As a student in Hull one of my favourite haunts was The Sailmakers Arms as they hosted a weekly Jaz night (which also included a quiz and free chips, both staples of a film student’s life). Each week I, along with an ever-changing assortment of friends, acquaintances and drinking buddies would descend on the pub, before heading to the live music area upstairs. There we would drink and listen to an eclectic mix of the good, the great and the questionable as they played original songs and Jazz classics. It is, and always will be, one of my lasting memories of being a student in Hull and helped to solidify my love of Jazz.
Hull is a place with a bright future, thanks in no small part, to the numerous changes and developments we’ve seen take place over the last few years. The things that make Hull the city it is however, are based in it’s past. They are attitudes and stories that have grown from the city’s rich and compelling history, it’s people, the families that have called Hull their home and those who we have welcomed, and said farewell to as they leave, often carrying a piece of Hull in their heart.
This week saw the first Hull Street Food Festival draw in over ten thousand people, who filled the newly refurbished, regenerated and revitalised Trinity Square and made a part of town that has for many years been neglected, feel vibrant and exciting. The bustling festival was just the latest in a long line of events and exhibitions in recent months that showed how far Hull has come, and how far it is going as a result of being named City of Culture.
Next month sees a stunning audio-visual production coming to Hull in the form of Addictive TV’s Orchestra of Samples. Having spent the last five years filming, sampling, collating and editing pieces from over 200 musicians from across the world, Addictive TV – the joint alias of audio/video remixers and electronic artists Graham Daniels and mash-up guru Mark Vidler (aka Go Home Productions) have combined those pieces to create what is effectively a super-group, consisting of artists who have, in most cases, never even crossed paths.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to work with dozens of young people from across the city on a range of different projects. It’s been amazing to see the passion, creativity and drive of young people of all ages across the city. They are a clear indication that the future of the city, it’s art, it’s creative businesses and it’s music are in safe hands.
As the city centre bids farewell to the stunning installation that was The Blade, we welcome more art in the form of the incredible, moving and poignant installation that is the Weeping Window.
A cascade of thousands of brilliant red hand-made ceramic poppies can be seen pouring from a window high up on the Maritime Museum, to the ground below, inviting viewers to consider the huge sacrifices made by British and Colonial soldiers during the First World War. Hull becomes the latest city become home to the sculptural installation by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper as audiences are asked to consider, discuss and reflect upon the legacy of the First World War and indeed, subsequent wars.
Young people in Hull aged 11-14 have been challenged to take part in a prestigious painting competition as part of a public art commission to be unveiled at Hull Central Library on 25 March. The competition is looking for anyone who fits into the age-bracket to get involved, no matter what their perceived artistic ability may be. This is about being creative, expressing ideas and taking part.
Another week, another plethora of cultural and creative goodies to be found across the city. Seeing the iconic Dead Bod on public display in the newly opened Humber Street Gallery is wonderful. It looks great in its new home where people are now able to fully appreciate the piece that has grown to represent Hull’s past, and future so well. Not bad for a piece of graffiti scrawled on some old corrugated steel.
We are one week in and it’s fair to say that the year has started in impressive fashion. The city centre is looking great, interesting and intriguing exhibitions have been popping up around every corner, the huge firework display that lit up the sky last week drew the attention of the world’s media and the audio-visual displays across the city have been nothing short of mind-blowing. (That’s no exaggeration, they have been incredible.)
As someone who spends quite a lot of time travelling around the country, meeting creative people from all walks of life in some of the country's best cities, it's always interesting to hear people's opinion on Hull.