MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – PART IV

End of an era or what?

The past few months my life has been a shit show, but there has been so many great photo moments that I am excited to shout about it on the last day of 2019.
Yes, 2019 I really want to slap you, but despite all the things that went bad, I had amazing work and culture opportunities, another bunch of great people in my life and rememberable image stock.

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October brought HIP PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL and this year the festival did shine a bit more than last year. The festival celebrated its 6th year and brought to Hull Peter Dench, Rhiannon Adam, Claire Armitage and Lomography. There was also a vast selection of local talent on display.
My favourite of course was Peter Dench with Trans-Siberian World Cup series. I also very much loved the Rhiannon Adam’s Pitcairn series shot in Britain’s last Pacific Overseas Territory. Photographs are stunning, even breath taking I dare to say. Her photographs with voyeuristic edge and true moments of intimacy masquerading as casual snapshots, but holds loneliness, isolation and portrayal of a broken society shrouded in mistrust.

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Peter Dench never disappoints. Never. This time he tackled a culture that is quite familiar to myself as me being from post Soviet Union country. I thoroughly loved the photographs.

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As one of the unexpected surprises was the exhibition COHERE.

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The exhibition was a collection resulted from various workshops where photographers worked with writers and performers from refugee backgrounds to create an exhibition that creates, challenges, disrupts and charms. The result is pretty amazing. Films, visual installations and photographic works of art that gives an experience that in a strange way tailors to your won life experience. It worked for me on different levels – I admired the visual with textures, playful colours with disrupted lines, the touch-and-feel experience. On the emotional level I felt inspired and touched by the imagery. The exhibition COHERE was on the top as one of the favourites.

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The festival offered plenty of work that meets the demand for different subjects.
There were others that I really liked – The Launderette one on the ground floor of the Princess Quay, Homer Sykes and others. It was a great festival and I am glad I made the effort to make it part of my culture wonders.

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For the first time in long time I also had the joy of re-visiting old places through the viewfinder. It sounds simple, but for me that sparkle was long gone, so to be in the mood for such was a great feeling. The long waited pedestrian bridge played a small roll in that too.

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Whilst wondering around Marina I popped down to Humber Street Gallery to see the exhibitions on display. Nenna Kalu Wrapping and Aniara Omann Equanipolis.

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Nenna Kalu Wrapping [above] raised my eyebrows even though the the basis or the work are great. Nenna Kalu works with ActionSpace, a London based visual arts organisation that supports artists with learning disabilities. In the current exhibition she used various materials like plastic tubing, newspapers, foam, fabric ect.

The work is very tricky to judge appropriately in such exhibition space, as usually we get some high end art.

The other two floors were Aniara Omann and Equanipolis. The artist evokes and questions different aspects of the human body with sculptures that at once resemble and mutate the human form, as well as our relation to ecology through her choice of material.

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From summer until end of October there was a little Hull Fishing Industries treasure display at Hull Maritime Museum. The heritage and tradition of women working in the fishing community was celebrated through imagery. In this exhibition, award-winning photographer, Craig Easton, well known for his landscape work and intimate portraits of real lives, explores the past and present. It will bring together the three strands of the fisherwomen’s story: their heritage, their journey and contemporary portraits, including exciting new commissions of Hull’s own fisherwomen.
Fisherwomen celebrates the tradition and importance of women in the fishing industry by following the traditional route of the herring trade from Shetland down the east coast, via Hull to Great Yarmouth.
The exhibition highlighted the central role of women in the fishing industry today, even though their work is now almost entirely done behind closed doors in processing factories, sheds and smokehouses.

Source: Maritime Hull

The sad thing was that I missed the exhibition and just saw the “remains” that are on display currently.

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On a sunny weekday I strolled into city centre for business, and was a pleasure to see Hull lit by sunlight. Autumn can be dull, and it is dull mostly, so I was lucky to have camera on me to record the rare scenes for that time of the year.

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“Michelangelo – A Different View” at Hull Minster was the thing that everyone raved about, and I had to see the Sistine Chapel’s iconic scenes with my own eyes.

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The first thing that caught my eyes was the odd phones and the quite an elderly generation. The combination reminded me of a tourist group from Germany and that made me chuckle.
The exhibition was quite a piece – the atmosphere in Minster definitely was the correct recipe for a success.

I found myself in a bizarre situation – instead of grasping for breath after being stunned by Michelangelo, I was amused by other people and their reactions.

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I mean, yes, it was quite alright, but I guess I’m not the “type”. As long as it created an excitement and buzz amongst people, I am happy to approve.

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What I approve and celebrate myself, is the little things and the little snaps of people in  the right place and the right time for a great photograph. Hull Minster is a treasure in its own right and to see any kind of exhibition hosted there is a privilege.

In 2017 I created few images to acknowledge Whitefrigate’s empty shops and how the shop windows were used as canvas for marketing or art. I decided to revisit this in 2019 – and see the change. Baring in mind all the regeneration plans, it was a curiosity more than need for culture images.

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November brought another good festival – Hull Comedy Festival 2019. 2019 was another year where the work commitments and health issues made me unavailable for 90% of the festival, but it was a great, great feeling to fill the old boots for 10%.

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I happened to see a gig that was hosted by Jed Salisnbury at Princess Quay, and although on a small scale, it was filled with laughter and good humor.

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Ross Brierley with Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left Of Them?

I have known Ross as a comedian from the early days, I have had then pleasure to shoot NOT SO LATE NIGHT SHOW WITH ROSS AND JOSH and I have had belly cramps from laughter from previous festivals. Ross still holds the same amount of charm, fun and entertainment.

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Stevie Gray: Arctic Monkeys’ Midlife Crisis

Stevie Gray was a “fresh” act on my list and OH MY. He was totally hilarious. He did good and even better – when he’s guitar lost a string he cracked on as normal and made his repertoire even funnier without music.

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End of November and beginning of the December was that time of year when I started to come out of my hiding spots. I had to face the fact that Christmas is coming and there will be no hiding from happy. I had plenty of work upcoming that was festive and so I had to embrace it.
One of the proud moments was the tough decision to grab a tripod and travel to Hull City Centre for the Christmas decorations and tree.

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Funny though that I picked the windiest night of all times and all the efforts to have steady images on slow shutter went in a bin.

I don’t think that it is visible with a naked eye, so MISSION COMPLETE.

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The main spectacular was lacking wow factor. Yes.

Another interesting work opportunity was through The Herd Theatre Company in Barnsley – Slime. It was more of a work opportunity than culture haul, but it was inspiring, sweet and full of culture.

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It was a great honour to be asked to capture the pre show promo’s and I had a great time.

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2019 was the year where I had to make an extra effort to gather images for the blog. But those moments when I was out with camera, proved that there will never be enough of Hull for me. The city remains vibrant and full of solid gold people and places.

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The last job of the year was probably my highlight of the festive period. Good Things Market Winter Edition at Fruit Market.

It was everything Hull could want just before Christmas. A collection of talented local artists, craftmakers and genius in on place – offering great food, stunning gifts and Hull merchandise.

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Whilst there I also had an exclusive insight into behind the scenes for the Enchanted Wonderland created by Bluebeany aka Anna Bean. The show featuring performances by Ruth Getz, Zoe Hughes, Michelle Dee, Caroline Ullyart and Joshua Barton. Described as.. “if the Mighty Boosh made a Panto”

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Anna is just amazing! Her talent, her personality and the drive to succeed is inspiring. I am lucky to have been thought by Anna and work with her.
Her shows are becoming iconic to the city and could be something that Hull is known for widely across the country.

Her stamp is all over.

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The last but not least was the casual walks around the Humber Street that cheered me up. Little festive preparations, decorations and Hull sense of humor are things that help people to get into festive spirit, including myself.

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This blog post is a bit of a cheat – it was supposed to see the daylight on the last day of the year, but family circumstances and other factors caused days delay. We can just pretend that we waved goodbye to 2019 yesterday and are looking forward to a bright and shiny new decade.

My year has been a struggle in personal life and so I am thankful for what I still have, of what I managed to achieve and how many people stud by my side when I needed support.

2020 will be a new era for my work and business, I want to expand, change and evolve. I want to once again feel in control of my own life, decisions and career.

This time of year has brought sadness to my family. My grandfather past away on the 30th December and I had to suck up the reality and commit to write the last blog post of 2019 whilst in Latvia. Despite the loss, we as a family are staying grateful and thankful. To be able to take away gratitude from this darkness is a gift. My grandad was a strong character and living to the age of ninety is not a surprise. He was tough. strong, honest and humble. To even think that I could make it to that age with my head held up high like he did…

For the future of this culture blog I will continue to explore and celebrate culture scene in the city, as we still have another year before Coventry officially takes away the glory.

Happy New Year, monkeys.

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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.

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

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February ’19

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 – 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.

PALE BLUE DOT

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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 – 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!