MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – DECEMBER 2018

Well, well. 31st of December and with a great pleasure  I am writing a finale post of the year.
Of course the culture wonders gradually went downhill, but I still kept a good housekeeping throughout the year.

Last month also brought new perspectives on City Of Culture with the Illuminate Project Legacy event at Artlink in support from Redeye: The Photography Network in the early days of December. The legacy and its future is under a question mark, many creatives left feeling disappointed and I found out things about how the system was run throughout 2017.
I still take my own experience as valuable and I remain grateful. I very much enjoy being part of the Illuminate Project: Legacy and my wonderful experience and work created lifts up my spirit.

Anna Bean [Bluebeany] and Verity Adriana shared their take on Hull City Of Culture legacy and all attendees had a great discussion around the legacy in Hull.

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Mark Wigan The Museum of Club Culture

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Lyn Acton The Legend, singer and a member of Pearls Cab Ride

 

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Alec Gill a wise man with a big heart and camera. Hessle Roaders

Another wonderful moment in December was to see film A Northern Soul by Sean McAllister

The description of the film briefly tells the story of Steve aka Redeye Feenix and his journey:
“Steve is a warehouse worker by day, hip-hop artist by night. He represents a forgotten generation whose dreams haven’t been met. But Steve is also a deeply community-driven optimist, who has also been trying to find a way to bring creativity and culture to the disadvantaged kids of the city. Kids like he once was – kids whose opportunities to build a better life are restricted by the world around them. Music has been his dream for 30 years and he saw the opportunity in the City of Culture year to start a project: the ‘Beats Bus’, using a bus donated by his company and converted into a sound studio, allowing him to visit some of Hull’s poorest schools and give kids a voice through music training and performance – a chance he never had.”

My own reflections of the film however are much more deeper – first of all, I think that the film was the best documentary I have seen in a long time and secondly it made me feel inspired. I have seen Steve’s and Beats Bus journey in 2017 and 2018, taking photographs of them at Hull’s festivals. They were so engaging with the public and youngsters seem to have loads of confidence. And the film showed how much Steve had to invest, how he shared his passion and energy and that the kids got their inspiration and strength from Steve.  He is an inspiring local artist and we have more common that I would ever imagine. I am sending my love and best wishes to Steve and Beats Bus.

Another moment was a special Monday when I had to find a spot where to be interviewed for Creative ENRG annual report. Of course, I don’t have an amazing office space, just my boring home office and there was no chance to nail an interesting client to shoot on early Monday morning so I decided to go somewhere appropriate for my work – Preston Road derelict housing estate “decorated” with graffiti.

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Friends on Every Street slowly are creating amazing legacy with their work and are the key elements on previously visited Bankside Gallery and this too.
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Here is me and my boyfriend spreading the love for the Peter levy and Look North Mate!
The end of 2018 is also bringing me to a closure to another year of culture blogging and I have a big question of what is next. Do I continue or do I move on with my life and career?
I need to dive in January and see how enthusiastic and faithful I feel to continue. I need time to reflect and revalue my input on the culture legacy in Hull.

Last but not least was my magical Christmas visit home and I really want to share few moments of picturesque snow. I am so grateful to my family for time spent together and white Christmas just topped it all and made it so special.

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On the last festive note I want to wish everyone Happy New Year! I hope it brings love, success and you all have the energy to make your big and small dreams to come true. Lots of love from me to everyone who follows me and my life/career journeys!

 

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 – 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!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 31 – HUMBER STREET SESH 2017

I have just minutes into the Sunday/Monday gap that usually is my own deadline for the previous weeks culture indulgence, so I will keep it sweet and short.

As I was landing from Latvia to the Queens property less than a week ago, I was thinking what a strange land it is. So many beautiful things here, so many doors opened for me, but still  – are we in the perfect relationship?

Few days of sulking and thinking and I was thrown into the madness – Humber Street Sesh 2017

I was not sure if the holiday hangover was over, but I was left with no choice – four years in a row I missed the Sesh for various reasons and last year I swore that 2017 will be THE YEAR.

+ someone offered a “brief”, so the festival visit was on the full work mode.

The gallery is less than a half of “reasonable” photos taken in the 12 hrs because on time pressure for post process – some of the photos are random, some acts/bands photographed not even sure where from/named after…a mess.

Plus half way I lost my precious map, work list and wish list, so that made me even more of a mess.
I was a mess photographer, but I think there is a great message in my photos – Hull likes a good party and Hull can also host a great party.

Highlights

Silent Disco 

Nineties Boy Bunker Pop JackJames

people

and all those who said hello to me and I said hello to.

Enjoy Humber Street Sesh 2017 mess that comes from my photographers heart.

 

 

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.

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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!!!!!!!!!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 22

Hull City Of Culture 2017 and the photo challenge has become part of my life. Sneaked up on me at the beginning of the year and now I can’t imagine my week without the random visits, walks, places and people. Random – this week has been one of those. Every Sunday or Monday I sit down, panic about the deadline and look through the photos taken. Although this week has been work-crazy, I have managed to photograph two different [completely] cultural things.
CASTING ON HUMBER: Castaway Act on Sobriety.

The Sobriety Project in partnership with Castaway Goole received funding for this unique project from Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s Creative Communities programme.

Lady called Sarah Louise Davies was so lovely, she sent me the press release with some more info about the performance.

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The cast are all experienced members of Castaway Music Theatre who work together weekly in Goole with Sarah Davies.

15 members of the group will be joined by additional professional performers, Hull City of Culture volunteers and members of community groups who are participating in workshops in Hull and Goole.

Castaway Music Theatre member Anna said: “We know what we’re doing. But we don’t know what will happen.

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: “The Creative Communities Programme encourages local groups and performers to think outside the box and this project has certainly done that.”

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It really was something different in the most beautiful way. I went to the very first performance, mid week, early daytime, so I saw the first reaction from the public.
It made me smile, art and culture is for everyone, not just to view, but to be part of. The members of public had the opportunity to become part of the performance and jiggle along. And I have learned to dance whilst on camera duty…

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The second #getculturedmovement activity was something completely different. Other spectrum of the culture. The long hunted Ground Gallery down Beverley Road was hosting a PEACE PARTY.

One culture event leads to another – that is how I got an invite to the party. Martin Berger –  saxafonist and clarnetist from Spain was playing at the Casting On Humber, so he invited me to come along.

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Saturday was an intense day that was measured in 18,000 steps and a lot of fresh air, and  a lot of photos taken. DO I REALLY FEEL LIKE A PEACE PARTY??

But my gut feeling told me to get my camera back on and at least have a nosy. I guess after two attempts to see the gallery – art gem in the middle of quite a culture-quiet area, this was my chance.

I arrived and there was “peace” hippies gathering and I was about to experience a cultural awkwardness…

I am familiar with the culture, back in the day I was hanging out with few and the lifestyle, although not for me, seemed fascinating.

But the shock hit me – all dressed up in Ray Bans, fancy camera, Ombre hair…I was feeling like the capitalist pig [yeah, I’ve got the definition for you to read] and I guess I am a little bit, but that was right in my face.

People there have the community that is based on love and peace, ideology they share and the lifestyle that makes them free spirits. At least the outer shell says that.

There was a lot of friendly and chatty people, it was welcoming, but more than ever I had to convince them that my presence is genuine.

About the gallery – strong vibes of artist PINKYVISION. I have been following the work on social platforms and that made me feel a bit more comfortable.
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Also very strong vibes of the workshops that Ground Gallery  hosts – art is covering nearly every inch of the space, it is like an art hub, the feeling seeing all that is quite special. It is like you are in someone’s world.
So I hope that one day I can go back to the gallery and be part of the art/making of art.

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The space is a magical as I expected, so I am so happy that made sure I am not imagining things.

When it comes to the party itself – there was some poetry, talks, music and jokes. Most of it covered the subject of peace and support of the Campaign Against Arms Trade.
These people care and they came together to celebrate that…

Thank you guys for answering my very straight questions, letting me be part of it and sorry if I need more time to feel comfortable around you.

The galley at the moment is on and off with the wokshops, so if you subscribe to their mailing list, you can be updated with the upcoming events, work shops.

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This week of Hull City Of Culture 2017 has been full of amazing things, so I’ve heard..I wish I could be at more than on place at the time, have more time on my hands…

Let’s see where the 23rd week takes me.

LOVE
Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – RADIO 1 BIG WEEKEND

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HERE WE ARE A WEEK LATER…

RADIO 1’s BIG WEEKEND AND ALL THE LOVE RECEIVED AND GIVEN.

THIS SUNDAY IS EMOTIONAL, THIS BLOG POST IS WRITTEN WHILST LISTENING THE ONE LOVE BENEFIT CONCERT IN MANCHESTER AND BEING AWARE OF THE LAST NIGHTS TERROR ATTACK IN LONDON.

This is my way of paying tribute to everyone affected – the horror did not stop me to go out to the festival, celebrate life and music. It was a magic and unforgettable experience. I live my life through photographs, for that reason I brought a 35 mm Minolta film camera [my work gear was not allowed in cos classed as professional].

The photos arrived on Thursday and I looked through them with true joy.

Highlights – Christine and the Queens and Stormzy. The best feeling was the sense of unity and I will never ever forget the energy that the crowds spread through every inch of my blood vessels. It was so special to be part of the same moment.

This isn’t going to be my usual Bible, just want to give share my love for life. Because love is all that matters.

And stay strong.

 

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 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

LARKIN OUT FESTIVAL @LARKIN’S BAR

This year Hull is bursting with good events, festivals, performances and gatherings. And those are not necessarily part of the UK City Of Culture 2017, they are just here because all cities have culture any day, any year…. Newland and Princess Avenues are very cultural anyways, for a lot of people those areas have been the musts when looking for good food, drinks and entertainment.

So few weeks ago Larkin’s Bar hosted Bank Holiday mini-festival in its new magical beer garden with some fantastic live music, live art and off course Larkin’s Bar finger-licking food and real ales.

I have been waiting for a good moment to publish these and today is a perfect day for that – rain is poring down  and it smells like summer.

Also the festival has a special place in my heart as I met so many fantastic people and had the unexpected opportunity to meet a lot of bearded fellas who are helping me to create my BEARDOLOGY.

My main mission was to be there, tell people who I am by having a mini photo booth Anete’s style.
But I also did not miss out on an opportunity to capture the mood of the festival across two days.

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First thank you goes to Dan, the boss and the grafter of Larkin’s Bar for giving up the potential business space to me. There was no promise that I will be attracting thousands of clients, so that was super kind of him.

Second thanks goes to Calvin Innes from Drunk Animal for having me there, being so open mined and encouraging.

Third thanks goes to Paul – the mystery man behind so many bearded guys I took photos of and talked with. He had a fantastic beard himself and both days he was my support when I was too scared to approach beards.

The photo booth was not a massive banger amongst the regulars, but it was a blast with the beards.
Note: The beards are not ready to be published just yet, but the preview is coming soon.

I was working near the kitchen, so I was very close to the Larkin’s Bar magic- food is cooked by very best and tastes amazing [I tried it]

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And then the festival itself – so many people across two days, many of them interesting characters with interesting stories.

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As mentioned before there was live art by Calvin Innes – the Illustrator, Cartoonist and Artist and massive graffiti performed by Spray Creative.

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Larkin Out Festival was supported by Larkin’s Bar and Creative ENRG and the main reason was not just to entertain but to raise money for The Warren Youth Project. Since I was at the festival, I have looked at the amazing work they do, the support they are giving to young people and the most important-opportunity to create and learn.
I also looked up the Warren Records Three Minute Heroes album, it was amazing and I bought it. Really good quality music.

There was a moment at the festival where I have to be a professional – I was told that there is a group shot outside and I had to switch my work mode.

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Never the less my Speedlight batteries ran out of power that very moment, so I had to ask everyone to wait. No one likes to wait. But after the festival, I was curious what the fuss was about and I am so happy that I did. That is why I have the Three Minute Heroes album on my playlist.

Please, have a listen and maybe get it on your playlist too [link above].

 

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From music to beer – this guy was serving these amazing craft ales and beers, plus he was super friendly and got some stories to tell. His name is Micheal Charlton.

 

Overall it was the most tiring festival I’ve done, but most rewarding. And sometimes you just have to jump into the unknown and celebrate the things you love doing. The atmosphere at the festival was so fulfilling that I had to recover from the happiness shock for next three days [not even exaggerating].

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I hope that I can work with some of the people I’ve met there in the future, because I had the best time.