This is my way of paying tribute to everyone affected – the horror did not stop me to go out to the festival, celebrate life and music. It was a magic and unforgettable experience. I live my life through photographs, for that reason I brought a 35 mm Minolta film camera [my work gear was not allowed in cos classed as professional].
The photos arrived on Thursday and I looked through them with true joy.
Highlights – Christine and the Queens and Stormzy. The best feeling was the sense of unity and I will never ever forget the energy that the crowds spread through every inch of my blood vessels. It was so special to be part of the same moment.
This isn’t going to be my usual Bible, just want to give share my love for life. Because love is all that matters.
He was commissioned by Creative ENRG to create a mural that represents people from Hull succeeding in business [once upon a time].
I visited him on early hours and then later on the day to see the working progress.
My promise to go back on photograph the finished piece was not very productive as the wall was used as doors and covered with fencing. The finished piece looks amazing, brightens up the Fruit Market Area and hopefully I will be able to photograph it in full soon.
I was also ENGAGED to find the Ground down Beverley Road on Thursday. To my disappointment, it was closed.
Instead I had a little wonder around the area. The sun was shining and the mood was 100% happy.
Finally I had the opportunity to get close to the scrubby looking Trafalgal Street Church. The building close up reveals incredible texture and detail.
The building is fascinating from outside and I wouldn’t mind to brake in inside. So if there are any offers, please feel free to message.
On Saturday my beloved Hessle Road was on the spotlight.
When I moved to UK, Hull, my first home was down Hessle Road, so the are is special to me. Even though I have moved to the other side of Hull I often visit the area.
It is so familiar, many of the shops still have the same people working there, my favourite take away, flower shop, Kurdish shop and off course the monumental BOYSES.
Saturday was the day when the three giant graffiti murals down Hessle Road were unveiled officially with people involved in making/organising also being there. There is a story around every single mural and Fisherman memorial in the middle of Hessle Road remembering people who died at the sea, engraved in silver plaques.
There is lots to tell, the event was amazing, good coverage with many photographers capturing the event, locals gathering, Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteers and so on….
I had a very busy morning before that, I was still in my running gear when I arrived early, I was still out of breath after Park Run, but I was keen to capture the three, four stopping points.
The same day I went to the Depart. Depart is a controversial performance in the grave yard. Yes, grave yard – cemetery. Right up my street[COS END OF LIFE PROJECT]. I was so looking forward to it [thanks to Caroline and Andrew from Hull Homeless Community Project for a ticket that I was so desperate for. YOU ARE AWESOME].
Off course I brought camera with me.
It was very strange, that there was no information about not being able to take photos, but mid-way, the event staff started telling people off for taking photos/videos. I managed to capture some incredible moments, before I started feeling really uncomfortable clicking away. Depart really was something special – experience that can’t be captured in photos, we even had thunder and lighting at some point…
The performers often made an eye contact with viewers and that was unusual and so effective. The mud, small walkways and darkness created an environment that I have never been in.
WHAT A WEEK I HAD. VERY DENSE, INTENSE AND ENGAGED. ENGAGED WITH HULL. WITH CULTURE.
“George Norris is “The Ragman’s Son”. He grow up in the Hessle Road area of Hull trolling the streets and 10 foots with his horse and cart collecting scrap metal. Let George share with you his life, his family and memories caught on camera. The exhibition will be Curated by HIP Gallery’s own Alan Raw, who has a particular interest in George’s work as he is himself the great grandson of a West Hull scrap merchant and a Norris family customer.”
NOTE: According to some unofficial sources, Alan Raw did not get any financial help from Hull City Of Culture 2017 so he took the initiative and organised this himself. So this exhibition can’t be found on the Hull City Of Culture 2017 website and isn’t part of the event list.
I find it bit sad and controversial – as this is supposed to be the celebration of Hull and what can be more Hull that The Ragman’s Son.
Really good image content and lovely to see the rawness of the subject.
7 Alleys was something that I wanted to see through the lens – I knew the potential image content could blew the socks off so on Saturday, after a very long day, I dressed warm and headed to East Park.
I was greeted [not really] by a grumpy security officer who told me that unless I am from press, I can’t take photos. BECAUSE IN THE DARK WE USE FLASH.
Only the small-minded in photography can’t get their heads around ISO and the upcoming light will require zero flash light. BAM!!!
It was quite interesting to be part of something that is a bit of a secret until you experience it. People really mad for it in a good way, so there was a lot of pushing, running, squeezing and apologising. But I got there, I took some amazing photos and fully experienced the light/sound/firework/human magic.
It was very tiring and physical work, really difficult to deal with crowds whilst focusing on the perfect image. But heey – who said it is easy.
Here is a full-ish gallery of the amazing stunts, lights, fireworks and action. It is never the same through the lens, but this will be a good reminder of what went on.
Gilliant Dyson was not only the curator of the festival, she also has a diverse portfolio that incorporates socially engaged practice, higher education pedagogy, academic research, and performance and visual art [yes, the info is taken from her website. Over the weekend I found out that she is curating the festival, then I found out that she is the lecturer of the contemporary theatre students and on Saturday she also did an art performance].
Mark Stubbs was the co-curator of the Lineages: The legacy of Live and Media art in Hull. The talks aim is tackling themes of life after Brexit, feminism and the decline of western civilisation, the festival seeks to spark debate and celebrate the lasting legacy of former commissioning agency Hull Time Based Arts.
BULWARK is a technological barricade created from fragments of abandoned technology using the age-old construction technique of drystone walling. The installation was way cool and I think for a split moment I cracked the shy artist about the wall and if he has got any relations with the tech-pieces seen in the wall.
HOI POLLOI: LEEDS BECKETT PERFORMING ARTS STUDENTS
A series of solo performances by Leeds Beckett University Performing Arts students informed by an exploration into how we are shaped by our actions, how others see us, and the changing conditions in the world.
The performance turned the Humber Street into a society/stereotype zoo. Or changing times display… Each character was well thought out, costumes, props, actual performance and sound effects…amazing.
The best thing was to over-hear people reacting to what they are seeing.
On Saturday there was also some skateboarding workshops, good sausages and sunshine for everyone to enjoy the festival.
One thing I was hoping to see was the respected artist Anne Bean performance [She returns to Hull for ReROOTed, having taken part in the first ever Hull Time Based Arts public exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery in 1984 with the Bow Gamelan Ensemble. This time, Bean will tap into the principles of Sympathetic Magic to conjure up fragments of her 45-year art practice LINK BELOW ]
POST REALITY – LAWS OF SIMILARITY AND CONTAGION: ANNE BEAN
I am sharing the 50ish best moments, really grafted over the weekend to be able to share this with you on a Monday…so have a look and spread the #getcultured movement.
Sunday and the weather inspired me to get out and get cultured. I had three people with me, so we headed down Humber Street and Fruit Market.
Last time I had to miss out on Humber Street Gallery, cos the child and the content was not the mixture to go for.
First, on the ground floor I rushed to see Sarah Lucas Power in Woman display, mainly because of the combination of colours and capacity of the place/sculptures. And I was stopped by a volunteer, cos no photographs allowed.
Do I understand the cigarettes in the holes, do I understand why one of the sculpture was placed on a massive freezer…NO AND NO. But there was something about the roughness and boldness of these sculptures. It feels like they have been made by a man and is that the whole point?
Upstairs – COUM TRANSMISSIONS. The exhibition of materials drawn from the personal archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge.
Founded in Hull during the late 1960s by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, COUM Transmissions was a collective whose work confronted, subverted and challenged societal conventions.
Labelled ‘the wreckers of civilisation’ by a Conservative MP following COUM’s Prostitution show at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the group’s end in 1976 heralded the formation of the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.
For what I gathered – COUM has been quite challenging for the society to understand and accept, but there it is many years later – exhibited for people to apply another value to the work they did. Have we changed since the 1970’s?
I might have to get there another time, because I was unable to soak it in straight away.
People viewing the work certainly had something to discuss throughout and after.
The location and the opportunity to have this view accessible is what Hull needed. And thank you for making my day. It was beautiful.
Overall I have to say that I am so happy to see that Humber Street and the Docks are buzzing, full of life and people are getting some sense of old and new binding together, creating today.
Every single thing has been thought out/about, even to the tiniest detail and are giving people an opportunity/reason to get out, get some fresh air, get to know Hull and most importantly – GET CULTURED, COS CITY OF CULTURE.
Week 6 of the City Of Culture 2017 has been very exciting for me. I don’t know if that was because I found the pub out of town in Hull that thinks it has the most culture, or if it was the company of fellow photographer imagesaremoments when visiting .
I must admit that I am embarrassed to say that I had to google-map myself there and I DID NOT KNOW THAT THE PLACE EXIST.
The beer garden is a bit magic and the pub is full of character.
I questioned the bar staff girls [lovely ladies] about the skull and it turns out it is a real skull found on the premises. It is assumed that it is a 19 year old girl…So the characters of the pub and potential ghost presences are even more fascinating.
As there was a staff meeting and I was literally getting in the way, I only took a quick snap of the skull and left with a promise to come back for a pint one day.
As I made my work to work, I was armed to look for “culture” in outskirts of Hull.
And then I found a pub… that states it has the most culture of them all.
Inkermann from outside looks awesome. It is like a gem in the middle of nowhere and must be the place for the locals.
And there are stories behind the pub and the “massage salon” next door….
The reason why all this is on my blog WEEK 6, is simple – when I am looking, I find these fascinating places and people in Hull. And you certainly need to know about it. Cos it is not just the main events of City of Culture we celebrate, we celebrate little things as well.
I invited a fellow photographer Sergej/imagesaremoments to join me and we entered the world of posh study area and the coolest library seen.
Exhibition was very well attended for a Wednesday daytime.
I was impressed with the some of the drawings and also maybe discovered the first abstract/illusion drawing.
Next door there was another exhibition. Sometimes I don’t pay attention to where I go, so all I know it was a Hull University collection….
When we were finished with the stationary art, we had to have a look around the recently refurbished library. As a graduated student, I think that the library is the perfect place where to have a little time with books and all the work you have to do. And the facilities are beautiful.
No excuse not to be a good student.
imagesaremoments was appreciating the architecture and all’ so we got a permission to go upstairs and see the beautiful view from the 7th floor of the library. I was stunned by the views and the environment students can access to study. WOW.
We also had a walk around the Hull University grounds, imagesaremoments shared his passion for buildings and architecture in general.
imagesaremoments look at the buildings in a very different way then I do. I witnessed the passion for it and the way he photographs every bit of “excitement”.
So yeah, interesting week and I shall look forward to next ventures.
Time has passed since the Freedom Festival, but it is never too late to share some great moments and re live the festival.
WARNING – there is nearly 200 photos, so before you decide to open the gallery and re live the festival, prepare a cup of tea and a bowl of biscuits.
I will keep the the reading to the minimum, so that you have the chance to indulge in the moments.
Massive thanks to Freedom Festival for trusting me with this big and important job, it was my honour to be the official photographer amongst great talent, such as Thomas Arran and Neil Holmes.
I was photographing the festival across three days – performances, music, theatre, people and moments.
My highlight was definitely Les Commandos Percu and Deabru Beltzak Danbor Talka: Clash of Drums on Friday night and Saturday daytime, when everyone embraced the rain and enjoyed the festival.
Looking back at the photographs, especially from the night time – the festival has been a learning curve and I have so much space where to develop.
I have recognised a strong Parr and Dench influence when I look at people and moments through the lens. I am drawn to human kind being awkward at times, honest, happy, beautiful, clumsy, innocent and guilty…I celebrate people.
The Freedom Festival this year has been incredible – it was distributed well across very significant and beautiful areas of Hull, it had wide range of art available to different kind of people and it was engaging.
I certainly feel like I was part of something really good, something that is so “Hull”.
I hope you enjoyed the festival and are ready for next year- 10th anniversary of Freedom Festival.
If you would like to enjoy festival from different points of view visit here:
On Saturday [yes, a week ago, I’ve been pre-holiday busy] I went down to Queens Gardens to photograph [absorb] the event that Hull Homeless Community Project have organised.
The page on Facebook states: “Join us for a night under the stars in Queens gardens in support of those who have no choice.”
I believer in humanity and was super keen to go and give my kind of support – photograph people and reflect the humanity and diversity. I was not planning to stay for the whole night [make my monies worth by staying in the house that I pay rent for ha], but I thought in couple of hours I could find what I am looking for.
Also a shout-out to my favourite comedians Jack Gleadow and Jed Salisbury who were there to support the cause with the comedy and their presence.
Both of those guys are super awesome and there is not a dull day, if they are around.
In every photo-opportunity I try to find that one special moment, that peak of how wonderful it is to be alive and never the less – different. We are all looking for that extraordinary in ordinary and that for most of the time is my goal.
The photographs are reflecting different people coming together to support those who need help. Homeless doesn’t mean less valuable to the society and humanity, we never know what is the story behind and shouldn’t judge so we need to keep ourselves open-minded and give support.
If honest, even though the attendance and “sleepers” didn’t fill Queens gardens, it was enough to feel the great atmosphere.
And I have come home with beautiful photographs of beautiful people – is there more to ask?
These pictures are taken between 7 -21:30 pm, so reflect only small part of the event and I feel that some images need commentary, so please, enjoy and remember – be kind, helpful and love life.
Please fee free to comment, share and tag your friends.
Thank you for the invitation and welcoming hugs, HHCP.
Hopefully next year the event will come back with a bang and we will do more great things for people who need support and help.