MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 39

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.

POETRY PICNIC: POETRY TAKE AWAY – FRED VOSS and ORBITA was still available.

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.

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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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THE CULTURE MADNESS CONTINUES, THE LAST SEASON LOOKS LIKE A RIGHT TREAT.

 

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

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 33

LATE SUNDAY AND I AM DETERMINED TO QUICKLY DELIVER SOME CULTURE -WEEK 33

FASHION & FREEDOM – IN PARTNERSHIP WITH 14-18 NOW by Freedom Festival Arts trust

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One of the most radical changes during the war was the huge change in women’s lives. With the men away fighting, more than one million women went to work for the first time. These new responsibilities led to a new look, and a century later, this era has inspired Fashion & Freedom, an ambitious, multi-faceted exhibition that examines the fashion legacy of the First World War.
Exquisite craftsmanship courtesy of fashion stalwarts Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton and Sadie Williams are also on display.
A series of specially commissioned original short films complement the garments, including films by directors from Nick Knight’s award-winning SHOWstudio and Luke Snellin, who wrote and directed First, which reimagines a young woman’s first day as a bus conductor.
Source: Hull 2017

This fashion exhibition is like breath of fresh air in the Princess Quay Shopping Centre and for once the exhibits come together nicely with what people visit the shopping centre.

Most of the dresses are a pleasure for the eye, some are so tempting to be touched and put on.

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The same day I had a look at the new arrival in Princess Quay Shopping Centre
Artist Claire Morgan has created the new artwork, named Elephant in the Room, which highlights Hull’s relationship with the sea and reflects on the environment and sustainability. It has been hand crafted, created from 12,000 fragments of paper and 4,270 individual threads.
It is pretty impressive, but you need to know about it, otherwise it just seems like an early Christmas decoration.

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On Thursday I had a stroll down Hull Marina/Fruit Market/Humber Street in the search for a new arrival – graffiti by Calvin Innes and Spray Creative.

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The graffiti murals liven up the place and I like the ever changing face of the streets. + both artists are pretty cool people too.

The morning was a bit dull and quiet – a different scene from few weeks back at the Humbers Street Sesh back when streets were buzzing with people. Humber Street Gallery had its doors closed and it was soooo quiet.

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AND OFF COURSE I HAD TO SEE THE SOLAR GATE SCULPTURE AT QUEENS GARDENS THAT EVERYONE WENT MAD FOR.

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Solar Gate is the latest addition to a host of new public realm artworks, including Shane Rhodes’ poem The City Speaks which encircles the newly-installed fountains in Queen Victoria Square.

I thought that setting out an artistic gallery from few photographers of the giant being installed was pretty rushed and even when I visited it did not looked finished. Patience, patience people.

I think it looks fantastic, Queens Gardens might be the next hot spot for visitors and well deserved – the park is beautiful.

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THIS WEEK MY CULTURE VENTURES ARE RUSHED – I WAS RUSHED ALL WEEK AND MY HEAD OCCUPIED WITH MAD THINGS.
BUT I AM STILL LOVIN’ MY PHOTO CHALLENGE AND SOON I WILL HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO SHOW OFF.

GET CULTURED AND KEEP CALM

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 24

HAPPY 30+ MONDAY.

THE HEAT IS KILLING ME SOFTLY, I AM MELTING AND ACHING AFTER YESTERDAYS HULL 10K. [yes, I ran my first ever Jane Tomlinson’s Hull 10K]

BUT THE WORK WAITS, SO LETS GET STARTED.

 

LAST WEEK WAS BUSY AS LATELY THAT IS ALL I GET, SO I DIDN’T DO AS MUCH CULTURE AS PLANNED.

On Tuesday I photographed a little cultural community accent near Octagon centre in West Hull [ish]. I was in the area doing some serious business and these highly flammable hay “things” have been to my attention for a while. Community around is showing that growing greens, strawberries and things down local street is very much OK. And I agree cos it looks fantastic.

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Plus the area is showing off its own take on Hull City Of Culture 2017 – everyone every were can be part of the #GETCULTUREDMOVEMENT

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ON THURSDAY I WENT DOWN TO HULL STREET FOOD NIGHTS @ZEBEDEE’S YARD/PRINCESS DOCK STREET.

Everything I do most of the time comes with a “but”. This time it was the fact that I only went to the end of the event, because was working and that was the only option. Better late than never, huh?

For a while it has been on my radar, as the HULL STREET FOOD NIGHTS is one of those happy things about Hull and its people. We like our food, drinks and gathering.

Because I went after 8 pm, crowds have eased off and entertainment finished.
I took a stroll through the food stalls, chatted with armed police and enjoyed the rainbow with everyone.

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The images shows just what I was saying before and I am glad I went even though there was possibility that all the food and people will be gone!

If any interest to you – I took home a chicken&bacon&leek pie from THE HULL PIE.

 

GET CULTURED, GET INVOLVED!!! SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 21

Months ago I had a feeling that this week will be the best week of the Hull City Of Culture 2017 photographic challenge and IT WAS F***** AMAZING.

With the sad notes on Tuesday I thought that there is not much that can lift the broken spirits, but it turns out that the unity, togetherness and community spirit will defeat the evil.

WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday I went to the BBC Radio 1’s Academy  to see Bastille for a special Live Lounge.
My reasons for the excitement about BBC Radio 1 being in Hull is simple – that is my radio, my ear-family, my wake up call and I love all the DJ’s, they make me feel like home. Even when I am not in the UK.

Clara Amfo was hosting the Live Lounge and the Q&A with the band.

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I was actually really surprised that I was allowed my “professional gear” in both. Usually I would be told off, but this time it was rather lovely.  For the Q&A I was in the front row because I made good friends with few BBC members. Big “cheer” to BBC staff, security and organisers – really welcoming and helpful.

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And I am like “OMG I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH OF BASTILLE, CLARA AMFO” and I have every right to be over the mooooooon.

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After the splendid time with Bastille I rushed to have a nosy at the actual Academy so I can milk it as much as my time allows.
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Plus I got to speak with to extremely talented photographers Thomas Arran and Shoot J Moore. These two guys I follow religiously on social media streams, they are an inspiration and honestly – motivation. Both have equally a lot of talent, still being different.
I apologise that I behaved like groupie – I think I am one. sorry.

Also a SHOUT OUT TO ALAN RAW – the father of BBC Introducing Humberside, creative director behind the HIP Gallery and other great stuff. He got a shout-out on Mr. Jam’s show the other week and I was really happy getting the broadcast UK wide.

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THURSDAY

The new arrival in Hull  Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition down Princess Dock Street was an interest to me. Just cos the Wild Life Photographer of the Year exhibition in Beverly was so incredible, I thought this is right up that level.

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The content is fantastic, the display alright and I spotted a few favourites. The space was lacking “the interests” and at that time in the morning, people rushed to work, so I really had to be patient.
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SATURDAY

This is not my usual content – politics. But this year I am going to use my vote. On Saturday I went down to Humber Street where an event organised by Anna Bean and the “crew” took place.  We Love Arts and Culture in Support of Labour #GE2017 was the title and because I am trying to understand which labour candidate I would like to vote for, the event was the perfect place for lazy.
I asked a  question of why so many artists choose to vote Labour and I was sold.
Here is some info if you are interested: Arts Policy Lounch from Jeremy Corbin

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People there supported Emma Hardy. And I can see why, her presence is very likable, she seems honest and she understands people and their needs. She was there to speak to people, hear them out. Unfortunately I can’t vote for her, but you can if you live in West Hull or Hessle.

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ART IS FOR MANY NOT FOR FEW

THE LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST – for some obvious reasons I had a quick look in to Kingston Art Group Gallery and got introduced with

WITCHE’S KNICKERS [slang/British] plastic bags snagged in trees and bushes – an exhibition that contains paintings and clothes.
Really liked the paintings and absolutely loved the clothes.
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BLASTING FANTASTIC WEEK AND OFF COURSE THE HIGHLIGHT – BASTILLE AND RADIO 1’s BIG WEEKEND.

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The festival photos will be on the blog within the next week – I shot three rolls of 35 mm film. Really excited to see what will come out.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 19

Another Hull City Of Culture 2017 week has gone by – for me it sometimes feels like I am unaware of so many things happening and my challenge is becoming content-less.

My excuses are workload and prioritising/juggling the life of newly established photographer.

This week I wanted to pay a visit to Artlink Hull, capture some people action in Queen Victoria square and Film&Talk: Dancing with Strangers:From Calais to England [unfortunately I exchanged this activity for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with family].

On Friday I also went down to Hull University for Death Cafe. From a professional/personal point the gathering was so important. For those who have been following me are aware of my photographic END OF LIFE CELEBRATIONS project. The project touches my heart strings, I don’t think that I have ever had such a deep affection with what I am doing as that, so it was good to be surrounded by people who don’t think I am a weird bird. I was also able to reflect on importance of the subject of end of life and death in our lives and that the imagery I have taken has got an original quality.

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The event took place in Derwent building, so I was thrown into this beautiful world of picturesque scenes. For that reason I thought I’ll try and capture some more and celebrate the cityscape of Hull.

 

Artlink Hull was hosting a Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary Shortlist, weeks before the winner exhibits a single exhibition.

Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary offers a bursary and three month residency at high profile gallery to mid-career disabled visual artists based in the UK.

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Anna Berry

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Anna Berry

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I found that this exhibition was quite intimate and with a lot of personal reflections, so enjoyed it with my eyes, rather than behind the lens.

My favourite was Aidan Moesby’s Syndrome (ii). His work explores the Lima And Stockholm Syndromes. For me it was a throwback to the years when I was trying really hard to understand chemistry and the Periodic Table. What the artist has done – every element has a emotion/feeling underpinned and that is what I was feeling when going through it for exams and stuff.
It was a lovely reminder of why I have gone into photography.

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Artlink Hull is a very lovely space with lovely members of staff, so I hope I can go back in the future for some exciting things.

Over the weekend I managed to get out for a bit and I was rewarded – the light seemed to adjust to what I would like to see. It was like I was in control of it.
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It is valuable to see the ever changing city in a good light – we all look better when we are lit with light the right way.

 

This week I am super excited to be going to Depart on Saturday, so that will most likely be my highlight. But if I can I will squeeze in a visit to Ground down Beverley Road, cos that has been on my wishlist for weeks, also the The Train Track and Basket – Claire Barber is on my list.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 11

Week 11 of my challenge being involved in Hull City Of Culture 2017 started off with a little panic – the work load glued me to the computer screen during the days, so how can I go out and be part of the celebration??
Also, the sudden reminder that The Blade is moving on Sunday, made me realise that the unfinished Slinkachu project must be executed this week.

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I finished off the set, little worried of how I am going to get two fragile sets in town.

My aim was to photograph these sets of Slinkachu and Hull City Of Culture 2017 [home-made] flags near The Blade. I’ll explain my reasons later in the post.

 

On Thursday however, I had a meeting in town so to be efficient, I decided that I finally want to visit HIP Gallery in Princess Quay and Hullywood Icons exhibition. There has been a lot of excitement about the exhibition, so I had to see the execution of photographs by Quentin Budworth .

Also, I got Oliver Fisher [very wise man and my accountant/marketing adviser] cultured.

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I have mixed feelings about the exhibition. First, the idea is really good, I like that local “celebs” and “known” people are involved and have been turned into these fantastic characters. The project is about Hull, about the world around us.

But then, I am slightly disappointed about the photographic and editing quality. Photographs are lacking professional quality and post-production on few are quite dreadful [like the one above]. I understand that everything is about the content and we celebrate…but everything from the idea to the end result should be 100% quality.
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Why on earth would you edit this together, if it is a lot more easier to do in real life. It is funny and a bit sad at the same time.

The other problem I had was the information about how the final photographs come together.
Instead if Quentin coming up with the idea of the movie, theme, characters and location/props, he asks to do all this to the people wanting to be part of the project and he just turns up with the camera.

The hype around the artist made me think that the whole thing is set up by the artist, I guess I just have to read in between the lines next time…

Overall, 6 out of 10. Great to see people involved and the ideas in each photograph.

Whilst in the gallery, I had a quick chat with the Creative and Cultural Company volunteers about the upcoming events, exhibitions [need to be informed at all times].

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On our way to the exhibition I approached a familiar face of a Hull City Of Culture 2017 volunteer to make sure I know the exact date/time of The Blade leaving Queen Victoria Square.

It was lovely that she remembered me from another event I went to few weeks ago. When I asked if she could spare a smile, she was more than happy to have her picture taken.
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The same Thursday morning I walked down the  Whitefriargate and Preston Likely’s Amuse Agents – Hull’s Premier Inconvenience Store

I was there on the WEEK 1  of my challenge, but I wanted to have a second look during the day.
Sometimes exhibitions and other art events have to be seen twice to have a complete understanding.

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People still stop by and have a sneaky look. Maybe because some of the posters/photos/adverts are hard to believe or are too bizarre to be true.

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The installation is very much Hull and it feels comforting in a strange way. Sense of unity and a whole…

I don’t really walk through Whitefriargate that often, the shop windows have changed. Years ago it was busy shopping area, but now it is kind of dead.

There a lot of promises given, by the looks of it, so hopefully the area will get its charm back soon.

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There is more…as I was passing the Queen Victoria Square multiple times, I was lucky to see the Roots&Routes season POPPIES: WEEPING WINDOW installation being set up.

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I was trying to get the Hull Maritime Museum in the frame, I climbed on top of the men’s loos, near the monument just opposite the building. Being there for two minutes gives me an opportunity to watch people from above and ohh, there was a few characters.

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This guy was completely from 90’s with his sunglasses/glasses – the ones that you can flop. haha.

SATURDAY.

On Saturday I neatly packed my Slinkachu sets and headed in town.

I draw a lot of attention from the public and volunteers, as they wanted to know what is going on.

One of them kindly tried to help me with the execution.

 

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Sadly there was problems.
The first one was the equipment – 24-70 mm 2.8 and 85 mm 1.8 did not cope with the small set.
My phone camera [Huawei Leica] did a much better job.
I will have to get my hands on a macro lens to be able to photograph this properly. In the past I have tried Slinkachu technique, but with much bigger figures, so I was kind of expecting the failure, but hoped that I will find a compromise.

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The reason why I wanted to create this is to express how I feel around The Blade – I feel small and being put on a scale. The Blade is fascinating piece of structure [art now] and no one can pass it without feeling something.

I also struggled to position the set, so that it looks like real life [the whole idea behind Slinkachu], I was even on my knees in the square.

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The plan did not work, but I have kept the sets and will find a way how to make this work.
I also have another set for a attraction point in Hull, so keep your eyes out for that.

 

SUNDAY.

 

On Sunday I walked down to Humber Street Market. My purpose was to photograph a lovely family business BLOSSOM’S BAKERY stall and try their gluten free, vegan cakes and other sweet things.

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Such a lovely lady/family, everything made with love and I wish them the best luck in succeeding.

Off course, I spent a bit more time and money in the market.
But I have to say, that Hull now has a regular socialising place and if you are super bored at home, you have an opportunity to get out and do something.

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Last but not least, I visited the Female Gaze exhibition at the Kingston Art Group Gallery and spent QUALITY TIME with Anna Bean.
She got me and Melanie THE KID cultured, along with other artists featured in the exhibition. We chatted about the meaning of female gaze, about narcissism and how complicated art can be.

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As you can see I have been here, there and everywhere, bringing you the most random combination of Hull City Of Culture 2017 so far.

Until writing the finishing lines to this post, I did not realise how much I’ve managed to pack in this week.

I will see you next week with more exciting stuff.

Love

Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL- WEEK 3

Hello on a very exciting Monday!

BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show and my fave Nick Grimshaw early this morning announced that BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend is coming to Hull.

Honestly seconds before he revealed the city, I was like “it must be Hull, cos City Of Culture, Hull, Hull, common ‘Ull”

So I am super excited and I will do anything in my power to be there, cos awesome photo opportunity and Kings Of Leon.

Here is more info available:

City Of Culture 2017 Radio 1 Big Weekend Hull

Anyway…
Last week was the third week of the City Of Culture 2017.

I was obsessed with the blade and tried to get there on a Wednesday EARLY sunny morning. The weather forecast failed and it was dark, damp, but getting out early meant no crowds….

Early mornings are interesting when you are not part of the early hours rush.
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To my very disappointment The Blade even though available to myself, was not much easier to photograph. I am either giving up on trying to capture the lengthy beast from the grounds or I have to learn how to fly….

Interesting is the fact that during a normal rush hour morning, The Blade is just part of the landscape for those who pass it on their way to work, workman, seagulls…

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The same morning I also went to Hull Maritime Museum to see the BOWHEAD.

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The experience proved that I really need to be in a mood for a therapeutic session with whales floating on a screen, accomplished with “smooth” music.

I also went to the Ferens Open Exhibition official opening or private view.

I am honoured to be part of the exhibition although on the opening night I was in the same blender as other artists. The good news is that the opening was very crowded, full of culturally interested people and with a pride I was looking at my two prints, thinking how the hell did I got in here.

The bad news is that Ferens Art Gallery did not listened to me when I told them that my name needs changing on the catalogue, so for those who don’t know me by Anete Martinsone – nice to meet you.

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AND on Saturday morning I headed to Princess Quay for the POP UP ART GALLERY RUN BY CHILDREN. 

Princess Quay cleverly use the retail space that is empty for art exhibitions and I think it is a great way how to utilize space.

I was left with a very warm feeling that kids are all about the Hull, as well as grown ups.

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Again, just being involved is what this challenge is about. I might not been as entertained as I was during Made In Hull week, but I for what is worth – I am improving my relationship with Hull and its community.

Thank you