Week 39 of the culture has been a bit on the difficult side, but despite that I have had culture ranging from live painting in the gallery to poem writing, Russian poetry to voice making in Pickering Park.

I returned to Hull late Tuesday, was working long day Wednesday and didn’t think I will recover sooner than the weekend or after a good sleep. But on Thursday I had the opportunity to see the Queens House Showcase run by CreativeENRG and the latest exhibition there, plus I was passing a culture spot in Princess Quay.

Queens House Showcase currently is exhibiting + live painting by artist Emma Garness, the exhibition titled SOMETHING IN-BETWEEN.

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The day was surprisingly warm and sunny and so was the artist, her smile lit up the room and her laugh welcomed people to stay and enjoy the paintings.
Throughout the time exhibiting, she is also live painting and all in all that makes this small showcase so special. Each painting is surrounded by the feeling of love, care and sweet, sweet memories.
The space also has bits and bobs that are creating home like feeling.

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The exhibition is closing soon – 6th October, so you have to hurry up!

Rushing to the Princess Quay car park after a long morning, I stopped by another culture spot that Princess Quay successfully offers in the recent year.

HULL GADA – THE SHOP OF POEMS – Polish poet Bohdan Piasecki and his collection of poems from Polish community gathered in his Pop-up Poetry Station across Hull.

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I am not the one for the poetry, but as this week was all about the spoken word and poetry festival CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE, I wanted to engage and understand. And the HULL GADA – THE SHOP OF POEMS was a surprise to my brain. In a strange way I was relating to poems, like they have been written by me at some point in my immigrant life. I would slap anyone who would call me that with mean intentions, but at the end of the story – I am a immigrant looking for a better life. Grown up from the stage of a stranger in this country, I can reflect that I have always looked for a different life – not a better one. But yeah, it was interesting. I used to make the same promise to myself and my family that I will return, now I just know that when the time is right I will live in Latvia, but UK will always be my home nr. 2.

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As the CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE festival was continued to educate and please people, I was busy sorting my work/life out, so by the time I picked out my must-go’s the choice was narrow.


The Poetry Takeaway was an open event in Queens Gardens and ORBITA was performance from creative collective of Latvian poets writing in Russian.

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I was very late to the Queens Gardens The Poetry Takeaway, so I really didn’t get the sniff of what actually happened.

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However I took part in the poetry writing workshop for kids. I had a 10 year old with me, so that was the perfect camouflage. I had fun, but that’s it – I am not a poet in the blood.

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All of this was a very quick insight of what was for offer, but we had brilliant 15 min poetry experience with other participants and little cute lady [in the photo].

I have grabbed a random snap of poetry on the streets too, which I know I missed tickets to….

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I was really intrigued to see ORBITA, of course because they come from Latvia and I rarely or never have been to an event of this kind.

First impression – travels back in time, to some Latvian bloke’s garage where he keeps is radio collection around 1999.

_Z1A8700WEEK39 b The sounds of the radio waves, sound snippets from Latvian or Russian news, old songs and Justin Bieber’s recent song DespasitoThen the poetry started to flow, complimenting the sounds [or other way round]. The poems where read in Russian, translated in English on the screen [with few delays], so it was a multi-all experience.

It was the feeling of home, of my high school days, of my Russian friends, my lack of Russian and seeing Latvians performing in a venue that I usually attend for a good laugh – comedy. Bizarre, bizarre….

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On Sunday it was the case of doing all the unfinished jobs for the week, home class cooking, so I didn’t think there is more space for culture. But then I remembered about the VOICE PARK ad that it is the last day to see it.

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There are no regrets that I went out on a rainy day to see the VOICE PARK in the Pickering Parks Pool.

It was really cool you know – seeing kids and grownups making strange noises, me including. The laughs and the curious faces/ears running around the pools, making connection with geared up speakers… believing that they need to be stroked and loved before communicating.

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I enjoyed the experience and most definitely discovered an inner camel [donkey, whale, cat] because of the noises that come out of my mouth. The children seemed to be extremely pleased – everything is accessible and no restrictions – as loud and often as you wish.

To make it more fun – we gave away our voices and sounds to the future collections and got a magic liquid that makes your words important.

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P.S. Were you near a phone box at 2 PM yesterday for the 2097: WE MADE OURSELVES OVER? I wasn’t because I thought it is today #its2097fail



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Hull City Of Culture 2017 website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hull Queen Victoria Square Water Fountains mum and daughter

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

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


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

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

Drypool Bridge Hull 2017

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

Streetlife Museum Hull people feetStreetlife Museum Hull garden

Hull Streetlife Museum people watching fish in the pond

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

Maritime Memories Machine Van

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

Maritime Memories Machine inside the Van

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maritime Memories Machine Tour in Hull postbox

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

Hull Old Town and City Of Culture flagCouple in Hull

C4DI building and people on the bridge Hull

Poorboy Vintage Clothing Humber Street

Humber Street in Hull Tidal Barrier in the background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humber Street Gallery WORM FESTIVAL performance on bar

This lady was the first one to get on the stage [and the only one I had the patience/time to wait for] and it was a killer- weird one.

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


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.


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!!!!!!!!!


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…


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.

Anete Sooda