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 – 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 – 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 – FEBRUARY

Welcome to February 2018 culture review. I am sure you are busy dealing with the “beast from the East” as we all do, very distracted myself with the snow,making snowman’s, but duty calls.

I would like to say that culture journeys in February has been out of old habit, but that has changed since last month. Although being really sentimental about last years weekly reviews and stories, this month I have really realised how much time for “actual” work I have. There is no doubt that finding cultural things is a bit of a challenge in the quite months of the year, knowing that Hull City Of Culture 2017  is gone on a “break”.

I have been lucky to have Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 at Ferens Art Gallery, Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase, Hounds Of Hull opening at KAG,  and random protest regards regime in Middle East, plus some precious early morning Hull moments.

Let’s start off with the two most random things of this month:

First – one area of Hull’s city centre has been adjusted – famous for having homeless people gathering and sleeping, being a bit naughty. Area has been transformed into a colourful message, development opportunity advert. And then the disco-granny-electric piano-madness guy is there playing his tunes. Only in Hull?

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During that week I went to the first Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase where artist Lauren Saunders thought the ways of knowing – or making art followed by you feelings.. (?) Her primary tool is drawing, but the exploration extends to psychologies of perception.

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Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase is a collective exhibition of four local artists with various styles, techniques and dimensions.
The best part of the exhibition is that most of the days artists themselves are live-creating their art, having the space for their own development and are up for a cup of tea and a chat.

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Clarissa Dixon is another artist present at the Queens House Showcase. She is experimental with materials and processes. From what I had a chance to see so far – her table is a beautiful mess with textures, colours and heavy patterns.

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Annemarie Tickle was running a The Shibori workshop and I went to take some snaps of that too. I am far from understanding what that means, but it was all about fabric, dye and textures.

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Queens House Showcase is run by Creative ENRG. Just to say that Creative ENRG is giving a massive platform for artists to work and develop their skill, confidence and network with other artists, members of public.

They have helped me in my “setting-up” business journey, but I have made a lot of business friends, artists and clients through being part of the hub. That’s if you ever question how important networking is….

Just to shift few steps down from art art, I had a morning with crisp air and early sunlight in Marina and Fruit Market. It is rare opportunity to have time that early to photograph Hull and I really want to share few beautiful captures – just to celebrate ever so beautiful Hull landmarks.

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These new arrivals on Fruit Market walls was the cherry topping to my morning wonders.

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Back to art art and  Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 at Ferens Art Gallery. This year for the second year running I got a photograph in, so I was determined to have the full experience of the opening night. First thing – the welcome speech, announcements and prize give away. I did  not know that such thing happens on the opening night and it was great to be part of that.

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There was an interesting fact I found out during the speech is that Ferens Art Gallery one of the few galleries left in the UK to have free entry at all times. And I mean a gallery that hosts “proper” high end art, such as Mueck [recent experiences], Freud and other special and valuable collections. Turner Prize is a good indicator of the importance of the Ferens Art Gallery.

During the opening night I had a quick run through the galleries, spotted a few favourites, mingled with old tutors and looked at my photograph and frame all together[disappointment].

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That same nigh I made it to the Hounds Of Hull opening at KAG. Missed the dogs, but had a great opportunity tho see the art work, meet the artist behind it Verity Adriana, have a chat with artist/tutor Jane Jones and my fave Anna Bean/ Bluebeany.
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+see the rest of the KAG for the last time [due to closure of half of the space]
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At some point another random thing happened – I went from A to B and spotted some action going on in Queen Victoria Square. From the distance it looked like people are waving Stalin’s flag, but when approached the crowd, it turned out to be a protest for regime in the Middle East. It was about demanding freedom to Abdullah Ocalan and other political prisoners in Turkey.

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Last week I went back to  Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase to take some promotional shots of Annemarie Tickle and work she is developing. She stunned me with bold and brave colours and a lovely chat. Strongly suggest to visit Queens House Showcase website for opening times and artist present, because it is worth your while.

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Last but not least – had a second visit to Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 to have a good look at the selection of artworks this year. There was some definite favourites, good and interesting concepts, but there was an equal amount of “rubish”. As for usual.

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As I mentioned previously, work I submitted was a risk. The photograph in combination of the frame was a big risk. It is not bad, but it did not met the expectations I had for myself, so I am a bit disappointed. But risks have to be taken and learn from the experience if it doesn’t work out. Boom.

This month I was a bit pushed for time, so two things on my list are not here:

 

 

I have to start thinking about what March will bring to my culture experiences, already planning in progress.

Excited to be working on a project that I will be shouting about in the near future, excited to be taking photographs for Heads Up Festival for the next two weeks and work with Drunk Animal with their projects and clients. And everything in between. Exciting! That’s all I am gonna say.

Have a great March, get some culture in your system and drive carefully through the 15 cm of snow [eeekkk!!]

Love
Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JANUARY

HELLO AND WELCOME BACK TO MY CULTURE VENTURES IN 2018

 

The year of Hull City Of Culture 2017 finished on a high note for me. I really lived up to my challenge, being part of the story all year, week by week [except tiny two weeks] and I had the most wonderful time. It was the big celebration for me.

At the beginning of the month I was very lost – for the first time in a year I was not obligated to follow culture and it was weir. On the other hand – it was a relief – no Sunday/Monday panic about writing a blog post and wondering if I have done enough, if I’ve done well.

Throughout the year I knew I need to continue the work for me and for the promised legacy, for Hull. Out of habit on the first week I already found myself in culture indulgence.
And it felt good.

First, I managed to catch the robots part of Where Do We Go From Here.
I had to take my family to see the magnificent robots and have the last look.

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I was still seeking for the connection with culture, Hull and the question it raises. Technically brilliant pieces of machinery, creating a cosmic atmosphere and making the dark hours of Hull light up. But I am asking a question – could artist applied any other question to the artwork, linked with anything else? I am sure that is a possibility and Hull is just another translation to the existence of robots.

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Never the less – Hull still embraced the installation, as we do with everything.

Hull embraced a lot of things in 2017, we have changed our mindset regards culture and art, we are more educated and don’t mind abstract elements scattered around the city. Like the Solar Gate in Queens Gardens. Why not?
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Mid month I was SUPER excited for the new arrivals at Humber Street Gallery.
Just to note how wonderful it is to have a gallery of this kind, Humber Street Gallery has been the key venue for so many great exhibitions and they need a shout out!!!!!
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The exhibitions, all there are about everything celebrating Hull City Of Culture 2017 Volunteers. Work created purely to say thank you for your hard work, purely to celebrate each individual for making the year possible.
Gallery 1
BIG PICTURE: WITH LEO FRANCIS IN ASSOCIATION WITH CHRIS FENTON

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Photographer Lee Francis has very specific style and it is reflected in the works. They are bright and unmistakably unique.
I was so professionally jealous, because that would be every professionals dream to work on a project like this. In fact, this type of photographs should be the only reason why this medium exist – celebrate people and life in a beautiful way, that is missed by a naked eye.

The collage with volunteers and their belongings, their lives is equally fantastic.
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The team behind the project and Hull City Of Culture 2017 put a lot of thought, love and effort into creating this and wanted to know more about volunteers.
When asked to the volunteers present at the exhibition, the same feelings are expressed.

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And we ourselves enjoyed the little insight into this project

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Gallery 2

GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE: JULIA VOGL

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Another mind tickling satisfaction of culture experience. First impressions are very good, the space is transformed into a full on colour experience, surrounding visitors with bold colours, numbers and takes you on a journey.
When I got over the wow factor, I made my way through the facts and facts about volunteers worked out in percentage.
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We also played a game of calculating the percentages of what volunteers have as their occupation:
88% are either in full time education, employed or retired and the rest – unicorn keepers. That’s mine and Oliver’s conclusion.
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The whole experience is extended with an opportunity to try on volunteers kit and having your photo taken[optional?]
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And then – my favourite part – have a gab with volunteers and take a lovely photo of them.

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Gallery 3

GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE: JULIA VOGL

The jar and grain experience

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Again – very impressive first impressions. The colours, light, placement of the jars and factual info on the walls. Fantastic.

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Visually impressive, sense of individuality despite the fact it’s meant to look “uniform” like. I assume the jars where chosen by volunteers themselves and again, its like a little insight of their lives.
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However the lazy art and culture consumer in me thinks its too much information to take in before you understand the idea. If your brain is not gifted with maths [like mine], I struggled to understand the patterns and reasons for each of the jar being filled. ahh. Could this be taken out of Hull City Of Culture 2017 content and displayed elsewhere? Would this be just one for the Hull?

World should know more about our experience this year and BIG PICTURE AND GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE PART 1 is definitely there to show off to the next CITY OF CULTURE and other cities in the UK.

Overall rating 9/10 from me. The visit made my week and I was left very happy and satisfied.

BANKSY IN HULL

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26th of January will be marked as the day when world famous Banksy left his mark in Hull.

Woken up by the BBC News on Friday morning and hearing Hull’s name being called out for positive reason was just the perfect breakfast for my mind.

On Saturday I made my way to see it for myself. Of course I was not the only one there seeing the rustic bridge marked with someone famous and controversial as Banksy only for that reason. It became a trend, a hot spot.
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And then to hear the news on Monday about someone going totally bonkers and ruining the graffiti and then be saved by very own Hull’s windows cleaner becoming a hero… The drama and the reason to talk was there and as they say… every publicity is good.

So yes. Here is my first month of 2018, my first report on culture in 2018.
I could have done more, but I am busy working on something amazing. Hopefully I will have more content this month.

Are you feeling the Legacy of City of Culture in 2018? What are your expectations?

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 52 – THE FINAL?!

HELLO AND GOODBYE?!

I HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN FINISHING THE YEAR WITH A BANG OR LOOK BACK ON 2017 IN PEACE AND APPRECIATION.

AND WAS THERE A PUBLIC BANG TO SAY GOODBYE TO 2017 AND HULL 17 CELEBRATIONS? HAVE I MISSED IT?

On the last day of the year I have chosen to stay in in my safe place, my home, with family and rub my hands in excitement for next year.

Just a few things that made my year a success:

  • HULL 2017 AND BEING PART OF THAT
  • NEW FRIENDS
  • HULL 10K
  • TWO MAGIC HOLIDAYS TO CRETE AND LANZAROTE
  • THREE VISITS TO LATVIA
  • MUSTANG DRIVE
  • NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES

and so on….

 

The year however didn’t end on a high note in some lemon tasting life aspects, but I am still moving forward, because that’s what we sometimes have to.

Week 52 sadly was culture-less in Hull. First few days I spent in a Christmas spirit, from Tuesday I was gone – I was in Latvia pretending that my other life in the UK don’t exist and on the 31st December I was back.

Today the only thing I had the energy for was Pearson Park and the Whispering Sweet Nothings – A Tree Sculpture

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Being surrounded by amazing culture all year round, I feel like this is sweet nothing, but I am glad the sculpture was there. My only outdoor adventure on the last day of the year, so thankful for the little things.

 

I am repeating myself most of the weeks, but 2017 has been incredible. Every drop of culture in the bucket made my life so much better.

 

Highlights?

Made in Hull

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Humber Street Sesh 2017

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ReRooted Festival

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7 Alleys

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Freedom Festival 2017

A MERRY URBAN MESS LES VERNISSEURS FREEDOM FESTIVAL 2017

 

and so on…..

In 365ish days I have taken over 1000 photographs, some are just factual recordings, but some I will milk for a very long time. Some of my favourites:

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PAPER CITY MADE THOUGHT THE FABRIC OF HULL

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You are probably wondering what is next…
We have been promised that the Hull 17 legacy will live on for a bit, so the expectation is high, we demand culture, we have been spoilt all year…

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL will live on a monthly basis [someone has to keep an eye on it, huh?] and I will continue my love affair with Hull.

 

Maybe one day the year long photo journey will be more than just a digital memory, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

 

THANK YOU TO EVERY SINGLE FOLLOWER, READER AND “KIND OF HEARD ABOUT ANETE SOODA” FOR MAKING THIS MEANINGFUL.

 

I WISH EVERYONE HAPPY 2018. MAKE IT COUNT!!

 

LOVE

ANETE SOODA

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 51

You may well wonder of why I am not making Christmas happening, instead writing weekly culture…

Life sometimes is full of lemons, I certainly have bucket full of lemons for past week and for Christmas. Culture and Hull 17 events have actually dragged me out of the misery this week. Having a focus on happy things has saved me.

At the beginning of last week I made a wishlist and I was very lucky to tick two points from the list:

But first.

HULL BEERMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL and the beer mats where found. At Larkins Bar Hull down Newland Avenue.

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Still sulking a little bit, but the material they are made from means they won’t last forever and we may need another competition in few years time.

 

Second. I was trying to Christmas shop this week and the madness, greed and consumerism wasn’t really a surprise. These photographs were taken way before it was appropriate to talk Christmas, but few weeks on and I think its worth sharing Princess Quay decorations.

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During the week I had some time to walk down Newland Avenue on my way to Brynmore Jones Library and PAINTING POWER: THE ART OF TERENCE CUNEO and aww, it was so lovely to see how local community is celebrating this wonderful time. Well done and thank you for a big smile on my face.

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The viewing experience was pretty cool and will last in my memory for a long time. Mainly because of the volunteers and how that change my experience.

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First circle around the exhibition was my usual self – instead of seeing the whole picture, I pay attention to details – frames, lighting, detail in artwork. And sometimes it is very brief. Like I am there, but not there.

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I was already leaving when approached by a volunteer. She asked me what I thought about the paintings and have I seen Hull and the Queen, have I seen the mice… Half an hour later I was inlove with Cuneo. 

We – the ordinary people sometimes need help to see the art. I have a lot of cultural background, I have seen a lot and even did a degree in arts. But I still need help and guidance. Or someones passion for art.
And I am so thankful for the conversation, knowledge and passion to the lovely volunteer.

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The same applies to volunteers at Where Do We Go From Here. They deserve a medal for what they do, I even told them I love them. Haha.

Hull on the night is full of character when the time is right and even the few drunk lads did not spoil it for me.

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I finally had the chance to see the robots.

First I headed to Trinity Square.

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They are rising the question of where do we go from here after this year, but I really have to use my imagination to believe in that. But Where Do We Go From Here are fascinating light and machinery installations. The robots make me feel alive in the 2017 being aware of the changing technologies and times. Being aware that humans can’t be fed with the same things, we need something striking to make us think and pay notice.

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The robots are way cool, that is undeniable, but do they pay justice to the year we had?

 

Last but not least. I had a tripod. I haven’t used tripod since I left university. I was excited like a little child getting a unicorn for a birthday. For that reason I went to the Queen Victoria Square and Queens Gardens to photograph Christmas lights and few other low light actions.

First I was very impressed by the building opposite to Queens Gardens that is home to The Warren.

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And here I am. Week away from the end. THE END. THE END.

It is so bizarre to think that whole photo challenge started as an idea. The weekly photo wonders have literally turned my year around by 360 degrees. Amazing. Wonderful. I am proud and thankful.

52 weeks of people, places, jobs, opportunities, surprises, disappointments and love for Hull.

I wish everyone who’s been part of my journey, or reading my blog a very Merry Christmas and unforgettable 2018.
Love
Anete Sooda