MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – 2019 – PART I

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.

January ’19

The month started with general wonders around local areas and quick visit to Humber Street Gallery Place to Place by Liverpool Biennial.

_Z1A3053JAN19 b_Z1A3054JAN19 b_Z1A3056JAN19 b_Z1A3057JAN19 b_Z1A3059JAN19 b_Z1A3061JAN19 b_Z1A3062JAN19 b_Z1A3063JAN19 b

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.
_Z1A3036JAN19 b_Z1A3041JAN19 b_Z1A3043JAN19 b_Z1A3045JAN19 b

Moments before I drove past Hull Marina and recorded the beautiful morning light – this pretty much sums up my January.

_Z1A3031JAN19 b

February ’19

_Z1A3843FEB19 b

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

_Z1A3699QH b

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.

_Z1A5223QH TALK B_Z1A5221QH TALK B

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 B

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.
_Z1A3845FEB19 B_Z1A3849FEB19 B_Z1A3854FEB19 B_Z1A3855FEB19 b_Z1A3858FEB19 B_Z1A3860FEB19 B_Z1A3863FEB19 B_Z1A3864FEB19 B_Z1A3869FEB19 B_Z1A3871FEB19 B_Z1A3874FEB19 B_Z1A3876FEB19 B_Z1A3877FEB19 B

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.

_Z1A3781FEB19 B_Z1A3786FEB19 B_Z1A3805FEB19 B_Z1A3823FEB19 B

March ’19

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

_Z1A7134CREATIVEJUICEEVENT b_Z1A7129CREATIVEJUICEEVENT b_Z1A7078CREATIVEJUICEEVENT b

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.

_Z1A8058PAPERCINEMA b

THE PAPER CINEMAS MACBETH

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.

_Z1A7889MARCH9 b_Z1A7874MARCH9 b_Z1A7877MARCH9 b_Z1A7879MARCH9 b_Z1A7880MARCH19 B_Z1A7882MARCH9 b_Z1A7887MARCH9 b_Z1A7888MARCH9 b

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”

_Z1A5805MARCH9 b_Z1A5810MARCH9 b

One girl really did stand out – Jodie Langford with her spoken word performances. The ultimate highlight of the night.

April ’19

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.

_Z1A9399APR19 b_Z1A9402APR19 B_Z1A9415APR19 B_Z1A9420APR19 B_Z1A9421APR19 B_Z1A9430APR19 B_Z1A9439APR19 B_Z1A9446APR19 B_Z1A9453APR19 B_Z1A9458APR19 B_Z1A9460APR19 B_Z1A9468APR19 B_Z1A9470APR19 B_Z1A9474APR19 B_Z1A9475APR19 B_Z1A9477APR19 B_Z1A9482APR19 B_Z1A9486APR19 B

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.

_Z1A9537APR19 B_Z1A9544APR19 b_Z1A9547APR19 b

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.

_Z1A0819APR19 b_Z1A0825APR19 b_Z1A0828APR19 b_Z1A0834APR19 b_Z1A0840APR19 b_Z1A0835APR19 b_Z1A0843APR19 b

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.

_Z1A0847APR19 b_Z1A0853APR19 b

The space has got a lot of potential and it could become one of the hot spots to visit in Hull.

_Z1A0831APR19 b

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.

_Z1A9856TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL b_Z1A9887TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL b_Z1A0402TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL FRI b_Z1A0041TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL b

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.

_Z1A9614TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL b_Z1A9607TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL b_Z1A9603TALEHEART HUMBER ST GAL b

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.

 

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.

_Z1A9957BIGCOCQUIZ b

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

_Z1A9641BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9663BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9674BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9679BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9710BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9715BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9732BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9745BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9761BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9768BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9777BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9786BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9832BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9878BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9892BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9897BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9907BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9921BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9927BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9932BIGCOCQUIZ b_Z1A9956BIGCOCQUIZ b

 

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..

_Z1A9988NOV18 b

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

Hannah Green

_Z1A9979NOV18 b_Z1A9982NOV18 b

Ingrid Holborn

_Z1A9977NOV18 b

Saffron Brown

_Z1A9967NOV18 b

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.
_Z1A9974NOV18 b_Z1A9963NOV18 b

_Z1A9973NOV18 b

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.

_Z1A0948NOV18 b_Z1A0956NOV18 b_Z1A0961NOV18 b_Z1A0973NOV18 b_Z1A0979NOV18 b

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.

_Z1A0982NOV18 b_Z1A0997NOV18 b_Z1A1005NOV18 b_Z1A1013NOV18 b_Z1A1023NOV18 b

_Z1A1027NOV18 b_Z1A0987NOV18 b

OH THE NIGHT!  by IMITATING THE DOG

_Z1A1037NOV18 b_Z1A1042NOV18_1 b_Z1A1065NOV18 b

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.
_Z1A1081NOV18 b

Oh, at the beginning of the month I had a visit to the Portraits at Sea Hull Maritime Museum.

_Z1A9999NOV18 b_Z1A0001NOV18 b_Z1A0003NOV18 b

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.

_Z1A0432ALECTOUR B

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.

_Z1A0401ALECTOUR B_Z1A0453ALECTOUR B_Z1A0503ALECTOUR B_Z1A0512ALECTOUR B

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.