bean known as Bluebeany [alongside other great ones] and her stamp of fantastic creations was all over the displays.

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OH THE NIGHT!  by IMITATING THE DOG

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As an outsider my sister loved most of the installations, some more than others. At least, she got to see why I love the city so much.
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Oh, at the beginning of the month I had a visit to the Portraits at Sea Hull Maritime Museum.

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I think my favourite moment was the conversation with the volunteer about the exhibition next door and how she got emotional. Or when she said that there aren’t many opportunities to volunteer these days… If you ask me, that is the “legacy” that we have to deal with – we are hungry for culture and we are getting starved.

As part of my Illuminate Project: Legacy I went to see Alec Gill’s Hessle Roaders Guided Tour at Brynmore Jones Library.

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Across my social media I have been banging on about it a lot, but for those who need filling in: Alec Gill and hes Hessle Roaders photographs seen back in September 2017 at St Johns Church inspired me to invite him as part of my search for City of Culture legacy. He is an absolute sweetheart – caring, loving, warm, kind and witty. He has welcomed me in his home, introduced with his poetry writing wife Audrey and shared his side of the story. Going to one of his Guided tours was not just for the project, it was also to see and hear him again, proving that he carries the legacy flag in his heart and inspires me do the same.

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Throughout November I had some thoughts about City Of Culture, the impact that it had on me and how it slowly starts to fade. Since the city and Absolutely Cultured is having less cultural events, I feel like loosing the connection with the city. And I start to wonder if having less interest from the Hull people is mirroring my experience. Or is it just that thing where I need to crack on and have my own cultural journey on my own terms, like I did in 2017.
And it leads me to the question – do I continue my culture blogging in 2019? What is your thoughts?
Should I stick to the promise that Culture Company gave us in 2017 about three years of legacy and just crack on?

December is half way and I am full of reflections – Illuminate Project: Legacy Redeye event happened, I went down Preston Road derelict housing estate and had I have emotional review to write about A Northern Soul.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – OCTOBER 2018

Fashionably late on the 6th of November with great pleasure I am writing this. October’s quote would be “you get what you give” or what you put in, so not much. All feelings from annoyed to sad, including the feeling that I have missed all the good, run through my mind today.
I guess that at this stage of my career the reality hits hard and I shouldn’t really be sad that my photography is going so well that I don’t have spare time to wonder around galleries and events. But I can’t help to feel disappointed in myself.

With meeting with ENRG mentor I combined Artist Takeover at Queens House Showcase and on the last day of HIP Festival at HIP Galleries I rushed to Princess Quay. Boom. That’s all. Short and sweet.

Artist Takeover @Queens House Showcase

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This little exhibition space is one of the hidden gems in the city centre and I always want for the space to be filled with culture lovers. Because it is always worth the visit.
This was the second Artist Takeover showcasing local talents in various mediums.
Artist links below, but photos[sorry] not in the right order most likely.

Esther Cawley

Lilly Williams

 

Milly Rose

Sue Feve

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HIP Festival 2018

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Having been part of the Creative and Cultural and HIP Gallery in the past, I have a bit of a love for them. But going on the last day didn’t show the festival at its best. Couple of spaces were closed and a chance to see David Morris talk about his work promised, but not delivered.
On the bright side – I saw the latest work of Peter Dench [I LOVE PETER DENCH] and have a good old chat with the volunteers was pleasant too.

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Peter Dench has taken on the BREXIT and it was like that comfort food on a rainy day.

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Brian Griffin usual [from previous e exhibitions] black&white mixed with amazing colourful photographs that made me stop and look twice. Brilliant!

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Both Open Exhibitions not really to my taste, but I celebrate the fact that local photographers are given the opportunity to showcase their work.

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Last both not least – Buckingham Street monkey business mural that I absolutely love.

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November promises to be just as manic as October, so I have serious concerns about spare time and culture wonders.

However I have a wish list:

  • Hull Comedy Festival 2018 [not officially there, but really want to photograph at least one gig]
  • Portraits at Sea Hull Maritime Museum
  • Usual galleries if I have a chance – Humber Street Gallery, Brynmore Jones [Alec Gil exhibition coming up soon], Queens House Showcase and GROUND.
  • and the things I can’t remember at this moment in time, but are somewhere in my head.

Well, I think there is no denying that I am very distant from this amazing thing I used to do and not really doing now, but it’s not by choice.

Ahhhhhhhh……

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – SEPTEMBER 2018

SEPTEMBER WAS BONKERS IN ALL KINDS OF MATTERS. END OF BUSY SUMMER SEASON WITH FREEDOM FESTIVAL 2018, CAMPAIGNS I PHOTOGRAPHED, HEADS UP FESTIVAL, MUM VISITING, ME BEING SUPER ILL AND SUPER TIRED, AND TRYING TO CATCH UP WITH THE WORKLOAD FOR A TEAM OF HUNDRED [FOR JUST MYSELF TO DO].

IN THE IDEAL WORLD I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SEPARATE BLOG POSTS FOR EACH FESTIVAL AND CULTURE WONDERS, BUT EVERYTHING SEEMS LIKE A ONE BIG BOWL OF CULTURE/ART/PERFORMANCE.

FREEDOM FESTIVAL 2018 WAS AMAZING. AMAZING THREE [NEARLY FOUR] DAYS CELEBRATING EQUALITY, LOVE, CULTURE, ART, COMMUNITY, PERFORMANCE AND OF COURSE HULL. THANK YOU TO FESTIVAL FAMILY TO HAVE ME ON BOARD ONCE MORE.

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Hull University My Plastic Pledge Beach Hub created by Drunk Animal Creative Studios

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Modern day Slavery Exhibition

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Hull Freedom Chorus at L’HOMME DEBOUT RISE!

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Crowds watching L’HOMME DEBOUT RISE!

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Freedom Festival Volunteers

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Street Performers

 

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People enjoying L’HOMME DEBOUT RISE!

HEADS UP FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 2018

I have been photographing this festival twice and second time round I came to a conclusion that it is a real privilege to work and enjoy meaningful events that feed your brain with high quality theatre and events.

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WHAT IS? COLLECTIVE –  WHAT IS.. EARTH?

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The event was really special. The location and the views just blew away everyone present and the light coming through the skyline windows was magic. The content of the event was refreshing, I certainly felt the irony of the human kind living on the Earth.

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“A What Is? event typically features visual artists, writers, musicians, performers, mysterious sound and lighting and a leap into the unknown.

What is … Earth? To you? For this What Is? we will be taken on a breathtaking and inspiring tour to an exhibition in a secret location that will put you in the perfect position to contemplate this awesome question. The cross-discipline artists of What is? collective have been asking themselves the question and working together to create an experience for you. All art is specially created for the event and location, in response to the theme. The location in unexpected, intimate and we look forward to a fun evening.

A unique experience is guaranteed. Part exhibition, part performance, here’s something that you may never have experienced before. Artists are paired. One creates, one responds. Both reflect on the chosen theme and go on their own journey of self-inquiry and reflection.”

Source: Heads Up Festival website

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UNSEEN BEINGS @NORTH POINT SHOPPING CENTRE

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GROUND CONTROL

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FOREIGN RADICAL by THEATRE CONSPIRACY

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Throughout the month I was working on other photo clients, including Drunk Animal Creative Studios at the British Science Festival, some comedy and CHCP, so it got hot.

I really struggled to find time to go out and shoot some photos for the September culture review, but there was odd moments of inspiration to find time.

There was a moment where I managed to walk through half of the Bankside Gallery down Bankside, which felt like a forbidden walk through the derelict industrial state.

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The image below comes with a story.
Whilst framing the shot, car pulls aside and girl pokes her head out of the car: “THIS IS MY GRAFFITI”. Really made my journey worthwhile.

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On the last day of the month I was heading to Humber Street Gallery for the last day of the exhibition MEASURES OF LIFE and as I was driving past the Old Mill building site/old grounds and there it was – End Of Summer Jam with many, many graffiti artists making the newly fitted walls graffiti-beautiful. I stopped, because I thought its a sign.

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The great, great thing about the event is that it brings wide range of artist together.
I spotted Emma Garness there and it was so lovely to find out more about why she is taking part and what does the collective wall creation means to her.

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The last stop was Humber Street Gallery  MEASURES OF LIFE.

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Humber Street Gallery is reliable to showcase art that will make you think. It can be controversial, but also can be education, often raising awareness of social gunk happening around us, or most of the time making culture experiences exciting!

The exhibition is set on three floors each having interaction with the robots and technologies. There are eight different international artists showcasing multisensory work, exploring our place in the world and the digital footprints we leave.
All artists are runners up or winners of the Lumen Prize for Digital Art.

GROUND FLOOR

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FIRST FLOOR

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SECOND FLOOR

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On the second floor I felt like stepping into someone’s other reality. Especially the bedroom setting, where I found myself a little bit angry with the current obsession of exposing yourself on various social media platforms. As I brought a eleven-year-old girl, who’s becoming a teenager too early, I really felt the damage that social media can do.
It was interesting to watch how Melanija received two messages at the same time – development of technologies and ability to create a bridge between a device and real life objects, and messages spread across the bedroom set.
I don’t think the art can change people’s minds about the social media and technologies, but it certainly will stay in our brains as a possibility….if that makes sense…

 

This month it was work-culture or graffiti, but I still think I did well. I wish to have more and more spare time to be part of the culture scene in Hull, but as the winter is approaching, I hope to have more time to cosy up in galleries.

In October I hope to see the Hull International Photography Festival, new exhibition at Artlink [collaboration with Ground Gallery] and graffiti inspired trip down Preston Road derelict housing for more wall art.

 

HAPPY CULTURE PEOPLE!!
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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

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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…..

 

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.

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 – 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.

 

 

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!