MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – OCTOBER 2018

Fashionably late on the 6th of November with great pleasure I am writing this. October’s quote would be “you get what you give” or what you put in, so not much. All feelings from annoyed to sad, including the feeling that I have missed all the good, run through my mind today.
I guess that at this stage of my career the reality hits hard and I shouldn’t really be sad that my photography is going so well that I don’t have spare time to wonder around galleries and events. But I can’t help to feel disappointed in myself.

With meeting with ENRG mentor I combined Artist Takeover at Queens House Showcase and on the last day of HIP Festival at HIP Galleries I rushed to Princess Quay. Boom. That’s all. Short and sweet.

Artist Takeover @Queens House Showcase

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This little exhibition space is one of the hidden gems in the city centre and I always want for the space to be filled with culture lovers. Because it is always worth the visit.
This was the second Artist Takeover showcasing local talents in various mediums.
Artist links below, but photos[sorry] not in the right order most likely.

Esther Cawley

Lilly Williams

 

Milly Rose

Sue Feve

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HIP Festival 2018

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Having been part of the Creative and Cultural and HIP Gallery in the past, I have a bit of a love for them. But going on the last day didn’t show the festival at its best. Couple of spaces were closed and a chance to see David Morris talk about his work promised, but not delivered.
On the bright side – I saw the latest work of Peter Dench [I LOVE PETER DENCH] and have a good old chat with the volunteers was pleasant too.

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Peter Dench has taken on the BREXIT and it was like that comfort food on a rainy day.

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Brian Griffin usual [from previous e exhibitions] black&white mixed with amazing colourful photographs that made me stop and look twice. Brilliant!

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Both Open Exhibitions not really to my taste, but I celebrate the fact that local photographers are given the opportunity to showcase their work.

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Last both not least – Buckingham Street monkey business mural that I absolutely love.

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November promises to be just as manic as October, so I have serious concerns about spare time and culture wonders.

However I have a wish list:

  • Hull Comedy Festival 2018 [not officially there, but really want to photograph at least one gig]
  • Portraits at Sea Hull Maritime Museum
  • Usual galleries if I have a chance – Humber Street Gallery, Brynmore Jones [Alec Gil exhibition coming up soon], Queens House Showcase and GROUND.
  • and the things I can’t remember at this moment in time, but are somewhere in my head.

Well, I think there is no denying that I am very distant from this amazing thing I used to do and not really doing now, but it’s not by choice.

Ahhhhhhhh……

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 – 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?

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 51

You may well wonder of why I am not making Christmas happening, instead writing weekly culture…

Life sometimes is full of lemons, I certainly have bucket full of lemons for past week and for Christmas. Culture and Hull 17 events have actually dragged me out of the misery this week. Having a focus on happy things has saved me.

At the beginning of last week I made a wishlist and I was very lucky to tick two points from the list:

But first.

HULL BEERMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL and the beer mats where found. At Larkins Bar Hull down Newland Avenue.

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Still sulking a little bit, but the material they are made from means they won’t last forever and we may need another competition in few years time.

 

Second. I was trying to Christmas shop this week and the madness, greed and consumerism wasn’t really a surprise. These photographs were taken way before it was appropriate to talk Christmas, but few weeks on and I think its worth sharing Princess Quay decorations.

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During the week I had some time to walk down Newland Avenue on my way to Brynmore Jones Library and PAINTING POWER: THE ART OF TERENCE CUNEO and aww, it was so lovely to see how local community is celebrating this wonderful time. Well done and thank you for a big smile on my face.

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The viewing experience was pretty cool and will last in my memory for a long time. Mainly because of the volunteers and how that change my experience.

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First circle around the exhibition was my usual self – instead of seeing the whole picture, I pay attention to details – frames, lighting, detail in artwork. And sometimes it is very brief. Like I am there, but not there.

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I was already leaving when approached by a volunteer. She asked me what I thought about the paintings and have I seen Hull and the Queen, have I seen the mice… Half an hour later I was inlove with Cuneo. 

We – the ordinary people sometimes need help to see the art. I have a lot of cultural background, I have seen a lot and even did a degree in arts. But I still need help and guidance. Or someones passion for art.
And I am so thankful for the conversation, knowledge and passion to the lovely volunteer.

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The same applies to volunteers at Where Do We Go From Here. They deserve a medal for what they do, I even told them I love them. Haha.

Hull on the night is full of character when the time is right and even the few drunk lads did not spoil it for me.

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I finally had the chance to see the robots.

First I headed to Trinity Square.

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They are rising the question of where do we go from here after this year, but I really have to use my imagination to believe in that. But Where Do We Go From Here are fascinating light and machinery installations. The robots make me feel alive in the 2017 being aware of the changing technologies and times. Being aware that humans can’t be fed with the same things, we need something striking to make us think and pay notice.

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The robots are way cool, that is undeniable, but do they pay justice to the year we had?

 

Last but not least. I had a tripod. I haven’t used tripod since I left university. I was excited like a little child getting a unicorn for a birthday. For that reason I went to the Queen Victoria Square and Queens Gardens to photograph Christmas lights and few other low light actions.

First I was very impressed by the building opposite to Queens Gardens that is home to The Warren.

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And here I am. Week away from the end. THE END. THE END.

It is so bizarre to think that whole photo challenge started as an idea. The weekly photo wonders have literally turned my year around by 360 degrees. Amazing. Wonderful. I am proud and thankful.

52 weeks of people, places, jobs, opportunities, surprises, disappointments and love for Hull.

I wish everyone who’s been part of my journey, or reading my blog a very Merry Christmas and unforgettable 2018.
Love
Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 47

ON THE WEEK WHEN I WAS LOOSING THE PLOT COS BUSY…

SERIOUSLY SCRAPING FOR CULTURE THIS WEEK, WHY? YEAR IS COMING TO A CLOSE AND THINGS REALLY SLOWING DOWN?!

 

LIST FOR THIS WEEK:

I was in town, I went back to the WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? by JASON BRUGES STUDIO  to get a better angle, because these giant mystery units might change or disappear in next few days.

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I can’t wait until they reveal the “magic”.

 

The same day I was a witness to the preparations to CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH ON PREP which is a massive attraction to everyone in Hull. the word Christmas now is on everyone’s vocabulary and of course the event is expected to be AMAZING, cos Hull 17.

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I loved how taken from a specific angle, I was able to imagine that Ferens Art Gallery is moved to rich and green woodlands.

Event organisers and workforce was running like little bee’s and I felt a bit sad that I will miss the light switch-on.

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People, however most of the time minded their own daily business.

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On Thursday I had a meeting in QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE and I was lucky to see the CLAIRE HOLDSTOCK’S RUIN VALUE.

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THESE ARE NOT COLOURED PORK SCRATCHINGS – JUST IN CASE YOU WONDERED.

The artwork is very pleasant – in and out of context. I really want to find out more about the artwork and I might attend one of the many drop-in sessions at the Queens House Showcase on the 7th December.

On Saturday the big hype about the COCA- COLA TRUCK TOUR UK – KINGSTON UPON HULL was very obvious – the traffic in town and masses of people in general and quite honestly I was not sure I can be asked. It wasn’t really about the culture, it was very cold and do I really want to ruin my childhood vision about the Coca-Cola Christmas adverts, Santa Claus and the magic truck???

But I happened to be in the area, so eeehhh – why not.

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Quite honestly – there was no feeling of Christmas spirit and there was no chance that I would wait 30 min to get a SMALL can of ice cold Coca-Cola.

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But there was a lot of people making the most of it and that is always worth celebrating.

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Last but not least – all week I have been hopelessly making visits to Princess Quay for the CENTRE OF ATTENTION 

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Twice I visited and the shutters were hiding potentially one of the most interesting exhibits this season.
On Friday, I found out it is open from the 24-26th November. Lovely. But this is a lesson to learn for the future.

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After a quick sneak around I thought – I don’t have enough, I want more of this creative madness. The brave people who are wearing prosthetics are worth celebrating anyway, they have moved on and making the most of their lives. But this is the next level awesomeness. I would definitely like to see more of this. And not just in the galleries – on the streets [although probably not very practical] and definitely in the fashion magazines, fashion shows, runways. Amazing!!!!!!

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NEXT WEEK AND FOR THE FUTURE I HAVE A TO DO LIST, THE MOST EXCITING THINGS ARE PROBABLY THE LIMITLESS AND LOOK UP: FLOE – HEINRICH AND PALMER

 

HAPPY CULTURE PEOPLE.

 

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 43

Week 43 of photo challenging myself with Hull17 has been a bit of a weeeirrrd one. I was feeling snoozy, poorly and busy all week and the culture just seemed to slip through my hands. However – I did see The Sixteen Thousand at C4DI, PRACTICE IN PROGRESS at Queens House Showcase run by CreativeENRG and 1% of the current HIP PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL at Princess Quay.
And then on Saturday – my snooziest day of the week I woke up to realise that I need to get some fresh air and had a stroll through Humber Street just before it gets drunk and celebratory.

The Sixteen Thousand was a planned trip to C4DI.

_Z1A0180WEEK 43 bI was one of the first ones there and it felt like the little clay brick exhibit is undergoing some work processes. The workman boots near the entrance where suggesting so.

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It turned out that someone from a building company was there to measure and asses each individual brick for a little future monument.

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The Sixteen Thousand is incredible collection of little imprints of the new generation. My favourite bricks are the wonky ones. Nothing is perfect in this remarkable world so to see the little bricks not being manufactured perfect makes more sense out of this world.

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Last week I really wanted to see the HIP PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL in full. But I was time pressure so I just passed by and looked at small part of the festival located on the ground floor of Princess Quay.

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On Thursday I had a meeting at the Queens House Showcase  and I wanted to take an advantage of it and see the new PRACTICE IN PROGRESS exhibition. It hosts two artists, Both graduates of Hull School of Art & Design – Matt Hopper and Adam John Wilson.

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The artwork speaks in detail, precision and I really wanted to chat with artists to know more about their work. But one of the artists was not present, the other one was busy, so I hope to return there at some point before it ends on the 10th November and have a chat with the artists.

I was not sure about the UNDEAD BOD thing, I had so many questions of why, how, when and where, but again, I need to hear from the artist before make any judgements.
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By Saturday I was drained and really wanting to be in bed. I didn’t expect any more culture, but there was a point when I had to have some fresh air. And I rarely have the opportunity to see Humber Street on the night time[when it or I am sober], so I happily brought a camera.
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Shop windows/gallery windows, bars, restaurants are so different when the sun settles and I was feeling that little bit privileged to be able to see all this and call it my city.

So yeah medium-excited culture week last week, but the madness will begin this Thursday when the Hull Comedy Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary. I am the official photographer third year running and I am well excited to see all the acts – old, new, famous, local. EXCITEEEED.
Hopefully I will have time this week to share some long lost photographs from the last comedy gig I photographed ages ago – before the madness begins.

Happy culture, people!!!!