As an artist, an as an avid fan of art in more forms that I care to count, these past few weeks in Hull have been a little special. The newly refurbished Ferens Art Gallery is looking great and it’s exciting to see so many visitors taking the time to view the exhibitions, old and new. As a regular visitor to the gallery it made a refreshing change to walk around there last week, in the middle of a week-day morning and see the place busy. If you’ve not yet made it down, it’s one place in Hull that should be seen by everyone at some point.
Head out of the gallery and glance across Queen Victoria Square and you might just spot another art installation. At 75 meters long and weighing 25 tonnes it’s pretty hard to miss. The Blade it’s fair to say, is impressive. I’m just a little bit obsessed with it. I think as a piece of art it’s fantastic. The dramatic, clean lines are beautiful and its position as a kind of monolithic statement of Hull’s future, placed between some of the city’s most historic buildings, is wonderful. It has its detractors of course, as does all art, but for me that makes it even more interesting. It sparks discussion and every time I see it, it puts a smile on my face.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional then Hull University’s Brynmor Jones Library has a brilliant exhibition on at the moment. A beautiful collection of sketches and drawings by some of the world’s most prominent, influential and well respected artists can be seen until 28th February. The 70 pieces of art on display are stunning and range from completed drawings to rough sketches from the likes of Michelangelo, Degas and my own favourite artist, Matisse. Having the opportunity to see these kinds of drawings up-close is wonderful and much like visiting The Ferens, every man, woman and child in the city should see them.
It’s not just the exhibitions in Hull either. Quirky, satirical, clever and intriguing pieces of public art are cropping up everywhere, from billboards to phone boxes and from walls to the pavement under your feet, art is everywhere. For me, there can never be enough. I want to see more art on display, wherever space is available. It brings the city to life and creates little pockets of brilliance to enjoy as you go about your day.
I’m currently involved in a few projects that will shortly see more large-scale public artworks being created on Hull’s streets, so keep your eyes peeled and enjoy.