Feature

Welcome to Hull

15.02.2017

Text & Photos by Annette Rotz

ArtRabbit was invited to a trip to Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017, to view key exhibitions and new gallery developments featured in the City of Culture programme. Annette Rotz documented her highlights for you.

I recently visited Hull, a north-eastern seaside town in Yorkshire, and winner of the UK City of Culture 2017 award. It’s the second city to hold the title, and the first in England. Currently taking place is a 365-day programme of cultural events inspired by the city. 

Humber Bridge

Humber Bridge - The world's eight-longest suspension bridge, seen from the train on the way into Hull from London.

Humber Bridge The world's eight-longest suspension bridge, seen from the train on the way into Hull from London.


BLADE 

The train station is five minutes from Queen Victoria Square, the city’s centre. In contrast to the historic facades of Hull's Maritime Museum, Ferens Art Gallery, and City Hall sits Blade, a giant installation by multimedia artist Nayan Kulkarni.

Blade

Blade

Blade by multimedia artist Nayan Kulkarni

A readymade blade from a wind turbine, it’s one of the many installations going up all over town as part of the Look Up series. Hundreds more of these energy-harnessing blades will be produced over the course of the year in Hull’s new Siemens factory.

FERENS ART GALLERY

Ferens Art Gallery

Ferens Art Gallery

Ferens Art Gallery

Maritime works - some depicting Hull - hang in the central gallery upstairs.

Ferens Art Gallery

Edith Mabel Gabriel, A Spring Song, 1927

Blade points towards Ferens Art Gallery, which was originally opened in 1927 and houses a large permanent collection from medieval times to today. It’s one of the most important regional galleries in England and recently underwent a £4.5 million renovation. This Autumn it’ll host the Turner Prize.

Currently on is Francis Bacon: Nervous System. Five of his notorious ‘Screaming Pope’ paintings are on display.

"PAINTING IS THE PATTERN OF ONE’S OWN NERVOUS SYSTEM PROJECTED ONTO CANVAS." – Francis Bacon 

Hull

Hull was founded in the late 12th century by monks needing a port to export their wool. 

Hull

Hull

 

THE FRUIT MARKET

The Fruit Market is a cobblestoned cultural quarter along the waterside. Warehouses, restaurants, mews-style homes, and a new contemporary art gallery, Humber Street Gallery, are located there.

Fruit Market

Fruit Market

Fruit Market

Fruit Market

Walking around the Fruit Market district

Thieving Harry's

Thieving Harry's

Lunch at Thieving Harry's on 73 Humber Street 

HUMBER STREET GALLERY

Formerly a fruit and vegetable warehouse, Humber Street Gallery is now a three-storey contemporary art space. On display through 22 March, the Power in Woman exhibit features three sculptures by internationally renowned artist Sarah Lucas, originally commissioned for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The café on the first floor showcases a local landmark, Dead Bod.

Humber Street Gallery

Humber Street Gallery

Sarah Lucas

Sarah Lucas, Margot, 2015

Dead Bod

Captain Len 'Pongo' Rood and Chief Engineer Gordon Mason, Dead Bod, 1960s

Also on display through 22 March is a retrospective from radical arts collective COUM Transmissions, who came to prominence in Hull in the late 1960s. I met one of the early members, Cosey Fanni Tutti, and we talked about Donald Trump, among other things. Cosey said you can’t throw your middle finger up at what’s going on (that’s what they expect you to do!) You’ve got to understand the system if you want to do anything about it.   

Coum

1001 Ways to COUM

Coum

Materials from COUM Transmissions - a music and perforamnce art collective

Coum

Materials from the archives of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge

Coum

Visitors watching and listening to filmed interviews of some of the original members of COUM


THE CITY SPEAKS

Meeting artist Michael Pinsky was one of the highlights of my trip. I caught him installing his 21st-century version of a speakers’ corner, and we tested out my American accent. (It worked! I said my name.) A steel lectern picks up your spoken word, Google language software converts it to text, and then you see your thoughts and feelings (or in my case, “Annette”) crawl up Hull’s iconic tidal barrier down the street in a large dot-matrix font. Who knows what people will end up creating with this piece as it operates over the year.

The City Speaks

Michael Pinsky installing The City Speaks

The City Speaks

The Deep

The Deep, Hull's futuristic aquarium in the distance


THE THINKING MEDIUM

Last but not least, the University of Hull’s Brynmor Jones Library has on a show through 28 February, Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now featuring works from some of the all-time greatest artists. My jaw continued to drop in awe at each drawing I looked at, seventy in total spanning 500 years of drawing, including Leonardo da Vinci, Rodin, Rembrandt, Monet, Mondrian, Picasso, and Hockney.

Annette Rotz is London-based art director, writer, artist and photographer. Follow Annette on  Instagram / Tumblr or visit her website

For more information on Hull UK City of Culture 2017 follow Twitter / Facebook / Instagram or visit www.hull2017.co.uk

Hull on the map