Evidence keeps piling up that Hull’s enjoying a cultural renaissance – just ask the toads…
Coming off the back of a brilliant Humber Street Sesh that saw bands, artists and people from all walks of life come together to eat, drink, dance and be merry Hull’s cultural freight train keeps on rolling. Hull Fest is just around the corner and promises to be bigger and better than last year. Fantastic artistic projects are appearing with increasing regularity, from exhibitions of photography to street art and everything in between. As someone who is passionate about art and creativity it’s an exciting time to be in the city.
Those looking for further evidence of the artistic and creative strides Hull is making need only visit Queens Gardens today and look up to the Larkin Toad floating overhead. This weekend is the finale of a week long ‘tour’ by the huge inflatable toad that was kicked off on Wednesday in Bransholme before moving to Stonebridge Park, then Massey Playing Fields and finally Queens Gardens in the city centre. The ‘If Toads Had Wings’ event is a combination of storytelling and puppetry with activities for young people and a mobile gallery.
The ‘Larkin With Toads’ project back in 2010 was an indication of what Hull is capable of when it comes to creating and exhibiting public art. The project gained considerable attention and praise and is fondly remembered by many people in Hull and far beyond. While many of the original toads were auctioned off, 11 of them remain on display around the city. If you’ve not yet been ‘toad spotting’ it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
It’s is now five years on from the original project and the toads are back, once again thanks to Larkin25. This weekend current owners of the original Larkin Toads have been invited to add their toad to the trail by opening their gardens or sites to visitors, meaning more people will get to enjoy the original pieces. This forms part of the celebrations around the fifth anniversary of the toads hitting the streets of Hull and marking the 30 year anniversary of Philip Larkin’s death.
A great place to discover artistic and cultural events in Hull is via Roots & Wings. For those who are unaware, Roots and Wings are an organisation in Hull who are supported by the Arts Council and tasked with creating, exploring, exposing and celebrating art in the city. They are involved in a host of events and initiatives to bring art and culture to people in Hull leading into 2017 and well beyond.
This week has seen the launch of their new website where you can find out more, and get involved : artforhull.co.uk