Not really knowing how to start this blog post … so I am just going to welcome you and say “HAPPY BANK HOLIDAY”!
Firstly, the decision to write a periodical culture reviews in Hull was a big mistake. Four months have passed very quickly and despite having a very mellow involvement with culture and the city, a lot has happened.
2019 started with a positive outlook on upcoming life and work events and I really didn’t want to skip the commitment to the city and its culture/arts scene. I gave myself a relaxed task to share periodical cultural experiences, making it less of a chore.
And here I am – slightly regretful, unsure and of course still happy to have an archive of four months worth of culture.
To be able to deliver this, I really need to travel back in time.
The month started with general wonders around local areas and quick visit to Humber Street Gallery Place to Place by Liverpool Biennial.
From what I remember – it was a simple, minimalist experience that didn’t really had a wow factor. But I appreciated the tones, simplicity and shapes.
The thing about Hull, camera and me is that in my head I have various visions of specific locations and potential images. So I sometimes plan a random journey, hoping to discover something unseen or not photographed previously.
The next selection is one of those. I wanted to travel down to one of my favourite streets in Hull Boulevard for the mural that has been there for a while.
Moments before I drove past Hull Marina and recorded the beautiful morning light – this pretty much sums up my January.
February was a busy month and I remember being surprised by the workload.
Most of my culture consisted of work duties and getting ready for an Artist Takeover #4 exhibition in at Queens House Showcase
Full insight here: ARTIST TAKEOVER #4 @QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE
During the exhibition I held various activities – photo booth, talk about my HOME GLORY series and COME AS YOU ARE photo project.
Free photo booth was a lovely way how to invite people into the gallery and do what I do best – take a photograph.
The talk about my HOME GLORY series was a an interesting experience to have – it turned out to be an intimate talk with small group of people about my heritage, photographic journey and stories I am trying to tell. I didn’t need crowds to feel the support and I am thankful to those who came.
COME AS YOU ARE was a thing I wanted to do for a while and I was lucky to get a small platform where to test out the idea.
I asked a question to people – what do you carry with you every day and what role does that “thing” play in your life. It all came from the question of why I photograph Latvia and the mundane everyday whilst I am there, family and country.
Again – the attendance was mild, but I felt very lucky to see the people who came. Quality over quantity.
Regards culture two things happened that month in Hull. Annual Ferens Open Exhibition and The Knife Angel in Queens Gardens.
This year I missed the deadline to apply, but it happened for a reason. I didn’t feel like there was anything to exhibit and previous year proved that if you don’t feel it in your gut, don’t submit.
However, to visit the exhibition was a pleasure.
The Knife Angel left me slightly speechless and amazed. The travelling National Monument against Violence and Aggression gathered people from all over the region and in a way united us once more. It felt like short period of time, but it definitely left a mark in 2019.
By mid March my life was starting to take a bitter turn and my health got in the way of everything. There was a fantastic opportunity to photograph the last Heads Up Festival, Creative ENRG came to a closure and I was part of the Creative Juice event at C4DI.
Plus I went to a very random gig at Union Mashup and stumbled across an exhibition by Lauren Saunders, Rebbeca Addinell and Sinitta Beadle at Hull Central Library.
Creative Juice @C4DI was a farewell event to the amazing journey we all had with Creative ENRG – there was a book launch, great food and very interesting programme all thanks to brilliant event organisation by Eskimosoup
Being at the event reminded me of the friendships made and the amazing photo opportunities I created for myself by getting involved with the Creative ENRG
Heads Up Festival 2019 was so special this year, it was my third and probably the last as it was announced to take a break for a bit.
Read a full review here: HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2019
LITTORAL VISTAS @HULL CENTRAL LIBRARY was an accidental discovery whilst in the library for the festival.
The exhibition space at the library is very well lit and clean from distractions. And the work suited the space well [or the other way round]. I am pleased that Lauren Saunders is getting out there and pursuing her goals.
Make Noise Birthday Bash @Union Mash Up was a very random visit thanks to my friend Oliver. Make Noise Collective describe themselves as “Hull gal collective, working to improve safety at gigs and visibility for women in the local scene”
One girl really did stand out – Jodie Langford with her spoken word performances. The ultimate highlight of the night.
April brought Bankside Gallery event at the Preston Road derelict housing estate, Alec Gill’s Hessle Roaders at Hull Truck and new art space in Hull – Prospect Gallery [it is very new and at the moment the gallery don’t have any online presence].
Bankside Gallery was a pleasure to visit despite the weather and my moody mood. A lot of new works created in a very unique gallery.
Hessle Roaders by Alec Gill has been an ongoing journey for many people in past year or so and Alec has made sure that his work don’t just sit in the shelves in folders hidden away. Hull Truck hosted another extension to the work and I as promised to Alec I went to see it.
I first heard of Prospect Gallery was at the Queens House Showcase at one of the events. It was mentioned and it soon became the place to visit in my [imaginary] list.
I also got an amazing offer to have my portrait drawn and I agreed. Since then it happened twice and it as an experience to experience. It is a strange task to sit and find a point of interest that becomes your world for an hour or so. And the end result gives you a sight that you never see yourself.
The space has got a lot of potential and it could become one of the hot spots to visit in Hull.
In between everything I also was invited to photograph an opening at Humber Street Gallery for A TITTLE-TATTLE TELL-A-TALE-HEART by Athena Papadopoulos and caught a snippet of the CUT.
CUT is a a residency project exploring themes of social expression and the acts of self-care centred around their practice of hairdressing. The project takes form of a sculptural installation and events programme where haircuts and client interviews are gathered to create sound and sculptural artworks.
There was more adventures and exciting work things throughout the four months, but I think I have covered the highlights. And learned a lesson to be more consistent. And discovered that Hull is still breathing culture.