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 – WEEK 46

ON THE WEEK WHEN HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ARRIVED TO HULL I CONTINUED TO PHOTOGRAPH HULL COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017 AND WIZ AROUND HULL FOR CULTURE.

BUT THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT HIGHLIGHT IN MY WEEK – I MET THE GREAT BRITISH PHOTOGRAPHER MARTIN PARR, WHO I DEARLY ADMIRE. SINCE INTRODUCED TO HIM WHILST STUDYING A DEGREE IN PHOTOGRAPHY [A DISSERTATION ON MARTIN PARR AND KITSCH LATER..] I HAVE NEVER STOPPED LOVED HIS WORK. MARTIN PARR’S WORK HAS A MASSIVE INFLUENCE ON MANY YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHERS AND OF COURSE ME.

MARTIN PARR WAS PART OF THE HULL BEERMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL AND HE CHOOSE THE BEST OUT OF THE SHORTLIST CURATED BY GRAEME OXBY. AND ON WEDNESDAY HE WAS IN HULL, KARDOMAH 94 TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS AND TALK ABOUT HIS LIFE AND WORK.

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I HAVE TO SAY MASSIVE THANK YOU TO KARDOMAH 94 FOR HAVING ME THERE AS THEIR GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER [BASICALLY AN EXCUSE TO SEE MARTIN PARR] AS I WAS NOT ABLE TO GET THE TICKET AND I WAS NOT PART OF THE LUCKY 20 WINNERS.

ON MY ARRIVAL I SAW MARTIN PARR MUNCHING ON SOME PASTA, PAST HIM GIGGLING MY WAY THROUGH. I REALLY FELT LIKE AN OBSESSED FAN TO JUSTIN BIEBER. LONG STORY SHORT – I HAD TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH MARTIN PARR. FIRST ONE WHERE I CALLED HIM MY MADONNA AND MADE HIM FEEL AWKWARD BY SAYING THESE LOVELY THINGS ABOUT HIM – EMBARRASSING!!!! SECOND – BIT MORE ADULT AND PROFESSIONAL – ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY AND COMPETITION.

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HE IS SO CHILLED AND DOWN TO EARTH – OR AS HE LIKES TO DESCRIBE HIMSELF AS VERY MUCH MIDDLE CLASS. OH, WELL. HE IS DEFINITELY MY IDOL IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND I WAS HONOURED TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS HIM.

HE ALSO IS GIFTED WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOUR AND HE USED THAT TO TALK ABOUT HIS RECENT PHOTO PROJECT HULL, PORTRAIT OF A CITY: OLIVIA ARTHUR AND MARTIN PARR – HUMBER STREET GALLERY.

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THE HULL BEERMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL WAS AN INTERESTING PROJECT WITH A CREATIVE IDEA BEHIND – PEOPLE HAVE THEIR SAY ON CELEBRATING HULL THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY PEOPLE – NOT PROFESSIONALS [WHICH IS WHY I MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN SELECTED HA] AND BRINGING THE 20 PHOTOGRAPHS TO HULL PUBS – ON BEERMATS.

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THIS WAS A VERY HAPPY HOUR IN MY LIFE. AND JUST TO END THIS CHAPTER – MARTIN PARR REVEALED THAT HE ALWAYS HAD TO DO COMMERCIAL WORK TO SUPPORT HIS STRANGE PROJECTS. WHICH MAKES SENSE, BUT IT WAS ANOTHER REMINDER OF THE STRUGGLES OF BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER, TRYING TO MAKE LIVING AND KEEPING THE DIGNITY, CREATIVITY AND ORIGINALITY.

 

 

Last week was super busy as the week was full-on comedy gigs night after night, plus other jobs, so I had to be smart with the culture I was looking for and taking photos. Basically I had two hours on Thursday.

First – whilst doing my research of what is going on, I tried to look for the less mainstream events/exhibitions and came across a small display at Hull&East Riding Museum – EXPLORING ISLAMIC COLLECTIONS. Small just because I’ve seen it and it is small. But still interesting.

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Hull&East Riding Museum is one of those that remind me of the dreadful school trips to the boring history museums. But as a grown up I have learned that I don’t have to be interested in everything displayed. And to appreciate the classics and at least attempt loving the history is already a thumbs up.
And I really appreciated the massive mammoth and ancient PC. Kind of made my day by looking at these silly reminders of humanity.

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..because there was mammoths in East Yorkshire once upon a time..

 

On my way there, I was also appreciating Hull. I was rushing, but I still find time to stop and watch Hull and people. This time I followed a group of tourists getting some Hull themed walks with a guide.

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Also finally took a photo of the newly refurbished Beverley Gate… kind of… it is very flat. This might be one of those subjects that only make sense with people in the scene..to be continued._Z1A4739WEEK 46 b_Z1A4730WEEK 46 b

 

Same day, same two hour slot I spotted and took photographs of the new roboty light installation things. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? by JASON BRUGES STUDIO is currently being installed in at Beverley Gate, Trinity Square and the Museum Quarter in advance of the artwork’s grand opening on Friday 1st December.

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To finish of the culture surprises I happened to see Hull Maritime Museum and Ferens Art Gallery lit up with stars. No tripod to hold the steady shot meant just a quick snap. I am sure that there will be more light installation surprises and I might get a tripod out for these special occasions.

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+ AS MENTIONED BEFORE HULL COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017 WAS IN FULL SPIN SO I PHOTOGRAPHED FIVE FANTASTIC NIGHTS OF COMEDY. ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS WAS THE BEST OF ‘ULL WITH AN AMAZING LOCAL LINE UP AND  MY FAVES THE KAGOOLS.

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NEXT FEW WEEKS ARE AGAIN BUSY BUSY, SO I WILL BE SUPER HAPPY IF I CAN FIND TIME FOR SOME CULTURE. ANY GOOD SUGGESTIONS?