MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 34

I am just going to pretend that it is Monday, although clearly I have broken the routine FIRST TIME IN 34 WEEKS by doing this on Tuesday.
My excuse – Bank Holiday and unexpected health issues.

 

The week was something between a recovery and back to work mode… so I packed in dose of culture in one day, predicting that no other days will be suitable.

I had a plan:
TIGER RAGS – THE FABRIC OF HULL CITY AFC

BLEACHED BY TANIA KOVATS

THE DINOSAUR EXPERIENCE HULL @DINOSTAR

THE HOUSE OF KINGS AND QUEENS

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When heading to the TIGER RAGS – THE FABRIC OF HULL CITY AFC display, I was pretty clueless that it will be about the famous Hull City. Which easily proves that I am not in the game at all.

For me the display perhaps didn’t mean the same as it would to true fans and believers, but I felt a bit of a legacy when entering a room. There was a family that looked at the whole history of the Hull City kits and memorabilia, watched the video about the players and I recognised the importance of the little exhibition in the most bizarre place.

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BLEACHED BY TANIA KOVATS as part of the day came on my way to Humber Street. The building, its location and potential to amaze me was present when approaching.

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Without making things up – genuinely one of my favourite culture visits in the recent weeks. There is no photo proof, but I had two guys helping me to soak the culture, we talked and chit-chatted, criticized and praised the work of Tania Kovats. Complete strangers, but the culture brought us together for those 15 important minutes. And the story behind their visit – old friends, both retired, now living in different areas, come together to see the culture and have a lunch/brunch/coffee/pint every now and then. How cool is that? This is why this year has changed things around, this is why everyone can find something beneficial about Hull 2017.

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Sculptures exploring the beauty of coral and its fragile position in the world’s ecosystem, was something that we evaluated as potentially upsetting – if beneath the white coat was real coral, we could not accept the sacrifices made to create the art.
Off course it turned out that The Deep was able to save a large quantity of modal (artificial) coral after refurbishment for Tania to work with, so the artist used representation to raise awareness of what could potentially happen with the corals if the humans don’t start to think environmentally friendly.

It remains stunning sculpture with exceptional amount of fine detail that I had the pleasure to view.

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The sculptures Ocean Bowls are just as stunning as the corals. And mystery at first glanceI thought that each metal piece has been saved from a different ocean and we see the different effects that it had created. But NO, under each piece was a great idea hidden for us to find…

Each piece has been cut out as Planet Earth, metal part being ocean and cut outs being land. So if pieced together it will create a planet that we know so far.

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As before – it was so interesting to puzzle this mystery with strangers that become your friends for the moment and find Great Britain, Philippines, Baltics or Mexico.

There was a third art display – a bit of paint on paper that we called to be a fish planet – because so many things are to do with water, sea, river.

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After the amazing experience I walked into almost electric skyline overlooking Hull Town and was in a good mood – being busy even with photo-jobs can sometimes be difficult, because there is no real freedom. However the culture photo challenge gives me the freedom, so something to celebrate.

And then it was spoiled – by Dinostar – The Dinosaur Experience Hull.
I am really sorry, but I was very shocked when I noticed the price for entry -not a symbolic £1 but £3 for an adult. And to make it worse, finishing my tour I felt like that was my worst £3 spent for an entry to culture.
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It turned to be funny – this place has always been on my sight, interested of what is hidden inside the building. Every time I walked past there, it was closed, so to finally get in should’ve made my day.
The whole thing is ridiculously outdated and 90’s entertainment. Even for children in our generation this must feel like a joke.
But then – I have seen some spectacular exhibitions and art spaces, so the stacks are high.

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I came out with my hands stamped with blurred dinosaurs and a conclusion – Dinostar need to apply for a funding and re-do the place, because the idea behind it is great and keeps the world of the mystery and wonderful alive for the kids.

Whilst heading to THE HOUSE OF KINGS AND QUEENS I bumped into something really cool – Building Block Hack!

The workshop run by artist and FORMCard founder Peter Marigold is part of the States Of Play Workshops – the incredible exhibition that I visited few weeks ago [see the photos here: MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 29]

In short – kids and grownups playing with Lego’s and bits of melted plastic creating monsters, hero’s, unicorns and random bits.

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The last one of the day was THE HOUSE OF KINGS AND QUEENS.

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First impression – stunning display and beautiful photographs covering a content that surprisingly remains taboo amongst society [noticed that when hanging about near the entrance – parents by accident brought kids thinking that it is the States Of Play exhibition and rushed out as soon as realised that the story behind the heartfelt photographs is transgender].

But I loved it. I truly did. First of all  the photographer Lee Price has done an amazing job with storytelling through photographs, curating the notes underneath the photographs. Secondly – the context is easy to relate to. You don’t have to be transgender or gay to not feel free in today’s world. There are so many other reasons why people feel like that. I found it touching and really encourages me to be more open mined.

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Also seeing this exhibition I really need to find out more about Sierra Leone and its relationship with Hull. It has popped up before in my culture wonders, or event at Uni. Now it is time to find out more, so a little homework for coming weeks.

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This exhibition is 10/10. Thank you for the viewing and observing experience.

 

 

THIS WEEK IS THE FREEDOM FESTIVAL 10th ANNIVERSARY AND I AM SO EXCITED TO WORK WITH FREEDOM FESTIVAL THIS YEAR.

I might have a bit of none Freedom Festival culture for you – THE HESSLE ROADERS

but we’ll see.

HAPPY CULTURE PEOPLE

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 32

HELLO GOODBYE HELLO

The plan for this week was to take it steady – recovering from the Humber Street Sesh 2017, editing, working on the new website n’ stuff.

I wanted to visit something very cultural, something that will educate me as well, so the Larkin: New Eyes Each Year @Brynmore Jones Gallery was the perfect fit.

The biographic exhibition at the University of Hull, where Larkin spent three decades as Librarian, lifts the lid on the life of one of Hull’s most influential creatives or as I might say – gives a cool and current perspective to Philip Larkin’s life and work.

The exhibition is cleverly set out – to the point that I got lost in it in the best way, amazing work from the curator Anna Farthing. The exhibition is also very intimate and personal.

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This very image of Larkin’s socks raised questions if he had a women in his life and talking to the volunteers it seemed like he few.
Person who is in love with books in general will have an interesting journey through selection of books, some caught my eye and made me consider to find time for reading ASAP.

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The exhibition is interactive following Larkin’s life through the little pink posted notes placed around the book shelves with quotes from him.

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My highlight off course was the lawnmower on the wall with. And the poem. At this point I was excited meeting Larkin – he must have been a cool guy – mows his own lawn.

Story about the lawnmower – the one on the wall belonged to Larkin. Poetry is a process of trimming and cutting back so they have rigged it on top of his working notes for his poem Toads which is about the tension between having to work for a living and writing poetry. Larkin wrote about cutting grass, and was very upset about killing a hedgehog [poem The Mower]

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And I guess this was a second point where I felt connected with Mr. Larkin. I still have to work as no-photographer part time, to make sure I don’t end up living under the bridge. For those who manage to do what they love for living  – you are a winner in life. And I will be a winner full time one day.

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On Friday and Saturday I was working in North Point Shopping Centre for Freedom Festival and both days I had The Gold Nose of Green Ginger 5 m away.

On Friday I admired the little gallery space and caught a little performance, but rushed back to work – so no actual nose. The nose and story behind it came on Saturday when I curiosity took over.

Long considered an urban myth, The Green Ginger Fellowship made this momentous discovery while delving into the large cache of Land of Green Ginger crates currently under investigation.

The last concrete sighting was documented 50 years ago, when building work to lay the foundations of the first house on Bransholme unearthed a small casket with the Gold Nose lying within.

Source: Hull City Of Culture 2017 website

No it has been brought back to Bransholme.
+ you can write a wish to the nose [there is a myth that it brings good luck and makes wishes come true] and put it in secret letterbox.

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There is no Gold Nose of Green Ginger photo – you must go and see it for yourself.

Saturday was a mixture of different culture mixing in the North Point Shopping Centre bowl, so I met a very fake Elsa from Frozen, Brighhouse bears and ladies in headscarves.

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THE CULTURE CHOICES WILL BE SPONTANEOUS THIS WEEK AS I HAVE WORK THAT REQUIRES A LOT OF PRE STRESSING AND PREP.

GET CULTURED MOVEMENT STILL IS A COOL THING TO DO, GET INVOLVED

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 25

LIKE EVERY WEEK FOR THE PAST 25 WEEKS THIS YEAR I AM SAT DOWN ON A MONDAY, REFLECTING ON THE CULTURE IN HULL.

This week has thought me a lesson to plan ahead. And try to stick to a plan. On Friday I literally failed to go out and photograph and I was annoyed with myself as never before.

I know that I can’t get to everything that Hull City Of Culture 2017 has to offer, but I have to take the advantage of the freedom when it comes to choosing where to go and what to see/photograph.

Thursday I was [first fail of planning] supposed to photograph the (In)visible Dancing down Jameson Street. I was super excited for it, but to my disappointment it was not on until the next day.

Oh, well… so to make sure I didn’t drag my kit in town for nothing I captured the Water Fountains in Queen Victoria Square in the early hours with the steam n stuff.

Hull Queen Victoria Square Water Fountains mum and daughter

The Fountains is one of those photo-popular destinations and I am not tempted too much, but it feels quite special and privileged to be there when it gets the steam clean.

Hull Queen Victoria Square Fountains SteamHull Queen Victoria Square Fountains Steam Women walking past

 

Saturday was the WORM FESTIVAL visit day [the festival spread across three days] in Humber Street Gallery.  I was lightly hangover [happens to me sometimes], so I decided that a long walk in Humber Street through Old Town will heal me.

First was the newly painted Drypool Bridge. The design is celebrating the work of John Venn – a 19th century mathematician and philosopher born in the Drypool ward.

Drypool Bridge Hull 2017

Then I followed the route and strolled through Street Life Museum grounds.

Streetlife Museum Hull people feetStreetlife Museum Hull garden

Hull Streetlife Museum people watching fish in the pond

And surprise, surprise – there was something going on. Maritime Memories Machine tour arrived in Hull to collect stories about sea – we like our waters don’t we?

Maritime Memories Machine Van

I met two lovely people from London, and they gave me a little tour around the Ice Cream Van without any ice cream that was full of secret jars and pots, items and collections.

Maritime Memories Machine inside the Van

They showed off their fantastic hats and cute lil’ seagull.

Maritime Memories Machine in Hull Seagull wearing scuba diving glassesMaritime Memories Machine view from the window inside the van

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull handmade hat with seashells and stuff

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull member of staff holding a very special handmade sea themed hat

It was very interesting indeed, it was like a tiny world squeezed in few square meters.
Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull propsMaritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull what is sea boardMaritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull on the Streetlife Museum grounds

I told my two different stories of what sea means to me – Martin Parr and The Last Resort for British seaside and late sunset seaside visits in Latvia when I was a kid.

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull postbox

Before I entered the WORM FESTIVAL I took a few more of Hull at its best- sunny Saturday.

Hull Old Town and City Of Culture flagCouple in Hull

C4DI building and people on the bridge Hull

Poorboy Vintage Clothing Humber Street

Humber Street in Hull Tidal Barrier in the background

And these photographs show off the good news – it is never dull in Hull this year in particular. It even feels a bit overwhelming….

Anyway, the WORM FESTIVAL was on the radar because of few reasons – these guys are from Rotterdam and the city is bonkers – I have been there and it is a cultural madness. Second  – THE PERFORMANCE BAR PLUGS YOU IN!   –  I was not entirely sure what it was and it was embarrassing to ask the stupid question to the artists – where is the best spot to watch the tricks – “WHAT TRICKS?”….

Third – Humber Street Gallery exhibits diverse stuff and it is never boring.

And this was one these – weirdly happy shocking whatthehellisgoingon. 
I arrived early for the time slot for the THE PERFORMANCE BAR PLUGS YOU IN! so I stuck to the plan to stay around and not to miss it.

It was delayed [very artist way to run things] so I had plenty of time to get familiar with environment.

Humber Street Gallery Live MusicHumber Street Gallery Live Music wide shotHumber Street Gallery Smiley Face ProjectionHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists drinkingHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL mask on the head

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL live music playing
And the unknown form-shape artists were up for a photograph – lights and sass was on.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists posing for cameraHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artistsHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL BAR PERFORAMCE PLUG IN

It was so weird and annoying not to know what to expect, but when the first artist came on, I got the picture – it is nothing to do with an actual bar and drinks/cocktails been tossed in the air, no flames and smoke magic.
The bar was the place where artists can express their inner madness and desire, wild side and send the message to the culture-consumers.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL performance on bar

This lady was the first one to get on the stage [and the only one I had the patience/time to wait for] and it was a killer- weird one.
THE TITLE THAT I HAVE TO GIVE IS  – SHAVING FOAM AND A GIRL.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Saturday's performance girl on stageHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists performing WITH SHAVING FOAMWORM FESTIVAL at Humber Street Gallery artists performing WITH SHAVING FOAMHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artists performingHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL artist performing WITH SHAVING FOAM sprayed on her body

The funny thing is – I did not get the message behind it, but it was so funny to watch peoples reactions that I enjoyed it.
The other reason why I decided that this is enough of BAR ART FART – I don’t think I dealt with the light very well.

Upstairs was the rest of the exhibition/activities and I expected some kind of normality. But I was so wrong – upstairs was another Rotterdam culture/art shock and my brain was tickled even more.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three Alien expositionHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three with a plant on staircaseHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three with photographs of celebrities

Even getting to the gallery two and three is the art in itself – art to welcome. I got the sense that this is not an ordinary exhibition, which appears to be spot on, as I mentioned.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL stairs to Gallery Two and Three no white walls anymore

The clean – white wall- don’t touch the artwork – only watch with your eyes – listen and be quiet sense was gone. I entered a world of moving art, artists making art there and then, eating and shitting in the same place [in a good way]. The gallery was turned into a workshop with different elements.

I took me some good few minutes to feel like I know my grounds, although it was busy, it felt so focused and quiet.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Man looking at the exhibitionHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two against Trump

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Boxing Ring with boxing gloves on displayHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two boxing ring in prepHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two music records from HullHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Artists make artworkHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Boxing Ring Close Up with wooden slippersHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery TwoHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two media artHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two on set living room with man sat in itHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two artist reading poemHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Coca Cola bookHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two on set living room
The sign of normality was the Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteer and the camera around my neck – everything else – different world.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two Hull City Of Culture VolunteerHumber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two on set living room

“hello”

I had to sit down with the guy that seemed to be the curator/artist. Because I had to understand.

The conversation was about them, Rotterdam and Hull. The exhibition is not the exhibition that the gallery has seen before – it is a hands on workshop creating art around building babies and bridges between Rotterdam and Hull, Ground Gallery  included. This is what they said, this basically quoting them. There was no obvious explanation, but what I have gathered with my art knowledge – everything is made from complete scratch [like babies] and the involvement is the bridge between two cities.

The artists seemed real people, true people and what they do is who they are. Honesty about them, Hull and “the art” is what I appreciated the most.

and it was sad at the same time.
They said that the first time they arrived in Hull, walked through Humber Street they wanted to run away from the exhibiting here. Because it did not seem real – the newly built fresh breath of art, shops, galleries, bars, restaurants and antiques shop. They have said yes to the invitation to exhibit here, but they were not sure if they belong in the space given. They decided to do it their way anyway and collaborate with Hull heritage.

And this is not made up, this what we were talking about. And to not to forget the conversation and feeling, I recorded myself on the way home. I listen back and it really helps not to forget that artists from Rotterdam have came to Hull and feel like the Hull City Of Culture 2017  is ugly. Not the city and the people, but the brand, the logo, the investment and the idea to force on the culture they want us to consume. Of course on Friday they could have been chatting to some pro-city of culture visitors who told them of the nonsense, but that couldn’t influence them this much.
There must be a good reason of why that comes across…

 

So the bear is not as brown as we thought..hahaha.

My views about this is simple – he title has improved my relationship with Hull, given me so many opportunities to practice the photographic skill, I have met some fantastic people and seen amazing things/events/performances.
And a lot of people are aware of the “ugly scene” behind the curtains, but find a way how to gain something from the Hull City Of Culture 2017

The big bonus is  – it is not dull in Hull from Monday to Sunday and that is the most amazing thing.

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL Gallery Two ALIEN PEAKING THROUGH

I really want to see the journals that WORM FESTIVAL will publish [as I was told] and the thoughts of returning to Rotterdam are present.

 

Happy #getcultured week 26!!!!!!!!!