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 – 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 – 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 way to the university was one of those where I was purely focused on culture. That feeling and the photos after was missed a little bit in the past few months, so that’s worth mentioning._Z1A0345WEEK51 b

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 49

HOW CLOSE ARE WE UNTIL FINISH LINE FOR 2017, HUH?

THIS WEEK WAS A BIT OF A STRUGGLE AS I WAS RETURNING FROM SUNNY HOLIDAY MID-WEEK AND CATCHING UP WITH WORK.

AT LEAST THE WEEK WAS NOT ONE OF THOSE WHERE I HAD TO SCRAP FOR CULTURE, BECAUSE THERE WAS QUITE A FEW THINGS GOING ON. WEEKEND DELIVERED THE STUNNING FLOE: A CELEBRATION OF THE DEEP AND THE BEAUTY OF SEA.

First however I did some day time catching up with culture. In town an interesting taxi appeared right in time for my culture wonders, which  brightened up my morning.

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My main mission was to visit Hull Streetlife Museum for Lady Chesterfield’s sleigh.

Little that I knew that I’ve seen it before, its been there for ages and Hull 17 was just reminding us of the existing exhibits in Hull. This unique artefact from Hull City Council’s collection is believed to be of Russian origin, dating back to 1810. The front of the passenger’s carriage is painted silver and gold and is shaped like a mythical unicorn.

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And then there was the WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE robots in the gardens.

I’ve heard some feedback from other Hull patriots, culture seekers that it is not as great as expected, but I am leaving it for this week to find out my own thoughts.

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On Sunday, despite my mild hangover and workload, I visited the FLOE: A CELEBRATION OF THE DEEP AND THE BEAUTY OF SEA.

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I had high expectations, considering how amazing the first week of this year kicked off with sound/light installations Made in Hull.

It was nearly as good as Made in Hull, there was little something missing, but I can’t point out what.

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The cold and almost snow added that little bit of magic to the experience.

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Everything is a little celebratory and festive, offices lit up, families gathering – just lovely.

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I am hoping for some more culture this week, something exciting, festive, colourful and maybe magic, but the reality might hit me when the workload is too much.

Desperate to have the second visit to LIMITLESS
It closes on the 13th December and I am really hoping I can get in. The place promised creative change in space and after all the workshops, the change could be impressive.

Fingers crossed.

Happy culture!