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 – WEEK 20

Week 20 of the Hull City Of Culture 2017 and I call it ENGAGED. I WAS ENGAGED.

Week started off with rainy and dull Tuesday, but there was one person who was up bright and early [dark and too early] to transform a wall into a amazing graffiti mural.

This guy is Calvin Innes – Artist Illustrator&Cartoonist. We met at the Larkin Out Festival, he is founder of Drunk Animal, he is not drunk and he is very talented.

He was commissioned by Creative ENRG to create a mural that represents people from Hull succeeding in business [once upon a time].

I visited him on early hours and then later on the day to see the working progress.

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My promise to go back on photograph the finished piece was not very productive as the wall was used as doors and covered with fencing. The finished piece looks amazing, brightens up the Fruit Market Area and hopefully I will be able to photograph it in full soon.

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I was also ENGAGED to find the Ground down Beverley Road on Thursday. To my disappointment, it was closed.
Instead I had a little wonder around the area. The sun was shining and the mood was 100% happy.

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Finally I had the opportunity to get close to the scrubby looking Trafalgal Street Church. The building close up reveals incredible texture and detail.

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The building is fascinating from outside and I wouldn’t mind to brake in inside. So if there are any offers, please feel free to message.

On Saturday my beloved Hessle Road was on the spotlight.
When I moved to UK, Hull, my first home was down Hessle Road, so the are is special to me. Even though I have moved to the other side of Hull I often visit the area.

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It is so familiar, many of the shops still have the same people working there, my favourite take away, flower shop, Kurdish shop and off course the monumental BOYSES.

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Saturday was the day when the three giant graffiti murals down Hessle Road were unveiled officially with people involved in making/organising also being there. There is a story around every single mural and Fisherman memorial in the middle of Hessle Road remembering people who died at the sea, engraved in silver plaques.

There is lots to tell, the event was amazing, good coverage with many photographers capturing the event, locals gathering,  Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteers and so on….

I had a very busy morning before that, I was still in my running gear when I arrived early, I was still out of breath after Park Run, but I was keen to capture the three, four stopping points.

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Halfway Public House – The Fisherman’s mural-representing the hard life experienced working at sea. Artists – Kev Largey, Lydia Caprani and Sharon Darley.

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Fotoworx – Depicting St Andrew, the patron sain of fisherman, guiding a mariner through stormy water’s. This also marks the entrance to St Andrews Ward, and Hessle Road, the heart of Hull’s fishing heritage. Artists – Neil Posto Deanes and Keith Homes.

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The same day I went to the DepartDepart is a controversial performance in the grave yard. Yes, grave yard – cemetery. Right up my street[COS END OF LIFE PROJECT]. I was so looking forward to it [thanks to Caroline and Andrew from Hull Homeless Community Project for a ticket that I was so desperate for. YOU ARE AWESOME].
Off course I brought camera with me.

It was very strange, that there was no information about not being able to take photos, but mid-way, the event staff started telling people off for taking photos/videos. I managed to capture some incredible moments, before I started feeling really uncomfortable clicking away.
Depart really was something special – experience that can’t be captured in photos, we even had thunder and lighting at some point…
The performers often made an eye contact with viewers and that was unusual and so effective. The mud, small walkways and darkness created an environment that I have never been in.

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WHAT A WEEK I HAD. VERY DENSE, INTENSE AND ENGAGED. ENGAGED WITH HULL. WITH CULTURE.

HIGHLIGHTS:
DEPART AND HESSLE ROAD MURAL OPENING.

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THIS WEEK IS ALL ABOUT WORK, BUSINESS PLAN AND END OF THE WEEK – RADIO 1’S BIG WEEKEND.

I AM TAKING FILM INSTEAD OF DIGITAL [JUST COS MY GEAR IS NOT WELCOME ON THE SITE (sadface)]  SO THE PHOTOS WILL TAKE EXTRA TIME TO APPEAR ON DA BLOG.

#GETCULTUREDMOVEMENT