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 – NOVEMBER 2018

For the first time I have delayed the monthly culture blog for so long. It is confusing to write now about what happened then, because December already has given me different emotions and experiences. So I will try to screw my head back round and go back in time.
As usual in the second half of 2018, I feared that I will have nothing to write about, but somehow I have tricked myself and November was productive.

First –  to my deep sadness I missed out Hull Comedy Festival 2018, but I went to Big City Of Culture Quiz of the Year to make up for it.

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It felt like I have missed a big yearly family gathering and being there to see few familiar faces made me load more happier.

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I also went down to Queens House Showcase to see the ARTIST TAKEOVER #3.

Again – pretty much a regular there since I  have Creative ENRG mentor on my side and I go there on a monthly basis.
Thought for the future – exhibit there myself..

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Artists on display  – Lucy Kelly, Hannah Green, Ingrid Holborn and Saffron Brown

Hannah Green

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Ingrid Holborn

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Saffron Brown

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Lucy Kelly

I have worked with Lucy before, taking photographs of her paintings, textiles and ceramics and she is a raw artist so hard not to love. Her work is complete and made with thought about global issues. Her personality is bold and I am very honoured to have her on my client list.
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Very end of the month I had a very special visitor – my sister and I wanted to share my love for the city and we both went to the URBAN LEGENDS:NORTHERN LIGHTS

In all honesty – the camera was pretty much a habit rather than intentional tool for the experience and after seeing fantastic photographs from the event, I wish I took it more seriously. These days we don’t get events like that in the city often and it was a great photo-opportunity that I missed out on.

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One of the creative directors was Anna Bean known as Bluebeany [alongside other great ones] and her stamp of fantastic creations was all over the displays.

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OH THE NIGHT!  by IMITATING THE DOG

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As an outsider my sister loved most of the installations, some more than others. At least, she got to see why I love the city so much.
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Oh, at the beginning of the month I had a visit to the Portraits at Sea Hull Maritime Museum.

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I think my favourite moment was the conversation with the volunteer about the exhibition next door and how she got emotional. Or when she said that there aren’t many opportunities to volunteer these days… If you ask me, that is the “legacy” that we have to deal with – we are hungry for culture and we are getting starved.

As part of my Illuminate Project: Legacy I went to see Alec Gill’s Hessle Roaders Guided Tour at Brynmore Jones Library.

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Across my social media I have been banging on about it a lot, but for those who need filling in: Alec Gill and hes Hessle Roaders photographs seen back in September 2017 at St Johns Church inspired me to invite him as part of my search for City of Culture legacy. He is an absolute sweetheart – caring, loving, warm, kind and witty. He has welcomed me in his home, introduced with his poetry writing wife Audrey and shared his side of the story. Going to one of his Guided tours was not just for the project, it was also to see and hear him again, proving that he carries the legacy flag in his heart and inspires me do the same.

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Throughout November I had some thoughts about City Of Culture, the impact that it had on me and how it slowly starts to fade. Since the city and Absolutely Cultured is having less cultural events, I feel like loosing the connection with the city. And I start to wonder if having less interest from the Hull people is mirroring my experience. Or is it just that thing where I need to crack on and have my own cultural journey on my own terms, like I did in 2017.
And it leads me to the question – do I continue my culture blogging in 2019? What is your thoughts?
Should I stick to the promise that Culture Company gave us in 2017 about three years of legacy and just crack on?

December is half way and I am full of reflections – Illuminate Project: Legacy Redeye event happened, I went down Preston Road derelict housing estate and had I have emotional review to write about A Northern Soul.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – AUGUST 2018

Summer is the busiest time of the year for me and I feel like in August I haven’t really engaged with culture in Hull. But then I forget that my photographers job is very cultural and Hull based, so actually I have been in a very centre of culture this month. YAAS QUEEN.

Highlights:

STUDIO ELEVEN: Marie Lofthouse&John Crreighton

TRAENERHUS

DOMINOES HULL by Station House Opera

Yum Food&Drink Festival

NOT SO IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Anna Bean and Sam Fowler @Queens House Showcase

HUMBER STREET SESH 2018 

+ Hull bits

STUDIO ELEVEN: Marie Lofthouse&John Crreighton

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STUDIO ELEVEN is a small space with big potential always having high quality art displayed. Due to its opening times, I don’t often pop in, but this exhibition was worth making effort to come in. John Crreighton is witty and detailed prints draws my eye close in. Marie Lofthouse in contrast to that offers bold, clean shapes that to  my culture-experienced eye [sorry, couldn’t resist] remind me of arms reaching up.

As part of ILLUMINATE PROJECT: LEGACY I went down to TRAENERHUS explore my project aims and subjects, but promised not to miss them on my August Culture review.

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This art space/shop/workshop space is a beautiful celebration of Hull talent in art/crafts and general sustainability of local talented people. To my surprise, the space is loaded with a wide range of gifts, bits’ n’ bobs, framed artwork, postcards…plus it hosts many workshops across the year. Some are tempting to be part of, some interesting to view. I was welcomed with opened arms, the staff is super lovely and friendly.
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One of the weekends in August was ultra busy. I was working for Drunk Animal Creative Studios for ITS NOT TOO LATE CAMPAIGN  Hull University

In between all that I managed to photograph DOMINOES HULL by Station House Opera and Yum Food&Drink Festival

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Special shout out to Atom Beers. Your brews are delicious across the board.

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DOMINOES HULL by Station House Opera was one of those where you really see the sense of the community. The city centre was packed with people, everyone keen to see the long waited fall of the dominoes. Laughs, smiles, cheers and all the good vibes.

I was kind of following the trail of dominoes, but looking at the promo video, I missed quite a bit.
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Massive shout out to Absolutely Cultured volunteers. You are the most important element of most all the celebrations, you are hard workers and often feels like you are the glue that holds together the whole thing. Thank you.

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NOT SO IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Anna Bean and Sam Fowler Queens House Showcase

I know how great Anna Bean is  and I was so so excited to see her exhibition alongside Sam Fowler [new artist to my fave list].

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Queens House Showcase transformed into a whole new level and Anna Bean signature cult fantastical worlds is running the place.

 

So the few Hull bits alongside the culture chunk:

Do you know about the bench in Hull that repeats what you say if you speak to it close enough? I do. Guess were it is…

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Bean & Nothingness is officially opened and I am so glad to come back over and over again.

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And how about a whole new and eco-friendly way of shopping at the refurbished Trinity Market

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The Eco Shed is pretty cool, little shop that sells my new favourite toothpaste.

Hello to Face Painting 4 You for always being on my side at most of my event-based photo jobs. It is always so good to see you and keep a track on your good work.

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AND FINALLY MY FAVOURITE PHOTO FROM RECENT MONTHS
[it can’t get any more Hull than this]

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WHAT WILL SEPTEMBER BRING? FREEDOM FESTIVAL, HULL SCIENCE FESTIVAL, HEADS UP FESTIVAL…..

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JULY 2018

FASHIONABLY LATE HERE’S MY JULY – CULTURE WONDERS IN HULL.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Drunk Animal Creative Studio Hull University Beach Stand Queen Victoria Square

Queens House Showcase Liz Knight “Seeds”

Ground Home? by No Twaddle Theatre Company

Bean & Nothingness Whitefriargate Hull

A Jar Full Of Art The Brain Jar

PRIDE IN HULL 2018

Despite things looking rather hot[meaning busy] I want to share the culture love affair with Hull before the Humber Street Sesh 2018 madness starts tonight [EXCITED]

First – my friends Drunk Animal Creative Studio set up their Beach Stand in Queen Victoria Square for Hull University graduates to have a little feeling of summer and great photo opportunity. As I’ve seen it being built back in June, I was very proud to walk past it this time in Hull city centre and snap the goodness.

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p.s. This will be featured in the VIP area at Hull University Main Stage at Humber Street Sesh 2018

Hard to trace on the world wide web – amazing and talented textile designer Liz Knight was the residency artist at Queens House Showcase in July.

Delicate, sensitive, emotional and bright viewing experience “Seeds” run from the 21st – 20th July.

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The space at Queens House Showcase  run by Creative ENRG offers great opportunities to various artists display and showcase their work. The exhibition was one of my favourites seen there in the recent year and I felt great emotional bond with the works. Liz made the most of the space and created a landscape indoors [if that makes any sense].

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Ground Home? by No Twaddle Theatre Company

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Those rare and precious times I get my arse down Ground are my favourite. The gallery is unique and chilled out. At the time of my visit I saw an exhibition/community project by No Twaddle Theatre Company. HOME?

I will allow the images speak for themselves, as I don’t want to ruin the message.

And let me just mention how happy and proud I am to see Ground thriving and getting the recognition. Its an amazing space with great people running it. And the selection of zines available is just tempting to become a full time reader. Nice.

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A Jar Full Of Art at The Brain Jar

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Featuring artists:
Sue Caufield, Hayley Booth, Kjersti Goss Emberton aka Sessa Ceramics, Lauren Saunders, Diane Allerston and Sharisse Ullah.

First – the cafe space at The Brain Jar is absolutely lovely. Both floors. And having had great coffee there upstairs, it was awesome to see the space used to showcase local artists and have a little art fair.

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Kjersti Goss Emberton aka Sessa Ceramics

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I am Latvian and for the first glimpse I gathered that Sessa Ceramics is not 100% British. There was a Northern feel to the ceramics. And I was right as Kjersti originally comes from Norway. Bang. Absolutely loved the ceramics and I hope to own some next time I see her.

Lauren Saunders

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Lauren is an absolute babe. She is talented, determined and ace young lady.

Diane Allerston

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Diane was super lovely and shared her story and techniques with me and my fellow culture lover and I thought that capturing Diane’s smile would be the perfect way to celebrate her talent and good heart.

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Next one is something exciting, but I’ve not searched for current updates if the space is open to the public. I had a exclusive preview whilst the place was set up and I am looking forward to go back soon and see the changing walls and artist showcasing their talents.

Bean & Nothingness down Whitefriargate Hull.

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PRIDE IN HULL 2018

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As I missed Hull Pride in 2017, I was determined to photograph the most colourful event of the year in 2018. And I did. And I loved it.
Love, equality, acceptance, community spirit, peace, happiness and pride.
The Pride in Hull 2018 was so grand, that wrote a separate blog post to make sure I celebrate it fairly. Follow Anete Sooda Photo Pride in Hull 2018 for a full gallery. Thanks to everyone who said hello and gave me fantastic feedback.

Summer is always busy, but OH MIGHTY COW how summer of 2018 is turning out. I will be happy to be alive at the end of August, but I am hoping to be part of many culture wonders in August, so I can tell everyone how great I am and how awesome Hull is.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

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 – MAY 2018

HELLO CULTURE LOVERS AND FOLLOWERS

I AM JUST GONNA PRETEND IT IS NOT THE 8th JUNE …. OK, I AM 8 DAYS LATE TO PUBLISH MY HULL CULTURE STORIES.

GOOD NEWS IS – I HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY BUSY PHOTOGRAPHING AWESOME THINGS. MY PHOTOGRAPHERS LIFE IS AS MANIC AS I WANT IT TO BE, LOVE THOSE “OFFICE” DAYS WHEN MY “DESK” IS NEAR SEASIDE OR WITH INSPIRING MUMS IN HULL, OR WITH AMAZING PEOPLE FROM ESKIMOSOUP DRIVING AROUND EAST YORKSHIRE.. LOVE ALL THAT.

OK, CULTURE BUSINESS. MAY WAS LIVELY, ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH WHEN MOST OF MY CONTENT WAS CREATED.

FERENS ART GALLERY – MASTERPIECES IN FOCUS FROM THE ROYAL COLLECTION

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20% INSPIRED BY INSTAGRAM FAVOURITE STEFAN DRASCHAN

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P.S. I USED TO DO THAT A LITTLE BIT ANYWAYS, BUT NOW THAT IS AN OFFICIAL FOCUS POINT.

FERENS ART GALLERY CLANGERS, BAGBUSS&CO

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THIS WAS AN EXHIBITION OF CONFUSION ALTHOUGH LOVELY CONTENT. I HAVE NO SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT TO “Bagpuss, see the Soup Dragon and behold Noggin the Nog. Oliver Postgate’s voice and Peter Firmin’s puppets shaped the childhood memories of millions since they started collaborating in the 1950s. As well as telling the story of Bagpuss and The Clangers, the exhibition goes behind the scenes of their other creations; Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.Discover original puppets, sets and filming equipment. See how characters developed, and learn how Oliver and Peter developed their stop-frame animation techniques alongside a selection of toys and puppets from Hull Museum’s permanent collection.”

SOURCE: HULL17 WEBSITE

 

BUT I SAW SOME LOVELY SMILES, FEEDBACK AND GENERAL SENTIMENT AROUND THE PUPPETS AND SETS.

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REALLY IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHT OF MINE – HULL COLLEGE STRIKES WITH UCU HULL

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FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ME WILL UNDERSTAND MY ANGER. MY CAREER STARTED THERE, HULL SCHOOL OF ART&DESIGN WERE PART OF MY JOURNEY IN BECOMING A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER AND BEING ABLE TO WORK AS ONE IS A LIFE CHANGING THING TO HAVE AS LEGACY OF EDUCATION. SO I WROTE TO EMMA HARDY, I WROTE TO HULL DAILY MAIL MY VIEWS ON JOB CUTS AND COURSE REMOVALS.

HERE IS A BIT OF THAT:

“I am taking the time to write because I feel incredibly let down by Hull College Chief Executive Michelle Swithenbank, who has announced plans to cut 231 jobs as part of a five year reconstruction plan to make the organisation financially self-sufficient.
Reconstruction implies that something is broken and needs to be made whole again. That is not my experience at HSAD at all. My course provided me with everything I needed: knowledgeable and experienced tutors, well equipped facilities and a varied curriculum that included studio photography, use of film cameras, printmaking, filmmaking and business skills. It was a life changing three years that gave me an opportunity to build important foundations that I needed in order to work as a photographer in the real world. I spent three years surrounded by experienced, clever and intelligent photographers and artists who made me believe that anything was possible. They pushed me to achieve my goals and challenged negative and small thinking, opening my eyes to what I could achieve.
I understand the need for the college to be financially solvent and am appalled to hear that college leaders have allowed a £10m deficit to be racked up and that an additional £1m plus deficit is forecast (as reported in the Hull Daily Mail, 8 May 2018). However I do not feel that full consideration has been given to alternative money saving or money making measures. Innovative ideas like broadcasting live tutorials in photography, film-making and computer game design would put Hull where it deserves to be – at the forefront of creative education. Opening up facilities to the public and local businesses would also generate additional income. Can Michelle Swithenbank really tell us that job cuts is the only way out of the mess?”

I ALSO DID MY PART AND WENT DOWN TO ONE OF THE STRIKES TO TAKE SOME PHOTOS.

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THIS MIGHT NOT SEEM LIKE A VERY CULTURAL TOPIC, BUT IN FACT IT IS, BECAUSE HULL SCHOOL OF ART&DESIGN IS PART OF CREATING A NEW GENERATION OF ARTISTS.

IT WAS ALL A BIT DAUNTING, BUT THE SUN WAS OUT AND EVERYONE UNITED FOR ONE IDEA. AND THIS WILL BE THE CHANGING POINT FOR FUTURE, BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO CARE, WILL NEVER LET THINGS GO EASY. WELL DONE TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART.

 

CULTURE/ART AT QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE RUN BY CREATIVE ENRG ON TWO OCCASIONS:
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ABOVE CHRISSY COLLINSON SITES UNSEEN

BELOW ILLUSTRATOR MIKE WARLEY AND HIS WONDERFUL CREATIONS.

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I ALSO WENT DOWN TO THE HULL TAPESTRY AT THE GUILDHALL

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IT WAS ON MY LIST FOR MONTHS AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. IN A NUTSHELL – FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING, THE HULL TAPESTRY ILLUSTRATES, IN COLOURFUL AND VARIED STITCH, THE HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CITY OF KINGSTON UPON HULL OVER PAST 700 YEARS.  DEPICTING HULL’S DIVERSE HISTORY AND PIONEERING SPIRIT, THE HULL TAPESTRY GROUP HAS FASHIONED A BREATHTAKING MONTAGE OF HULL LIFE THROUGH THE AGES.

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I ALSO HAD A STROLL THROUGH HULL ONE DAY WHEN THE SUN WAS OUT AND REVISITED THE SOLAR GATE ‘N QUEENS GARDENS.

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FIRST TIME VISITED THE DAZZLING EVENTS FOOD AND ARTISAN MARKET AT THE LAWNS COTTINGHAM.

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ON TOP OF THAT I TOOK PHOTO OF A NEW SCULPTURE ARRIVAL IN TOWN: RESEARCH STILL GOING ON WHAT THAT WAS, GOOGLE AT THE MOMENT IS NOT HELPING,SO IF ANYONE KNOWS – EDUCATE ME.

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ALREADY MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY – I WILL BE ONE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR THE  ILLUMINATE PROJECT: LEGACY

WE HAD OUR FIRST MEETING LAST WEEK AND IT IS STILL EARLY DAYS. AS SIMILAR AS THE LEGACY SEARCH TOPICS ARE BETWEEN US, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT PHOTOGRAPHERS AND WILL PRODUCE VERY INTERESTING PHOTOS. THAT’S THE PLAN. AS A START UP I AM LISTING AND REVISITING ARTISTS FROM 2017 THAT INSPIRED ME TO WRITE ABOUT THEM AND FIRST ONE WAS MARK WIGAN. HE KINDLY OFFERED ME TO GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT HIS WORKSHOP, BUT DUE TO WORK COMMITMENTS I WAS UNABLE TO JOINT, SO WORK IN PROGRESS.

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SO THESE ARE SNAPS FROM HIS THE TRANSGLOBAL ART OF MARK WIGAN EXHIBITION, JUST AS I CONVINCED HIM TO BE PART OF MY SEARCH FOR CITY OF CULTURE 2017 LEGACY:

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST:

WAS TAKING PHOTOS OF INCREDIBLY TALENTED ILLUSTRATOR CALVIN INNES IN THE NEWEST BANKSIDE GALLERY.

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I CAME ACROSS THE BEAUTY OF INDUSTRIAL ESTATE IN THE AREA. IT WAS A BIT OF A EMOTIONAL CONNECTION MOMENT AS I FOUND THE SITES AND SCENES DISTURBING AND BEAUTIFUL AT THE SAME TIME.

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I AM OK NOW. I AM EXCITED FOR THE SUMMER AND EVENTS, EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS COMING UP REALLY MAKE ME FEEL ALIVE.

STILL RE BRANDING AND HOPELESSLY TRYING TO MULTITASK, BUT EXCITING TIMES AHEAD.

NEXT MONTH I’LL BE HALF HERE, HALF IN LATVIA, SO JUNE 2018 CONTENT STILL TO BE DISCUSSED.

HAPPY CULTURE PEOPLE.

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – APRIL 2018

April was 80% usual and 20% summer  [including the feeling that winter is over and tops off kind of vibe].
So I’ll start with a moment that represents the above for me. Shot taken down Humber Street with probably the most famous dog in culture crowds.

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Culture month #4 and I am hopeful for the future. Legacy ‘n stuff, another culture-bursting year for the city and buzzing/happy people in all areas of Hull. Yes?

April started well,I was lucky to be involved with Illuminate Project:Legacy  I feel very fortunate to be able to tie work done in 2017, continuous photo/blog Hull City Of Culture in 2018 and look for the legacy, that I have discussed over and over again. Pop the question is important for someone like me, who’s really believed that Hull has changed and there is no way back. It will be a challenge as well, but I don’t mind a chunky challenge.

Work will be started pretty soon and there will be an exhibition in autumn. To top it all up I will be working with some pretty exciting photographers. Anna Bean/Bluebeany, Verity Adriana and Karim Skalli

Back to April and culture.
I had a list of exhibits I wanted to see this month, including No one knows me like Dawn from Jobcenter at Humber Street Gallery, because title seemed intriguing.

If being honest, April was difficult month for getting out with true passion and get involved in culture. Things got sad, difficult and being out with camera was more like an escape. Plus, I have been focusing on re-branding my business face, which always requires energy and ability to face your devils.

The start of April and my first go-see was the new light announcement down Queen Victoria Square at the very first weekend of April. I was unable to see the lights Saturday/Sunday, so I rushed there on the opening night. I got really frustrated by light switch being late, I didn’t had tripod, so I guess the photos are just a record that I was there. Still not sure what I was supposed to see, as very similar lights have been there through out last months?

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Whilst waiting and chatting to fellow photographers, I snapped the fountains there too. Tuns out this is the first time I see them at night. Oh well..

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On my way there, I briefly rushed through first Hull Street Food Nights of 2018. It was very brief and I was very gutted that I can only “smell” the event. Next one maybe as it looked so lovely…

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After that is was exhibitions. Luckily there are quite a few available to view from April onward.

First trip I took to see HIP Gallery in Princess Quay. I was aiming to see the freshly brewed LAUNDERAMA by David Drasdo, but I was a bit too early. Instead I got to see the DOCK. The exhibition is a selected visual history of St. Andrew’s Dock.

Once St Andrew’s Dock was the beating heart of Hull’s fishing industry.
Today it stands derelict and unloved, a sorry reflection of a once proud and thriving place.
These images are just a snapshot of the story of its falls from grace.

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The exhibition contains photographs by Will Slater, Peter Marshall, Ben Barrass and Oliver Turpin.

The extend of loss from the industry feels so genuine, once I finished with the viewing. For someone like me not born in UK and Hull, exhibition serves as a good eye opener for the past and present. I always hear the stories about how great it was, but it never really felt like I know what people mean by it.
I was curious to find out from volunteers when it all “cracked”, but the conversation revealed a lot more. For example, back in the day, people that worked in the industry were called three day millionaires- they became rich very quickly for a short period of time, then spent all the money as quickly as they earned it. Also, I found out that Hull was once called the City of East Coast. Just that.

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Massive thank you to the volunteer that chatted for 40 min about Hull, fishing industry, even about studying photography and writing dissertations. I wish I noted his name down on piece of paper….

After that I went to see something that I purposely left for April.

No one knows me like Dawn from Jobcenter at Humber Street Gallery.

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The culture or social groups that are regulars to Jobcentre are always linked with lack of life quality, lack of future perspectives and generally are the underdogs. Rightly so for those who work and pay taxes. But there is no country in the world without a unemployment issues. To be able to draw the lines between art and stereotypes around the subject is intriguing and tempting.

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I feel like my photos show every corner of the exhibition, leaving nothing to imagination, but that’s how I felt like at the time – it was too good to be missed out.

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The artwork sets many questions and leaves me to wonder if the reality is mixed with great dose of sarcasm. Really good exhibition in my opinion, although I felt like I want more.

After that I popped downstairs to see the FOREVER or GOLDEN SHOWERS by Tim Noble and Sue Webster.

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I am convinced that these light installations are detachable from their current meanings. It also wasn’t as excited as I expected. It was more about getting that one perfect shot of three very different light bulbs.

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Maybe, and only maybe, I would like these installations in a meaningful location? I don’t know….
Just to quickly mention and justify image below – the shirts really brightened up my mood. These lads deserve a free drink.

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My next exhibition was at Artlink. Only in last few months I have realised that Artlink is very warm and welcoming space, including staff working there.

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This time it was the GRAFT in FLUX. An collaborative exhibition in a nine year partnership between Artlink and HMP Humber’s Graft Fine Art Studio.

The exhibition is focused on the changing landscape and the aspirations of those currently working and living in the secure prison units.

It also has got an interesting way of treating the “artists”. Most of them have no prior training, skills or education in arts, so they all have been thrown in an adventure. That is the most precious part of the idea, I think.
From what is displayed, I couldn’t tell that there is no experience. Fascinating.

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All exhibits are part of an experiment, covering each person’s voice and back-stories.

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There are Drop-in workshops available on 19th May and 16th June.  The workshops will recreate elements and working practices from the Studio to allow visitors to observe and take part in the environment, projects, techniques, and journey of HMP Humber’s students. I am hoping to squeeze one of the workshops in my diary for June [that’s if someone would like to join me].

 

The only downside of space there – it sometimes isn’t pleasant to fight with falling shadows and colour cast. So I hope I have hidden that in these captures. [sorry]

Last but not least – TWO GINGERS COFFEE HOUSE and a small coffee/bear/live music  summer start up gathering on the 28th April.
I remember first time I went there was early days for the Two Gingers, but I am so pleased to see them thriving and having coffee lovers on their side.

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I literally popped there for 10 min to see the atmosphere, my mind was far away from celebrating and mingling with people.
I hope they do more events like these and I can properly enjoy myself.

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There you go – my little culture April in Hull. I hope as the year goes on, I will get more diverse cultural experiences through the lens.

For now – re-branding, Illuminate Project:Legacy, culture in May and work.

 

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – MARCH 2018

HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY[yesterday], HAPPY DAY TO BE ALIVE.

HAPPY.
AND WELCOME TO THE MARCH EDITION OF MY CULTURE IN HULL 2018.

I must admit that it is hard to write and focus on work today, I am in a 100% long weekend mood.  So I will try.. and if by accident I publish it only on the 2nd April [today], you’ll know that I gave in on chocolate eggs. And a nap.

 

March brought some lovely culture experiences and quite a tense works schedule at times. I have been in and out of “busy” and running low on fuel reserves from winter season. We are ready for spring!

Culture highlights:

#1 HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2018

#2 ARTLINK JASON WILSHER-MILLS UNEXPECTED ENGAGEMENT ARTIST TALK

#3  GROUND GALLERY HULL PRESENTS BLUEBEANY’S ARTIST TALK

#4 TRINITY MARKET EXPLORATION NR. 1

Since 2018 unfolded as the year after an amazing year of 2017, I can easily make my own rules of how I will culture myself, I feel no pressure. Everything is in a relaxed manner. So in March I tried to combine personal interests with must-see’s and bit of good old Hull walks with camera. That applies to the need to witness the change and progress and see where do we go from 2017.

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Collecting photographs and stories in March has been the easy part. Writing can get tricky.

I try to have some one-to-one time with the city, get on the road geared up with camera and in March I soaked up one day of spring in an hour long walk through derelict area of Hull [kind of].
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Some of the “edgelands” is up for a development soon, so maybe it is worth catching few photographs of the land, before it changes.

The best experience in March was the HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2018

I was invited to be their photographer this year and that rolled me straight into a number of cultural events. Hull based company E52, in conjunction with renowned venue and producer Battersea Arts Centre, presents some of the most exciting contemporary British and international theatre at venues throughout the city of Hull.
The festival takes place twice a year, with Spring and Autumn seasons, and also includes locally-curated and produced work, workshops, new productions, networking events, talks, art events, school projects, and exhibitions.

 

First one was UGLY CHIEF – artist and performer Victoria Melody teams up with her dad, TV antique dealer Mike Melody, for her most ambitious show yet. Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true-life events, performed by a real-life father and daughter. As I can create any spoilers  – it is about setting up a funeral by Victoria for her dad, who was falsely diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given five years to live. In the show, they preform two funerals – one that Victoria wanted for her dad, and second funeral that dad wanted to have for himself.

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The show was wonderful, witty, clever and emotional at times. And the fact that it was another take on taboo subject such as death, funerals really made it my cup of tea.
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Two of the events took place in Kardomah94 across the week.
Heads Up Introducing with Lyn Acton, singer with Pearls Cab Ride and Bill Drummond Daffodils&Death

Both brought me some new knowledge about different art forms, I got to know Lyn Acton and Pearls Cab Ride , not just as one of the bands playing at Freedom Festival, but as culturally important figure in Hull and jazz music scene in Yorkshire.

She laughed, cried, shared and cherished her stories and musical influences and favourites.

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Bill Drummond Daffodils&Death was just a bit random. Enjoyable random.
But my favourite new knowledge was that Bill once was in a band called The KLF and had hell of a performance at 1992 BRIT Award Ceremony.

And to back up that it really happened in 1992, Bill Drummond, between he’s shows came to the sound desk and said  “I can’t wait for this to be over, so I can have a proper drink”

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Third one was SPONGE by Turned On Its Head

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That was ultimate kids show using sponges in various shapes, forms, colours and sizes, that will be stuck in my memory as a nightmare light change to capture in photographs.
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The last event of the festival, I was taking photos of was the DARK WINTER by David Mark.

I was present at the last of the dress rehearsals and only stayed for 30 min. And in that short time I witnessed some serious theatre. Set in Hull and based on the thrilling crime novel by bestselling author David Mark, E 52 bring Aector McAvoy’s first case to the stage in a stunning adaptation by award winning writers Richard Vergette.

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And hell yeah, it was mind blowing. The level of acting and theatre performance was high standard and having Hull as main characteristics made it to be my favourites. The sound and light was to match the high standards of performance. One word – gutted not seen the full performance.

Photos above: Production team, E52 crew and stage manager.

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Million thanks to Heads Up team for having me on board. Great pleasure, great pleasure.

 

In March there was an important note in my diary – to see Jason Whilsher-Mills with my own eyes in his artist talk about currently displayed Unexpected Engagement at Artlink. I rarely get to see artist gatherings and talks, as I am working evenings, so this was real treat for my brain on Saturday, 13th March.

Jason Wilsher-Mills is Square Peg’s artist-in-residence for 2017.

Square Peg, the user-led diversity and disability arts programme from Artlink has teamed up with Jason to bring the stories of diverse communities in Hull to everyone’s attention.

New technologies have helped Jason give life to his ideas on disability, childhood memory and popular culture, creating new narratives. We met to discuss this and his upcoming exhibition Unexpected Engagement at Artlink.

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More than anything, I took away Jason’s story of how he embraced digital technology, instead of sticking to what he was used to. He stepped out his comfort zone, embraced the change and it took him to the highs of a success. And for someone like me it is the best lesson to learn. Change is scary,but change is good.

The talk itself was wonderful, I really liked Jason’s sense of humour, honesty and the event was a great experience to see his other work.

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At the end of it, I joined the rest for a second look at the exhibition and helped others to get their heads around the 3D experience with sculptures and tablet.

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The end of the month got a bit distracting and I kind of ditched the culture for a bit. I had few little culture things on my mind, but instead I went for a nosy at newly refurbished Trinity Market and have the famous Cone Queen – Cone Pizza.

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The space is very “fresh” at the moment, but I could already see the potential and Hull’s own stamp on the units available. Hull people have turned in proper foodies  and I am really liking it.

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During the last days of March, I also wanted to make it to BLUEBEANY’S talk at GROUND GALLERY HULL
Ground Gallery is one of my favourite discoveries in 2017 and Anna Bean with her exhibition is definitely a very good news to have for the gallery.

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I was very late [cos of work], so I had no hopes of seeing the talk and I kind of made it to the very end. Just as I got to the gallery, I realised that it is fully packed with people and that brought a big grim on my face – for Anna Bean and for the Ground.

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The last few days of the month of course went a bit mad – Easter, all the excitement of nationally long Bank Holiday weekend and unfinished business.
But I had to see one last thing – Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase last day with cakes, tea and artists themselves.
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The space gives a good ground start to artist to exhibit, have the experience of sharing their work and running workshops and in the future we are about to see more work exhibited.

So… the more the spring, summer is mentioned, the more culture we are going to see – good news for me and exciting times for Hull.
Hull Street Food Nights are back in April, Humber Street Gallery has some exciting exhibitions already on display, Studio Eleven is providing us with some high end and super quality sculpture-work and so on…

I have some of the above on the menu,  Auschwitz and work in April. Yaass!

Happy Culture!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – FEBRUARY

Welcome to February 2018 culture review. I am sure you are busy dealing with the “beast from the East” as we all do, very distracted myself with the snow,making snowman’s, but duty calls.

I would like to say that culture journeys in February has been out of old habit, but that has changed since last month. Although being really sentimental about last years weekly reviews and stories, this month I have really realised how much time for “actual” work I have. There is no doubt that finding cultural things is a bit of a challenge in the quite months of the year, knowing that Hull City Of Culture 2017  is gone on a “break”.

I have been lucky to have Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 at Ferens Art Gallery, Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase, Hounds Of Hull opening at KAG,  and random protest regards regime in Middle East, plus some precious early morning Hull moments.

Let’s start off with the two most random things of this month:

First – one area of Hull’s city centre has been adjusted – famous for having homeless people gathering and sleeping, being a bit naughty. Area has been transformed into a colourful message, development opportunity advert. And then the disco-granny-electric piano-madness guy is there playing his tunes. Only in Hull?

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During that week I went to the first Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase where artist Lauren Saunders thought the ways of knowing – or making art followed by you feelings.. (?) Her primary tool is drawing, but the exploration extends to psychologies of perception.

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Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase is a collective exhibition of four local artists with various styles, techniques and dimensions.
The best part of the exhibition is that most of the days artists themselves are live-creating their art, having the space for their own development and are up for a cup of tea and a chat.

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Clarissa Dixon is another artist present at the Queens House Showcase. She is experimental with materials and processes. From what I had a chance to see so far – her table is a beautiful mess with textures, colours and heavy patterns.

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Annemarie Tickle was running a The Shibori workshop and I went to take some snaps of that too. I am far from understanding what that means, but it was all about fabric, dye and textures.

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Queens House Showcase is run by Creative ENRG. Just to say that Creative ENRG is giving a massive platform for artists to work and develop their skill, confidence and network with other artists, members of public.

They have helped me in my “setting-up” business journey, but I have made a lot of business friends, artists and clients through being part of the hub. That’s if you ever question how important networking is….

Just to shift few steps down from art art, I had a morning with crisp air and early sunlight in Marina and Fruit Market. It is rare opportunity to have time that early to photograph Hull and I really want to share few beautiful captures – just to celebrate ever so beautiful Hull landmarks.

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These new arrivals on Fruit Market walls was the cherry topping to my morning wonders.

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Back to art art and  Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 at Ferens Art Gallery. This year for the second year running I got a photograph in, so I was determined to have the full experience of the opening night. First thing – the welcome speech, announcements and prize give away. I did  not know that such thing happens on the opening night and it was great to be part of that.

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There was an interesting fact I found out during the speech is that Ferens Art Gallery one of the few galleries left in the UK to have free entry at all times. And I mean a gallery that hosts “proper” high end art, such as Mueck [recent experiences], Freud and other special and valuable collections. Turner Prize is a good indicator of the importance of the Ferens Art Gallery.

During the opening night I had a quick run through the galleries, spotted a few favourites, mingled with old tutors and looked at my photograph and frame all together[disappointment].

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That same nigh I made it to the Hounds Of Hull opening at KAG. Missed the dogs, but had a great opportunity tho see the art work, meet the artist behind it Verity Adriana, have a chat with artist/tutor Jane Jones and my fave Anna Bean/ Bluebeany.
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+see the rest of the KAG for the last time [due to closure of half of the space]
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At some point another random thing happened – I went from A to B and spotted some action going on in Queen Victoria Square. From the distance it looked like people are waving Stalin’s flag, but when approached the crowd, it turned out to be a protest for regime in the Middle East. It was about demanding freedom to Abdullah Ocalan and other political prisoners in Turkey.

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Last week I went back to  Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase to take some promotional shots of Annemarie Tickle and work she is developing. She stunned me with bold and brave colours and a lovely chat. Strongly suggest to visit Queens House Showcase website for opening times and artist present, because it is worth your while.

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Last but not least – had a second visit to Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 to have a good look at the selection of artworks this year. There was some definite favourites, good and interesting concepts, but there was an equal amount of “rubish”. As for usual.

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As I mentioned previously, work I submitted was a risk. The photograph in combination of the frame was a big risk. It is not bad, but it did not met the expectations I had for myself, so I am a bit disappointed. But risks have to be taken and learn from the experience if it doesn’t work out. Boom.

This month I was a bit pushed for time, so two things on my list are not here:

 

 

I have to start thinking about what March will bring to my culture experiences, already planning in progress.

Excited to be working on a project that I will be shouting about in the near future, excited to be taking photographs for Heads Up Festival for the next two weeks and work with Drunk Animal with their projects and clients. And everything in between. Exciting! That’s all I am gonna say.

Have a great March, get some culture in your system and drive carefully through the 15 cm of snow [eeekkk!!]

Love
Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JANUARY

HELLO AND WELCOME BACK TO MY CULTURE VENTURES IN 2018

 

The year of Hull City Of Culture 2017 finished on a high note for me. I really lived up to my challenge, being part of the story all year, week by week [except tiny two weeks] and I had the most wonderful time. It was the big celebration for me.

At the beginning of the month I was very lost – for the first time in a year I was not obligated to follow culture and it was weir. On the other hand – it was a relief – no Sunday/Monday panic about writing a blog post and wondering if I have done enough, if I’ve done well.

Throughout the year I knew I need to continue the work for me and for the promised legacy, for Hull. Out of habit on the first week I already found myself in culture indulgence.
And it felt good.

First, I managed to catch the robots part of Where Do We Go From Here.
I had to take my family to see the magnificent robots and have the last look.

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I was still seeking for the connection with culture, Hull and the question it raises. Technically brilliant pieces of machinery, creating a cosmic atmosphere and making the dark hours of Hull light up. But I am asking a question – could artist applied any other question to the artwork, linked with anything else? I am sure that is a possibility and Hull is just another translation to the existence of robots.

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Never the less – Hull still embraced the installation, as we do with everything.

Hull embraced a lot of things in 2017, we have changed our mindset regards culture and art, we are more educated and don’t mind abstract elements scattered around the city. Like the Solar Gate in Queens Gardens. Why not?
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Mid month I was SUPER excited for the new arrivals at Humber Street Gallery.
Just to note how wonderful it is to have a gallery of this kind, Humber Street Gallery has been the key venue for so many great exhibitions and they need a shout out!!!!!
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The exhibitions, all there are about everything celebrating Hull City Of Culture 2017 Volunteers. Work created purely to say thank you for your hard work, purely to celebrate each individual for making the year possible.
Gallery 1
BIG PICTURE: WITH LEO FRANCIS IN ASSOCIATION WITH CHRIS FENTON

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Photographer Lee Francis has very specific style and it is reflected in the works. They are bright and unmistakably unique.
I was so professionally jealous, because that would be every professionals dream to work on a project like this. In fact, this type of photographs should be the only reason why this medium exist – celebrate people and life in a beautiful way, that is missed by a naked eye.

The collage with volunteers and their belongings, their lives is equally fantastic.
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The team behind the project and Hull City Of Culture 2017 put a lot of thought, love and effort into creating this and wanted to know more about volunteers.
When asked to the volunteers present at the exhibition, the same feelings are expressed.

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And we ourselves enjoyed the little insight into this project

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Gallery 2

GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE: JULIA VOGL

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Another mind tickling satisfaction of culture experience. First impressions are very good, the space is transformed into a full on colour experience, surrounding visitors with bold colours, numbers and takes you on a journey.
When I got over the wow factor, I made my way through the facts and facts about volunteers worked out in percentage.
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We also played a game of calculating the percentages of what volunteers have as their occupation:
88% are either in full time education, employed or retired and the rest – unicorn keepers. That’s mine and Oliver’s conclusion.
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The whole experience is extended with an opportunity to try on volunteers kit and having your photo taken[optional?]
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And then – my favourite part – have a gab with volunteers and take a lovely photo of them.

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Gallery 3

GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE: JULIA VOGL

The jar and grain experience

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Again – very impressive first impressions. The colours, light, placement of the jars and factual info on the walls. Fantastic.

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Visually impressive, sense of individuality despite the fact it’s meant to look “uniform” like. I assume the jars where chosen by volunteers themselves and again, its like a little insight of their lives.
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However the lazy art and culture consumer in me thinks its too much information to take in before you understand the idea. If your brain is not gifted with maths [like mine], I struggled to understand the patterns and reasons for each of the jar being filled. ahh. Could this be taken out of Hull City Of Culture 2017 content and displayed elsewhere? Would this be just one for the Hull?

World should know more about our experience this year and BIG PICTURE AND GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE PART 1 is definitely there to show off to the next CITY OF CULTURE and other cities in the UK.

Overall rating 9/10 from me. The visit made my week and I was left very happy and satisfied.

BANKSY IN HULL

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26th of January will be marked as the day when world famous Banksy left his mark in Hull.

Woken up by the BBC News on Friday morning and hearing Hull’s name being called out for positive reason was just the perfect breakfast for my mind.

On Saturday I made my way to see it for myself. Of course I was not the only one there seeing the rustic bridge marked with someone famous and controversial as Banksy only for that reason. It became a trend, a hot spot.
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And then to hear the news on Monday about someone going totally bonkers and ruining the graffiti and then be saved by very own Hull’s windows cleaner becoming a hero… The drama and the reason to talk was there and as they say… every publicity is good.

So yes. Here is my first month of 2018, my first report on culture in 2018.
I could have done more, but I am busy working on something amazing. Hopefully I will have more content this month.

Are you feeling the Legacy of City of Culture in 2018? What are your expectations?