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.
As I’m writing this we’re half way into another week, brimming with events and cultural happenings across the city. To be in a position where there are quite simply too many things going on, to cover even a small fraction of them, is pretty amazing. As well as art exhibitions and instillations, music events and an eclectic assortment of live theatre, interactive shows and new venues popping up we’ve also seen the unveiling of the stunning mirror pools near Hull Minster.
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.
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.
Hundreds of thousands of people were enthralled by the motion graphics masterpiece that was ‘Made in Hull’. As lights, sound and video electrified the city and drew praise from far-afield, people were effected in truly profound ways. The incredible displays that graced the Maritime Museum and Ferens Art gallery, the Deep and Whitefriargate spoke to Hull, for Hull and about Hull.
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.)
Earlier this week I attended a discussion at Hull University, for the launch of the Culture, Place and Policy Institute, featuring several key people involved in the Hull 2017 programme. There were a lot of very interesting points raised and discussed by the assembled panel, which included chief executive and director of Hull 2017, Martin Green and Darren Henley, the Chief Executive of Arts Council England and former Hull University student.
My new weekly column on arts, music and culture, ‘Calvin on Culture’ in Hull starts tomorrow in the new Hull Daily Mail supplement, Weekend. The column will focus on and ...