There are many talented, creative people in Hull who express themselves through music, art and theatre. You need only spend a few minutes at Freedom Fest, surrounded by the vibrant, expressive artists and musicians to get an idea of how much hull has going on at the moment.
For the latest of my series of artist focused columns I caught up with another Hull born creative, photographer Karim Skalli, for a chat about his work and influences.
At just 21 years of age Karim is an artist who has his roots in Hull. Currently studying at Norwich University of the Arts, he sees Hull as an important and lasting influence on his work. This influence can clearly be seen in his recent work ‘Colour and texture’, a project to capture images of the historic, ageing buildings in the Fruit Market in all of their unique, dilapidated glory. The poetic, serene, almost other worldly work of contemporary artists Rinko Kawauchi and Uta Barth have certainly played a part in helping to shape the photographers style.
As a former student of Hull photographer and lecturer Verity Harr, who Karim lists amongst his great influences, he is an artist who is currently exploring new techniques and styles. His most recent project looks at ordinary scenes, made extraordinary by the effects of light and shadow, while his current work will be exhibited in Hull and Norwich next year.
If you attended the recent Unknown Collective exhibition at the Creator College you may have seen his work on display. The event, that was organised by Mike Blowman and Scott Davies, was attended by a number of talented Hull artists as well as the general public served as a great showcase for around twenty artists who’s work was on display alongside Karim’s.
I asked Karim about the Hull artists he recommends seeking out. “Verity Harr, Anna Bean and Jason Mulligan are some fantastic photographers about at the minute, there are also videographers such as Euan Baker who’s a real talent and illustrators/fine artists Scott Davies, Geoff Keen and Melanie Twigger are well worth looking up.“
As an artist with close links to the city Karim Skalli sees 2017 as an opportunity. An opportunity for creative people to become further involved with the arts in Hull, and for those with a fleeting interest to immerse themselves fully. He also sees the Turner prize as a massive opportunity to see some of the world’s best artists on our doorstep, potentially inspiring a new generation of artists to produce creative work.
You can see more of Karim Skalli’s work on his website: karimskalli.com