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 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 50

 

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Photo above well describes my poor week with the culture.

My highlights were supposed to be the end of LIMITLESS and bringing home Christmas tree to start of the festive part of Hull 17 +bits of festive culture along the way.

But like those pigeons, I was crumbled down in the corner when it came to indulge in the culture.
Last week was not bad, but there was too much of everything else, I just couldn’t cope.

On the bright side – I made an extra effort to visit LIMITLESS on one of the last days.

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I wish they could leave the place open as permanent creative space for everyone, it was inspiring to be surrounded by the culture-everything from the new generation.

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As I visited on its last hour of opening after 8 PM, it was quiet and empty. The noise, laughter and busyness was gone and it was just the space.

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The change was not as dramatic as I expected after the visit on the very first day it opened, however I noticed new features and amazing work kids have done with Debi Keable

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Be Kind was part of the Worlds Kindness Day and the workshop took place in LIMITLESS as well as in libraries across the city while ago.

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And then a little Christmas decorations, because we are in that time of the year.

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I will dearly miss LIMITLESS and I hope we can have annual celebrations of new generation in one place.

The Christmas tree event isn’t really a culture thing, but I wanted to make it part of my week, as it was my birthday too and it is my own tradition to get the tree on my birthday.
Unfortunately my other half was too busy to be part of that, so I have no Christmas tree [not yet] therefore no Christmas magic photos.

The week was difficult, I was working every day of the week on different clients, so when reflecting on week – how did I manage to get any culture photos?

Just to note – the end of the year is fast approaching and I feel like I have to really dig deep for culture…and I am not liking this at all.
This week is pre-Christmas panic – post processing and more photo work to be done, but I have made a wish list:

 

+Massive congratulations to Coventry being named as UK City Of Culture 2021

You are in for an amazing experience!!

 

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!

 

 

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 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?