MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 21

Months ago I had a feeling that this week will be the best week of the Hull City Of Culture 2017 photographic challenge and IT WAS F***** AMAZING.

With the sad notes on Tuesday I thought that there is not much that can lift the broken spirits, but it turns out that the unity, togetherness and community spirit will defeat the evil.

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday I went to the BBC Radio 1’s Academy  to see Bastille for a special Live Lounge.
My reasons for the excitement about BBC Radio 1 being in Hull is simple – that is my radio, my ear-family, my wake up call and I love all the DJ’s, they make me feel like home. Even when I am not in the UK.

Clara Amfo was hosting the Live Lounge and the Q&A with the band.

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I was actually really surprised that I was allowed my “professional gear” in both. Usually I would be told off, but this time it was rather lovely.  For the Q&A I was in the front row because I made good friends with few BBC members. Big “cheer” to BBC staff, security and organisers – really welcoming and helpful.

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And I am like “OMG I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH OF BASTILLE, CLARA AMFO” and I have every right to be over the mooooooon.

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After the splendid time with Bastille I rushed to have a nosy at the actual Academy so I can milk it as much as my time allows.
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Plus I got to speak with to extremely talented photographers Thomas Arran and Shoot J Moore. These two guys I follow religiously on social media streams, they are an inspiration and honestly – motivation. Both have equally a lot of talent, still being different.
I apologise that I behaved like groupie – I think I am one. sorry.

Also a SHOUT OUT TO ALAN RAW – the father of BBC Introducing Humberside, creative director behind the HIP Gallery and other great stuff. He got a shout-out on Mr. Jam’s show the other week and I was really happy getting the broadcast UK wide.

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THURSDAY

The new arrival in Hull  Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition down Princess Dock Street was an interest to me. Just cos the Wild Life Photographer of the Year exhibition in Beverly was so incredible, I thought this is right up that level.

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The content is fantastic, the display alright and I spotted a few favourites. The space was lacking “the interests” and at that time in the morning, people rushed to work, so I really had to be patient.
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SATURDAY

This is not my usual content – politics. But this year I am going to use my vote. On Saturday I went down to Humber Street where an event organised by Anna Bean and the “crew” took place.  We Love Arts and Culture in Support of Labour #GE2017 was the title and because I am trying to understand which labour candidate I would like to vote for, the event was the perfect place for lazy.
I asked a  question of why so many artists choose to vote Labour and I was sold.
Here is some info if you are interested: Arts Policy Lounch from Jeremy Corbin

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People there supported Emma Hardy. And I can see why, her presence is very likable, she seems honest and she understands people and their needs. She was there to speak to people, hear them out. Unfortunately I can’t vote for her, but you can if you live in West Hull or Hessle.

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ART IS FOR MANY NOT FOR FEW

THE LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST – for some obvious reasons I had a quick look in to Kingston Art Group Gallery and got introduced with

WITCHE’S KNICKERS [slang/British] plastic bags snagged in trees and bushes – an exhibition that contains paintings and clothes.
Really liked the paintings and absolutely loved the clothes.
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BLASTING FANTASTIC WEEK AND OFF COURSE THE HIGHLIGHT – BASTILLE AND RADIO 1’s BIG WEEKEND.

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The festival photos will be on the blog within the next week – I shot three rolls of 35 mm film. Really excited to see what will come out.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 11

Week 11 of my challenge being involved in Hull City Of Culture 2017 started off with a little panic – the work load glued me to the computer screen during the days, so how can I go out and be part of the celebration??
Also, the sudden reminder that The Blade is moving on Sunday, made me realise that the unfinished Slinkachu project must be executed this week.

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I finished off the set, little worried of how I am going to get two fragile sets in town.

My aim was to photograph these sets of Slinkachu and Hull City Of Culture 2017 [home-made] flags near The Blade. I’ll explain my reasons later in the post.

 

On Thursday however, I had a meeting in town so to be efficient, I decided that I finally want to visit HIP Gallery in Princess Quay and Hullywood Icons exhibition. There has been a lot of excitement about the exhibition, so I had to see the execution of photographs by Quentin Budworth .

Also, I got Oliver Fisher [very wise man and my accountant/marketing adviser] cultured.

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I have mixed feelings about the exhibition. First, the idea is really good, I like that local “celebs” and “known” people are involved and have been turned into these fantastic characters. The project is about Hull, about the world around us.

But then, I am slightly disappointed about the photographic and editing quality. Photographs are lacking professional quality and post-production on few are quite dreadful [like the one above]. I understand that everything is about the content and we celebrate…but everything from the idea to the end result should be 100% quality.
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Why on earth would you edit this together, if it is a lot more easier to do in real life. It is funny and a bit sad at the same time.

The other problem I had was the information about how the final photographs come together.
Instead if Quentin coming up with the idea of the movie, theme, characters and location/props, he asks to do all this to the people wanting to be part of the project and he just turns up with the camera.

The hype around the artist made me think that the whole thing is set up by the artist, I guess I just have to read in between the lines next time…

Overall, 6 out of 10. Great to see people involved and the ideas in each photograph.

Whilst in the gallery, I had a quick chat with the Creative and Cultural Company volunteers about the upcoming events, exhibitions [need to be informed at all times].

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On our way to the exhibition I approached a familiar face of a Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteer to make sure I know the exact date/time of The Blade leaving Queen Victoria Square.

It was lovely that she remembered me from another event I went to few weeks ago. When I asked if she could spare a smile, she was more than happy to have her picture taken.
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The same Thursday morning I walked down the  Whitefriargate and Preston Likely’s Amuse Agents – Hull’s Premier Inconvenience Store

I was there on the WEEK 1  of my challenge, but I wanted to have a second look during the day.
Sometimes exhibitions and other art events have to be seen twice to have a complete understanding.

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People still stop by and have a sneaky look. Maybe because some of the posters/photos/adverts are hard to believe or are too bizarre to be true.

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The installation is very much Hull and it feels comforting in a strange way. Sense of unity and a whole…

I don’t really walk through Whitefriargate that often, the shop windows have changed. Years ago it was busy shopping area, but now it is kind of dead.

There a lot of promises given, by the looks of it, so hopefully the area will get its charm back soon.

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There is more…as I was passing the Queen Victoria Square multiple times, I was lucky to see the Roots&Routes season POPPIES: WEEPING WINDOW installation being set up.

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I was trying to get the Hull Maritime Museum in the frame, I climbed on top of the men’s loos, near the monument just opposite the building. Being there for two minutes gives me an opportunity to watch people from above and ohh, there was a few characters.

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This guy was completely from 90’s with his sunglasses/glasses – the ones that you can flop. haha.

SATURDAY.

On Saturday I neatly packed my Slinkachu sets and headed in town.

I draw a lot of attention from the public and volunteers, as they wanted to know what is going on.

One of them kindly tried to help me with the execution.

 

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Sadly there was problems.
The first one was the equipment – 24-70 mm 2.8 and 85 mm 1.8 did not cope with the small set.
My phone camera [Huawei Leica] did a much better job.
I will have to get my hands on a macro lens to be able to photograph this properly. In the past I have tried Slinkachu technique, but with much bigger figures, so I was kind of expecting the failure, but hoped that I will find a compromise.

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The reason why I wanted to create this is to express how I feel around The Blade – I feel small and being put on a scale. The Blade is fascinating piece of structure [art now] and no one can pass it without feeling something.

I also struggled to position the set, so that it looks like real life [the whole idea behind Slinkachu], I was even on my knees in the square.

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The plan did not work, but I have kept the sets and will find a way how to make this work.
I also have another set for a attraction point in Hull, so keep your eyes out for that.

 

SUNDAY.

 

On Sunday I walked down to Humber Street Market. My purpose was to photograph a lovely family business BLOSSOM’S BAKERY stall and try their gluten free, vegan cakes and other sweet things.

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Such a lovely lady/family, everything made with love and I wish them the best luck in succeeding.

Off course, I spent a bit more time and money in the market.
But I have to say, that Hull now has a regular socialising place and if you are super bored at home, you have an opportunity to get out and do something.

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Last but not least, I visited the Female Gaze exhibition at the Kingston Art Group Gallery and spent QUALITY TIME with Anna Bean.
She got me and Melanie THE KID cultured, along with other artists featured in the exhibition. We chatted about the meaning of female gaze, about narcissism and how complicated art can be.

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As you can see I have been here, there and everywhere, bringing you the most random combination of Hull City Of Culture 2017 so far.

Until writing the finishing lines to this post, I did not realise how much I’ve managed to pack in this week.

I will see you next week with more exciting stuff.

Love

Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 5

Week 5 of 2017 has been good.

The beginning of the week was more “thedayaftertheMonday” dull and a bit rainy.  The end of the week activities, on the other hand, were lit with sunlight and everything le postive. Plus, I had a kid with me so we both ended up indulging in the Hull City Of Culture.

So I was cultured in a mood swing kind of a method.

Hull History Centre is a very beautiful and in my views underestimated building located in Hull City Centre. The “Hull Characters” exhibition was one of the things I wanted to see, plus at the time, I also wanted to take part in Revolutionary Makers Workshop, so I headed there on Tuesday.

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The exhibition was only small, with a lot of reading, which I am a bit lazy for and in the library there was some rusty old important books and documents on a display.

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I was interrupted by a fire alarm during the visit, so I forgot to get some info about the Revolutionary Makers Workshop.

My route from the Hull History Centre  into Old Town was different than usual. I revisited areas I haven’t seen in a while and was quite pleased that Hull is changing/developing.

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We now celebrate the past and future of Hull coming together for this year and I think the photo above makes a good point.

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We have always had culture and people who enjoy being part of the action, this year it is very saturated and easier to find.

The Blade is still on the map and it continues to fascinate me. Only in Hull its OK to have a massive wind turbine blade in the middle of a town square. It looks like it has been put there by giants and we are LEGO figures.

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I have kind of given up on taking a stunning photo of The Blade, so my attention turns to the volunteers guarding it and the seagulls.

Volunteers have lovely coloured coats with all the City Of Culture branding as if they are reassuring us about the importance of this year.

That is how I start my conversation with one of the volunteers. We talk about The Blade, what kind of questions people ask and about the seagulls respecting the monument.

And I was wrong, they to leave their marks on The Blade and it has to be cleaned weekly.

That morning The Blade was cleaned, so the birds enjoyed the “clean bedding”.

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The volunteer that I was talking with [sorry, I didn’t ask his name] was very kind and actually – very keen and educated regards to the City Of Culture. I hope that I will see him again at some point and tell him that I found the England’s Smallest Window.

 

 

Which brings me to the end of the week and GET CULTURED PART II.

My “must see” list extended during the week and Saturday was a good day to get out of the house for a long walks around Old Town and Fruit Market.

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The sun lit the Hull in my favourite light – golden and happy.

I wanted to share the dose of culture with a wonderful girl Melanie. She is like a daughter to me and she is very keen for long walks and a bit of art/photographs.

First we found the England’s Smallest Window. The Land of Green Ginger (grid reference TA099287) is a narrow street in the old town area of  Hull. The tiny window is part of the George Hotel.

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WARNING!! THE CONTENT BELOW HAS GOT BODY PARTS IN IT. ONE BODY PART. ONE PHOTO.

 

Just next to the England’s Smallest Window there was a fairly big window and Hull locals have embraced the available space to express the art of their own. I don’t find it abusive, I find it funny. Sometimes people are idiots, we all can be idiots. And I have definitely spend some time in my life drawing these on inappropriate spaces myself….

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As we finished giggling and I finished answering question of why am I photographing this, we headed towards the Fruit Market area and the sun was burning our eyes out.

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How many times I have named this street in the Old Town as my favourite and photographed someone appreciating the space…countless..

This street has got many references, memories and charm. But I have no idea of what is the street name…

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Hull fascinates me, and mainly because people in Hull are a bit bonkers, very chilled and have their own sense of humour.

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Melanie asked me if I can turn her super hero figure part of the culture. She wanted to leave her own mark, as we all.

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When I stormed in to the Humber Street Gallery, I was very excited to see the Dead Bod.

Dead Bod the much-loved graffiti featuring a dead bird, which was painted on the side of a corrugated iron shed at Alexandra Dock in the 1960s by Captain Len ‘Pongo’ Rood and Chief Engineer Gordon Mason. Dead Bod became a local landmark, symbolising Hull’s fishing heritage, and a campaign was launched to save it after Hull 2017 Major Partner Associated British Ports (ABP) removed the sheds as part of the development of the site for Siemens, also a Major Partner.

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I never knew the story behind the very cute graffiti bird legend, so interesting to know.

Humber Street Gallery  is offering another great way how to get cultured and the space looks amazing.
Unfortunately I will be going back another time, as the exhibition content was with a lot of human “bits” which was not something that Melanie was keen to see.

The last stop was the Kingston Art Group Gallery.

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Places and art of this kind is why I really want to be part of Hull. We are great and we have talented artists. It never is dull and the standard is high.

It was my honour to have a look at two artworks by famous and amazing Anna Bean.

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This lady Jane Jones is one of my hero’s. She is a lecturer from Hull School of Art&Design and three years in a row she was my CATS teacher. Jane Jones is wise, interesting and as I discovered in my last year at UNI – she is a painter [and a great one].

She is the Kingston Art Group Gallery member and she was exhibiting one of her artworks.

Our conversation started off around the coat I was wearing and I feel ridiculously stupid for not talking about things that matter.

 

The last thing on that Saturday was the heater in the gallery. I was very sure that it was a work of art, but as I couldn’t find it on the list, I approached one of the ladies working in the gallery.

It turns out it is just a heater. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more than that.

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IN A CONCLUSION – THERE IS A LOTS TO SEE AND DO THIS MONTH.
GET OUT AND GET CULTURED, COS HULL 2017.

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!!!