MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JUNE 2018

It’s a bit an alien moment to type in the “MY CITY OF CULTURE…” as I feel like its been ages since I wrote about culture.

June was a month that barely existed in the means of culture engagement.
Half of it I worked my arse off and half of it I spent away in Latvia. There was very little time to get cultured. Plus, here we are again – late [3rd July]

There was two highlights, plus one that’s has no art culture, but still a social culture.

Humber Street Gallery  IT TAKES A VILLAGE

53 DEGREES MUSIC ORGANISED GIG AT ZEBEDEE’S YARD SLAVES AND DREAM WIFE

JANE TOMLINSON RUN FOR ALL ASDA FOUNDATION HULL 10K

Therefore I will short and sweet.

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IT TAKES A VILLAGE is something very pleasant for the eye, but difficult at times to digest for the mind. Right – I don’t mind sarcasm, consumerism concerned slogans and taking the piss out of stupidity and our generation problems, but can we have something new for a change.

The displays are full of professional skill and technical abilities, beautiful light installations and textile masterpieces and clever use of space. But deep inside I wish there was art about dreams, aims, goals, unicorns and pink flamingos. I laugh at our century, our society is a bit of a mind fuck to understand, so can I have something that we all have hidden deep inside – hope that everything will be fine, hard work pays of kind of message, dream big-reach your goals kind of theme.

I seriously need some cheese in my life or a faith in humanity. So the experience of the exhibition is divided.

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53 DEGREES MUSIC in co-operation with The Warren Youth Project organised a amazing gig with DREAM WIFE and SLAVES headlining. I actually won the tickets via their competition and that sent me off as the happiest person ever. I was torn between enjoying myself [drinks’n that] and running the JANE TOMLINSON RUN FOR ALL ASDA FOUNDATION HULL 10K the next day, but you can have it all, I enjoyed both to the fullest.

There was no official permission for me to take photos, but of course I couldn’t resist to have few snaps with SLAVES.

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The energy was amazing. Thank you for giving the opportunity 53 DEGREES MUSIC

 

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Above actual proof that everything is possible. With my friends we cheer and celebrate at the JANE TOMLINSON RUN FOR ALL ASDA FOUNDATION HULL 10K
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Just as the finishing touch for the June culture wonders. The street art/graffiti/mural culture that is peaking in recent year is really making me smile. I keep spotting cool wall art and noting down to take photos of those.
This one is located in Fruit Market area. I have few spotted down Holderness Road and Beverley Road which I need to visit this month.

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Keep the culture going people!

 

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MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – MAY 2018

HELLO CULTURE LOVERS AND FOLLOWERS

I AM JUST GONNA PRETEND IT IS NOT THE 8th JUNE …. OK, I AM 8 DAYS LATE TO PUBLISH MY HULL CULTURE STORIES.

GOOD NEWS IS – I HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY BUSY PHOTOGRAPHING AWESOME THINGS. MY PHOTOGRAPHERS LIFE IS AS MANIC AS I WANT IT TO BE, LOVE THOSE “OFFICE” DAYS WHEN MY “DESK” IS NEAR SEASIDE OR WITH INSPIRING MUMS IN HULL, OR WITH AMAZING PEOPLE FROM ESKIMOSOUP DRIVING AROUND EAST YORKSHIRE.. LOVE ALL THAT.

OK, CULTURE BUSINESS. MAY WAS LIVELY, ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH WHEN MOST OF MY CONTENT WAS CREATED.

FERENS ART GALLERY – MASTERPIECES IN FOCUS FROM THE ROYAL COLLECTION

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20% INSPIRED BY INSTAGRAM FAVOURITE STEFAN DRASCHAN

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P.S. I USED TO DO THAT A LITTLE BIT ANYWAYS, BUT NOW THAT IS AN OFFICIAL FOCUS POINT.

FERENS ART GALLERY CLANGERS, BAGBUSS&CO

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THIS WAS AN EXHIBITION OF CONFUSION ALTHOUGH LOVELY CONTENT. I HAVE NO SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT TO “Bagpuss, see the Soup Dragon and behold Noggin the Nog. Oliver Postgate’s voice and Peter Firmin’s puppets shaped the childhood memories of millions since they started collaborating in the 1950s. As well as telling the story of Bagpuss and The Clangers, the exhibition goes behind the scenes of their other creations; Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.Discover original puppets, sets and filming equipment. See how characters developed, and learn how Oliver and Peter developed their stop-frame animation techniques alongside a selection of toys and puppets from Hull Museum’s permanent collection.”

SOURCE: HULL17 WEBSITE

 

BUT I SAW SOME LOVELY SMILES, FEEDBACK AND GENERAL SENTIMENT AROUND THE PUPPETS AND SETS.

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REALLY IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHT OF MINE – HULL COLLEGE STRIKES WITH UCU HULL

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FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ME WILL UNDERSTAND MY ANGER. MY CAREER STARTED THERE, HULL SCHOOL OF ART&DESIGN WERE PART OF MY JOURNEY IN BECOMING A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER AND BEING ABLE TO WORK AS ONE IS A LIFE CHANGING THING TO HAVE AS LEGACY OF EDUCATION. SO I WROTE TO EMMA HARDY, I WROTE TO HULL DAILY MAIL MY VIEWS ON JOB CUTS AND COURSE REMOVALS.

HERE IS A BIT OF THAT:

“I am taking the time to write because I feel incredibly let down by Hull College Chief Executive Michelle Swithenbank, who has announced plans to cut 231 jobs as part of a five year reconstruction plan to make the organisation financially self-sufficient.
Reconstruction implies that something is broken and needs to be made whole again. That is not my experience at HSAD at all. My course provided me with everything I needed: knowledgeable and experienced tutors, well equipped facilities and a varied curriculum that included studio photography, use of film cameras, printmaking, filmmaking and business skills. It was a life changing three years that gave me an opportunity to build important foundations that I needed in order to work as a photographer in the real world. I spent three years surrounded by experienced, clever and intelligent photographers and artists who made me believe that anything was possible. They pushed me to achieve my goals and challenged negative and small thinking, opening my eyes to what I could achieve.
I understand the need for the college to be financially solvent and am appalled to hear that college leaders have allowed a £10m deficit to be racked up and that an additional £1m plus deficit is forecast (as reported in the Hull Daily Mail, 8 May 2018). However I do not feel that full consideration has been given to alternative money saving or money making measures. Innovative ideas like broadcasting live tutorials in photography, film-making and computer game design would put Hull where it deserves to be – at the forefront of creative education. Opening up facilities to the public and local businesses would also generate additional income. Can Michelle Swithenbank really tell us that job cuts is the only way out of the mess?”

I ALSO DID MY PART AND WENT DOWN TO ONE OF THE STRIKES TO TAKE SOME PHOTOS.

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THIS MIGHT NOT SEEM LIKE A VERY CULTURAL TOPIC, BUT IN FACT IT IS, BECAUSE HULL SCHOOL OF ART&DESIGN IS PART OF CREATING A NEW GENERATION OF ARTISTS.

IT WAS ALL A BIT DAUNTING, BUT THE SUN WAS OUT AND EVERYONE UNITED FOR ONE IDEA. AND THIS WILL BE THE CHANGING POINT FOR FUTURE, BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO CARE, WILL NEVER LET THINGS GO EASY. WELL DONE TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART.

 

CULTURE/ART AT QUEENS HOUSE SHOWCASE RUN BY CREATIVE ENRG ON TWO OCCASIONS:
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ABOVE CHRISSY COLLINSON SITES UNSEEN

BELOW ILLUSTRATOR MIKE WARLEY AND HIS WONDERFUL CREATIONS.

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I ALSO WENT DOWN TO THE HULL TAPESTRY AT THE GUILDHALL

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IT WAS ON MY LIST FOR MONTHS AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. IN A NUTSHELL – FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING, THE HULL TAPESTRY ILLUSTRATES, IN COLOURFUL AND VARIED STITCH, THE HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CITY OF KINGSTON UPON HULL OVER PAST 700 YEARS.  DEPICTING HULL’S DIVERSE HISTORY AND PIONEERING SPIRIT, THE HULL TAPESTRY GROUP HAS FASHIONED A BREATHTAKING MONTAGE OF HULL LIFE THROUGH THE AGES.

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I ALSO HAD A STROLL THROUGH HULL ONE DAY WHEN THE SUN WAS OUT AND REVISITED THE SOLAR GATE ‘N QUEENS GARDENS.

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FIRST TIME VISITED THE DAZZLING EVENTS FOOD AND ARTISAN MARKET AT THE LAWNS COTTINGHAM.

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ON TOP OF THAT I TOOK PHOTO OF A NEW SCULPTURE ARRIVAL IN TOWN: RESEARCH STILL GOING ON WHAT THAT WAS, GOOGLE AT THE MOMENT IS NOT HELPING,SO IF ANYONE KNOWS – EDUCATE ME.

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ALREADY MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY – I WILL BE ONE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR THE  ILLUMINATE PROJECT: LEGACY

WE HAD OUR FIRST MEETING LAST WEEK AND IT IS STILL EARLY DAYS. AS SIMILAR AS THE LEGACY SEARCH TOPICS ARE BETWEEN US, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT PHOTOGRAPHERS AND WILL PRODUCE VERY INTERESTING PHOTOS. THAT’S THE PLAN. AS A START UP I AM LISTING AND REVISITING ARTISTS FROM 2017 THAT INSPIRED ME TO WRITE ABOUT THEM AND FIRST ONE WAS MARK WIGAN. HE KINDLY OFFERED ME TO GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT HIS WORKSHOP, BUT DUE TO WORK COMMITMENTS I WAS UNABLE TO JOINT, SO WORK IN PROGRESS.

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SO THESE ARE SNAPS FROM HIS THE TRANSGLOBAL ART OF MARK WIGAN EXHIBITION, JUST AS I CONVINCED HIM TO BE PART OF MY SEARCH FOR CITY OF CULTURE 2017 LEGACY:

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST:

WAS TAKING PHOTOS OF INCREDIBLY TALENTED ILLUSTRATOR CALVIN INNES IN THE NEWEST BANKSIDE GALLERY.

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I CAME ACROSS THE BEAUTY OF INDUSTRIAL ESTATE IN THE AREA. IT WAS A BIT OF A EMOTIONAL CONNECTION MOMENT AS I FOUND THE SITES AND SCENES DISTURBING AND BEAUTIFUL AT THE SAME TIME.

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I AM OK NOW. I AM EXCITED FOR THE SUMMER AND EVENTS, EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS COMING UP REALLY MAKE ME FEEL ALIVE.

STILL RE BRANDING AND HOPELESSLY TRYING TO MULTITASK, BUT EXCITING TIMES AHEAD.

NEXT MONTH I’LL BE HALF HERE, HALF IN LATVIA, SO JUNE 2018 CONTENT STILL TO BE DISCUSSED.

HAPPY CULTURE PEOPLE.

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – APRIL 2018

April was 80% usual and 20% summer  [including the feeling that winter is over and tops off kind of vibe].
So I’ll start with a moment that represents the above for me. Shot taken down Humber Street with probably the most famous dog in culture crowds.

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Culture month #4 and I am hopeful for the future. Legacy ‘n stuff, another culture-bursting year for the city and buzzing/happy people in all areas of Hull. Yes?

April started well,I was lucky to be involved with Illuminate Project:Legacy  I feel very fortunate to be able to tie work done in 2017, continuous photo/blog Hull City Of Culture in 2018 and look for the legacy, that I have discussed over and over again. Pop the question is important for someone like me, who’s really believed that Hull has changed and there is no way back. It will be a challenge as well, but I don’t mind a chunky challenge.

Work will be started pretty soon and there will be an exhibition in autumn. To top it all up I will be working with some pretty exciting photographers. Anna Bean/Bluebeany, Verity Adriana and Karim Skalli

Back to April and culture.
I had a list of exhibits I wanted to see this month, including No one knows me like Dawn from Jobcenter at Humber Street Gallery, because title seemed intriguing.

If being honest, April was difficult month for getting out with true passion and get involved in culture. Things got sad, difficult and being out with camera was more like an escape. Plus, I have been focusing on re-branding my business face, which always requires energy and ability to face your devils.

The start of April and my first go-see was the new light announcement down Queen Victoria Square at the very first weekend of April. I was unable to see the lights Saturday/Sunday, so I rushed there on the opening night. I got really frustrated by light switch being late, I didn’t had tripod, so I guess the photos are just a record that I was there. Still not sure what I was supposed to see, as very similar lights have been there through out last months?

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Whilst waiting and chatting to fellow photographers, I snapped the fountains there too. Tuns out this is the first time I see them at night. Oh well..

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On my way there, I briefly rushed through first Hull Street Food Nights of 2018. It was very brief and I was very gutted that I can only “smell” the event. Next one maybe as it looked so lovely…

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After that is was exhibitions. Luckily there are quite a few available to view from April onward.

First trip I took to see HIP Gallery in Princess Quay. I was aiming to see the freshly brewed LAUNDERAMA by David Drasdo, but I was a bit too early. Instead I got to see the DOCK. The exhibition is a selected visual history of St. Andrew’s Dock.

Once St Andrew’s Dock was the beating heart of Hull’s fishing industry.
Today it stands derelict and unloved, a sorry reflection of a once proud and thriving place.
These images are just a snapshot of the story of its falls from grace.

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The exhibition contains photographs by Will Slater, Peter Marshall, Ben Barrass and Oliver Turpin.

The extend of loss from the industry feels so genuine, once I finished with the viewing. For someone like me not born in UK and Hull, exhibition serves as a good eye opener for the past and present. I always hear the stories about how great it was, but it never really felt like I know what people mean by it.
I was curious to find out from volunteers when it all “cracked”, but the conversation revealed a lot more. For example, back in the day, people that worked in the industry were called three day millionaires- they became rich very quickly for a short period of time, then spent all the money as quickly as they earned it. Also, I found out that Hull was once called the City of East Coast. Just that.

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Massive thank you to the volunteer that chatted for 40 min about Hull, fishing industry, even about studying photography and writing dissertations. I wish I noted his name down on piece of paper….

After that I went to see something that I purposely left for April.

No one knows me like Dawn from Jobcenter at Humber Street Gallery.

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The culture or social groups that are regulars to Jobcentre are always linked with lack of life quality, lack of future perspectives and generally are the underdogs. Rightly so for those who work and pay taxes. But there is no country in the world without a unemployment issues. To be able to draw the lines between art and stereotypes around the subject is intriguing and tempting.

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I feel like my photos show every corner of the exhibition, leaving nothing to imagination, but that’s how I felt like at the time – it was too good to be missed out.

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The artwork sets many questions and leaves me to wonder if the reality is mixed with great dose of sarcasm. Really good exhibition in my opinion, although I felt like I want more.

After that I popped downstairs to see the FOREVER or GOLDEN SHOWERS by Tim Noble and Sue Webster.

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I am convinced that these light installations are detachable from their current meanings. It also wasn’t as excited as I expected. It was more about getting that one perfect shot of three very different light bulbs.

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Maybe, and only maybe, I would like these installations in a meaningful location? I don’t know….
Just to quickly mention and justify image below – the shirts really brightened up my mood. These lads deserve a free drink.

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My next exhibition was at Artlink. Only in last few months I have realised that Artlink is very warm and welcoming space, including staff working there.

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This time it was the GRAFT in FLUX. An collaborative exhibition in a nine year partnership between Artlink and HMP Humber’s Graft Fine Art Studio.

The exhibition is focused on the changing landscape and the aspirations of those currently working and living in the secure prison units.

It also has got an interesting way of treating the “artists”. Most of them have no prior training, skills or education in arts, so they all have been thrown in an adventure. That is the most precious part of the idea, I think.
From what is displayed, I couldn’t tell that there is no experience. Fascinating.

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All exhibits are part of an experiment, covering each person’s voice and back-stories.

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There are Drop-in workshops available on 19th May and 16th June.  The workshops will recreate elements and working practices from the Studio to allow visitors to observe and take part in the environment, projects, techniques, and journey of HMP Humber’s students. I am hoping to squeeze one of the workshops in my diary for June [that’s if someone would like to join me].

 

The only downside of space there – it sometimes isn’t pleasant to fight with falling shadows and colour cast. So I hope I have hidden that in these captures. [sorry]

Last but not least – TWO GINGERS COFFEE HOUSE and a small coffee/bear/live music  summer start up gathering on the 28th April.
I remember first time I went there was early days for the Two Gingers, but I am so pleased to see them thriving and having coffee lovers on their side.

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I literally popped there for 10 min to see the atmosphere, my mind was far away from celebrating and mingling with people.
I hope they do more events like these and I can properly enjoy myself.

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There you go – my little culture April in Hull. I hope as the year goes on, I will get more diverse cultural experiences through the lens.

For now – re-branding, Illuminate Project:Legacy, culture in May and work.

 

 

REMEMBER ME CONFERENCE HULL APRIL 2018

For those who’ve been following my work since early days of “professional” will know my secret love for End Of Life theme, especially in a form of art and visual media.

Couple of weeks ago I went to some of the events of Remember Me Conference in Guildhall, Hull. The conference was across four days with different speakers, papers and exhibits, even a Remember Me Memorial Trail.

Remember Me project seeks to explore the nature of memorial practices and processes. Their research, made up of nine stands, includes historical and contemporary studies, ethnography, qualitative interviews, free-writing texts and photographic essays to explore the changing face of memorialisation over time.

In simple words the conference was about exploring “the changing face of memorialisation” and raising the topic that to this day is still a taboo. The conference was open to all interests and someone like myself.

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Due to my schedule I was unable to attend all of the talks and exhibits, however I managed to soak up enough “brain food”.

My background into this subject starts when I was in my last year of university. My Final Major Project was slightly controversial – END OF LIFE CELEBRATIONS. My cultural background, Latvian heritage and personality brought me to explore the challenging topic of death, end of life and funerals. Throughout my project development I learned and discovered interesting studies and of course, got introduced to Remember Me Project.
Time flies by, work takes over life and I got less and less time to sneak through the bushes and photograph funerals [joke, I did that once].

There is full commitment and involvement required if to be fully aware of what is happening, it is like a world of its own in all forms and shapes. The topic is vast and, as much as I love it, at this stage of my photographers life, I don’t have the luxury to have unpaid project developments.
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My favourite was DR. Christina Welch and her talk “EXPLORING EXTANT CARVED CADAVER MEMORIALS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND”

Yes, it might sound ridiculously serious and of course, the study is serious archaeological topic with a high importance to understand history, but Dr Welch was like the neighbour chatting about the Thursday’s bin drama down the next street. That sort of passion and ability to make it interesting for uneducated potatoes like myself, only comes from great interest and love for the job.

Second was the small exhibit in the main social point in Guildhall.  A SUITCASE FOR THE FINAL JOURNEY EXHIBIT. First of all, Google is struggling to give me some information, just traces of Europe-inspired exhibition currently happening in San Francisco.
But no doubt I’ve got it covered as usual taking all leaflets available.

“The project is about reflection: on the finiteness of life, the need for identifying personal essentials. We provided 103 persons with identical suitcases and were curious: would they all pack similar items or completely different ones? Sentimental or practical? Momentos or equipment?
The result is a touching, fascinating image of what is important and dear to us – or close to what we really wish.
The project had far-reaching impact: the TV documentary about the project attracted over 1.7 million viewers already when first broadcast in 2006 and has been broadcast repeatedly since then. The book is already in its third edition, and over 2.5 million visitors attend travelling exhibition until now…”

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There was other two talks I went to:

Celebrating The Life? The Hidden Face of Dementia.

The talk addressed questions of ambiguous identity and the purposes and functions of memoralisation in today’s society. The study explores how people with dementia are remembered and their lives celebrated. The study also promotes a dementia friendly society as well as providing insights into the tensions around identity. The last part was very interesting perspective of three stages of self-understanding when being ill with dementia and the ways dementia patients are looked at within social groups/family and friends circle.

 

Second was the one I rushed to Fridays sessions for:

Liz Nicole and Jane Hutchinson
THE PHOTOGRAPH AS A VEHICLE FOR MOURNING AND REMEMBERING.

Right up my street, huh?

This speaker was not just talking, she also had two exhibitions at The Brodrick Gallery at Hull School of Art and Design.
The talk was about photography being a medium to explore the vast subject of end of life and memoralisation. Photographer was multilayered with the subjects – from photographs of cemeteries and grave stones from the Great War, to using cyanotype method to record traces of objects, the hanging branches and leaves of the Weeping Willow and the First World War monuments examined through the lens of 100 year-old KODAK.

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There was a relation between her and me, she was expressing the never ending search, never ending question and ongoing photographic explorations. And I felt exactly the same when I was doing my own work around the subject.

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The experience was rushed and there was other brilliant speakers that I had only a few snippets of. One of them discussed the Great War photographs as post cards from those days.

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Writing blog about this was more for myself as a reminder of what makes me alive with photography and challenging the ordinary.

For those who feel like this is mind-tickling and interesting, pushes the boundaries for what we perceive as normal to talk about, there is loads of information and often events like this [on a smaller scale though] happen nearby. I will be your buddy, give me a shout!

Thank you to Hull University and Remember Me for hosting this interesting and much needed conference, it was my greatest pleasure to be part of it.

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – MARCH 2018

HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY[yesterday], HAPPY DAY TO BE ALIVE.

HAPPY.
AND WELCOME TO THE MARCH EDITION OF MY CULTURE IN HULL 2018.

I must admit that it is hard to write and focus on work today, I am in a 100% long weekend mood.  So I will try.. and if by accident I publish it only on the 2nd April [today], you’ll know that I gave in on chocolate eggs. And a nap.

 

March brought some lovely culture experiences and quite a tense works schedule at times. I have been in and out of “busy” and running low on fuel reserves from winter season. We are ready for spring!

Culture highlights:

#1 HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2018

#2 ARTLINK JASON WILSHER-MILLS UNEXPECTED ENGAGEMENT ARTIST TALK

#3  GROUND GALLERY HULL PRESENTS BLUEBEANY’S ARTIST TALK

#4 TRINITY MARKET EXPLORATION NR. 1

Since 2018 unfolded as the year after an amazing year of 2017, I can easily make my own rules of how I will culture myself, I feel no pressure. Everything is in a relaxed manner. So in March I tried to combine personal interests with must-see’s and bit of good old Hull walks with camera. That applies to the need to witness the change and progress and see where do we go from 2017.

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Collecting photographs and stories in March has been the easy part. Writing can get tricky.

I try to have some one-to-one time with the city, get on the road geared up with camera and in March I soaked up one day of spring in an hour long walk through derelict area of Hull [kind of].
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Some of the “edgelands” is up for a development soon, so maybe it is worth catching few photographs of the land, before it changes.

The best experience in March was the HEADS UP FESTIVAL 2018

I was invited to be their photographer this year and that rolled me straight into a number of cultural events. Hull based company E52, in conjunction with renowned venue and producer Battersea Arts Centre, presents some of the most exciting contemporary British and international theatre at venues throughout the city of Hull.
The festival takes place twice a year, with Spring and Autumn seasons, and also includes locally-curated and produced work, workshops, new productions, networking events, talks, art events, school projects, and exhibitions.

 

First one was UGLY CHIEF – artist and performer Victoria Melody teams up with her dad, TV antique dealer Mike Melody, for her most ambitious show yet. Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true-life events, performed by a real-life father and daughter. As I can create any spoilers  – it is about setting up a funeral by Victoria for her dad, who was falsely diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given five years to live. In the show, they preform two funerals – one that Victoria wanted for her dad, and second funeral that dad wanted to have for himself.

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The show was wonderful, witty, clever and emotional at times. And the fact that it was another take on taboo subject such as death, funerals really made it my cup of tea.
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Two of the events took place in Kardomah94 across the week.
Heads Up Introducing with Lyn Acton, singer with Pearls Cab Ride and Bill Drummond Daffodils&Death

Both brought me some new knowledge about different art forms, I got to know Lyn Acton and Pearls Cab Ride , not just as one of the bands playing at Freedom Festival, but as culturally important figure in Hull and jazz music scene in Yorkshire.

She laughed, cried, shared and cherished her stories and musical influences and favourites.

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Bill Drummond Daffodils&Death was just a bit random. Enjoyable random.
But my favourite new knowledge was that Bill once was in a band called The KLF and had hell of a performance at 1992 BRIT Award Ceremony.

And to back up that it really happened in 1992, Bill Drummond, between he’s shows came to the sound desk and said  “I can’t wait for this to be over, so I can have a proper drink”

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Third one was SPONGE by Turned On Its Head

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That was ultimate kids show using sponges in various shapes, forms, colours and sizes, that will be stuck in my memory as a nightmare light change to capture in photographs.
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The last event of the festival, I was taking photos of was the DARK WINTER by David Mark.

I was present at the last of the dress rehearsals and only stayed for 30 min. And in that short time I witnessed some serious theatre. Set in Hull and based on the thrilling crime novel by bestselling author David Mark, E 52 bring Aector McAvoy’s first case to the stage in a stunning adaptation by award winning writers Richard Vergette.

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And hell yeah, it was mind blowing. The level of acting and theatre performance was high standard and having Hull as main characteristics made it to be my favourites. The sound and light was to match the high standards of performance. One word – gutted not seen the full performance.

Photos above: Production team, E52 crew and stage manager.

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Million thanks to Heads Up team for having me on board. Great pleasure, great pleasure.

 

In March there was an important note in my diary – to see Jason Whilsher-Mills with my own eyes in his artist talk about currently displayed Unexpected Engagement at Artlink. I rarely get to see artist gatherings and talks, as I am working evenings, so this was real treat for my brain on Saturday, 13th March.

Jason Wilsher-Mills is Square Peg’s artist-in-residence for 2017.

Square Peg, the user-led diversity and disability arts programme from Artlink has teamed up with Jason to bring the stories of diverse communities in Hull to everyone’s attention.

New technologies have helped Jason give life to his ideas on disability, childhood memory and popular culture, creating new narratives. We met to discuss this and his upcoming exhibition Unexpected Engagement at Artlink.

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More than anything, I took away Jason’s story of how he embraced digital technology, instead of sticking to what he was used to. He stepped out his comfort zone, embraced the change and it took him to the highs of a success. And for someone like me it is the best lesson to learn. Change is scary,but change is good.

The talk itself was wonderful, I really liked Jason’s sense of humour, honesty and the event was a great experience to see his other work.

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At the end of it, I joined the rest for a second look at the exhibition and helped others to get their heads around the 3D experience with sculptures and tablet.

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The end of the month got a bit distracting and I kind of ditched the culture for a bit. I had few little culture things on my mind, but instead I went for a nosy at newly refurbished Trinity Market and have the famous Cone Queen – Cone Pizza.

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The space is very “fresh” at the moment, but I could already see the potential and Hull’s own stamp on the units available. Hull people have turned in proper foodies  and I am really liking it.

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During the last days of March, I also wanted to make it to BLUEBEANY’S talk at GROUND GALLERY HULL
Ground Gallery is one of my favourite discoveries in 2017 and Anna Bean with her exhibition is definitely a very good news to have for the gallery.

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I was very late [cos of work], so I had no hopes of seeing the talk and I kind of made it to the very end. Just as I got to the gallery, I realised that it is fully packed with people and that brought a big grim on my face – for Anna Bean and for the Ground.

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The last few days of the month of course went a bit mad – Easter, all the excitement of nationally long Bank Holiday weekend and unfinished business.
But I had to see one last thing – Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase last day with cakes, tea and artists themselves.
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The space gives a good ground start to artist to exhibit, have the experience of sharing their work and running workshops and in the future we are about to see more work exhibited.

So… the more the spring, summer is mentioned, the more culture we are going to see – good news for me and exciting times for Hull.
Hull Street Food Nights are back in April, Humber Street Gallery has some exciting exhibitions already on display, Studio Eleven is providing us with some high end and super quality sculpture-work and so on…

I have some of the above on the menu,  Auschwitz and work in April. Yaass!

Happy Culture!

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – FEBRUARY

Welcome to February 2018 culture review. I am sure you are busy dealing with the “beast from the East” as we all do, very distracted myself with the snow,making snowman’s, but duty calls.

I would like to say that culture journeys in February has been out of old habit, but that has changed since last month. Although being really sentimental about last years weekly reviews and stories, this month I have really realised how much time for “actual” work I have. There is no doubt that finding cultural things is a bit of a challenge in the quite months of the year, knowing that Hull City Of Culture 2017  is gone on a “break”.

I have been lucky to have Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 at Ferens Art Gallery, Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase, Hounds Of Hull opening at KAG,  and random protest regards regime in Middle East, plus some precious early morning Hull moments.

Let’s start off with the two most random things of this month:

First – one area of Hull’s city centre has been adjusted – famous for having homeless people gathering and sleeping, being a bit naughty. Area has been transformed into a colourful message, development opportunity advert. And then the disco-granny-electric piano-madness guy is there playing his tunes. Only in Hull?

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During that week I went to the first Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase where artist Lauren Saunders thought the ways of knowing – or making art followed by you feelings.. (?) Her primary tool is drawing, but the exploration extends to psychologies of perception.

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Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase is a collective exhibition of four local artists with various styles, techniques and dimensions.
The best part of the exhibition is that most of the days artists themselves are live-creating their art, having the space for their own development and are up for a cup of tea and a chat.

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Clarissa Dixon is another artist present at the Queens House Showcase. She is experimental with materials and processes. From what I had a chance to see so far – her table is a beautiful mess with textures, colours and heavy patterns.

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Annemarie Tickle was running a The Shibori workshop and I went to take some snaps of that too. I am far from understanding what that means, but it was all about fabric, dye and textures.

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Queens House Showcase is run by Creative ENRG. Just to say that Creative ENRG is giving a massive platform for artists to work and develop their skill, confidence and network with other artists, members of public.

They have helped me in my “setting-up” business journey, but I have made a lot of business friends, artists and clients through being part of the hub. That’s if you ever question how important networking is….

Just to shift few steps down from art art, I had a morning with crisp air and early sunlight in Marina and Fruit Market. It is rare opportunity to have time that early to photograph Hull and I really want to share few beautiful captures – just to celebrate ever so beautiful Hull landmarks.

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These new arrivals on Fruit Market walls was the cherry topping to my morning wonders.

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Back to art art and  Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 at Ferens Art Gallery. This year for the second year running I got a photograph in, so I was determined to have the full experience of the opening night. First thing – the welcome speech, announcements and prize give away. I did  not know that such thing happens on the opening night and it was great to be part of that.

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There was an interesting fact I found out during the speech is that Ferens Art Gallery one of the few galleries left in the UK to have free entry at all times. And I mean a gallery that hosts “proper” high end art, such as Mueck [recent experiences], Freud and other special and valuable collections. Turner Prize is a good indicator of the importance of the Ferens Art Gallery.

During the opening night I had a quick run through the galleries, spotted a few favourites, mingled with old tutors and looked at my photograph and frame all together[disappointment].

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That same nigh I made it to the Hounds Of Hull opening at KAG. Missed the dogs, but had a great opportunity tho see the art work, meet the artist behind it Verity Adriana, have a chat with artist/tutor Jane Jones and my fave Anna Bean/ Bluebeany.
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+see the rest of the KAG for the last time [due to closure of half of the space]
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At some point another random thing happened – I went from A to B and spotted some action going on in Queen Victoria Square. From the distance it looked like people are waving Stalin’s flag, but when approached the crowd, it turned out to be a protest for regime in the Middle East. It was about demanding freedom to Abdullah Ocalan and other political prisoners in Turkey.

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Last week I went back to  Artist Take Over at Queens House Showcase to take some promotional shots of Annemarie Tickle and work she is developing. She stunned me with bold and brave colours and a lovely chat. Strongly suggest to visit Queens House Showcase website for opening times and artist present, because it is worth your while.

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Last but not least – had a second visit to Ferens Open Exhibition 2018 to have a good look at the selection of artworks this year. There was some definite favourites, good and interesting concepts, but there was an equal amount of “rubish”. As for usual.

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As I mentioned previously, work I submitted was a risk. The photograph in combination of the frame was a big risk. It is not bad, but it did not met the expectations I had for myself, so I am a bit disappointed. But risks have to be taken and learn from the experience if it doesn’t work out. Boom.

This month I was a bit pushed for time, so two things on my list are not here:

 

 

I have to start thinking about what March will bring to my culture experiences, already planning in progress.

Excited to be working on a project that I will be shouting about in the near future, excited to be taking photographs for Heads Up Festival for the next two weeks and work with Drunk Animal with their projects and clients. And everything in between. Exciting! That’s all I am gonna say.

Have a great March, get some culture in your system and drive carefully through the 15 cm of snow [eeekkk!!]

Love
Anete Sooda

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – JANUARY

HELLO AND WELCOME BACK TO MY CULTURE VENTURES IN 2018

 

The year of Hull City Of Culture 2017 finished on a high note for me. I really lived up to my challenge, being part of the story all year, week by week [except tiny two weeks] and I had the most wonderful time. It was the big celebration for me.

At the beginning of the month I was very lost – for the first time in a year I was not obligated to follow culture and it was weir. On the other hand – it was a relief – no Sunday/Monday panic about writing a blog post and wondering if I have done enough, if I’ve done well.

Throughout the year I knew I need to continue the work for me and for the promised legacy, for Hull. Out of habit on the first week I already found myself in culture indulgence.
And it felt good.

First, I managed to catch the robots part of Where Do We Go From Here.
I had to take my family to see the magnificent robots and have the last look.

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I was still seeking for the connection with culture, Hull and the question it raises. Technically brilliant pieces of machinery, creating a cosmic atmosphere and making the dark hours of Hull light up. But I am asking a question – could artist applied any other question to the artwork, linked with anything else? I am sure that is a possibility and Hull is just another translation to the existence of robots.

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Never the less – Hull still embraced the installation, as we do with everything.

Hull embraced a lot of things in 2017, we have changed our mindset regards culture and art, we are more educated and don’t mind abstract elements scattered around the city. Like the Solar Gate in Queens Gardens. Why not?
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Mid month I was SUPER excited for the new arrivals at Humber Street Gallery.
Just to note how wonderful it is to have a gallery of this kind, Humber Street Gallery has been the key venue for so many great exhibitions and they need a shout out!!!!!
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The exhibitions, all there are about everything celebrating Hull City Of Culture 2017 Volunteers. Work created purely to say thank you for your hard work, purely to celebrate each individual for making the year possible.
Gallery 1
BIG PICTURE: WITH LEO FRANCIS IN ASSOCIATION WITH CHRIS FENTON

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Photographer Lee Francis has very specific style and it is reflected in the works. They are bright and unmistakably unique.
I was so professionally jealous, because that would be every professionals dream to work on a project like this. In fact, this type of photographs should be the only reason why this medium exist – celebrate people and life in a beautiful way, that is missed by a naked eye.

The collage with volunteers and their belongings, their lives is equally fantastic.
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The team behind the project and Hull City Of Culture 2017 put a lot of thought, love and effort into creating this and wanted to know more about volunteers.
When asked to the volunteers present at the exhibition, the same feelings are expressed.

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And we ourselves enjoyed the little insight into this project

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Gallery 2

GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE: JULIA VOGL

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Another mind tickling satisfaction of culture experience. First impressions are very good, the space is transformed into a full on colour experience, surrounding visitors with bold colours, numbers and takes you on a journey.
When I got over the wow factor, I made my way through the facts and facts about volunteers worked out in percentage.
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We also played a game of calculating the percentages of what volunteers have as their occupation:
88% are either in full time education, employed or retired and the rest – unicorn keepers. That’s mine and Oliver’s conclusion.
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The whole experience is extended with an opportunity to try on volunteers kit and having your photo taken[optional?]
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And then – my favourite part – have a gab with volunteers and take a lovely photo of them.

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Gallery 3

GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE: JULIA VOGL

The jar and grain experience

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Again – very impressive first impressions. The colours, light, placement of the jars and factual info on the walls. Fantastic.

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Visually impressive, sense of individuality despite the fact it’s meant to look “uniform” like. I assume the jars where chosen by volunteers themselves and again, its like a little insight of their lives.
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However the lazy art and culture consumer in me thinks its too much information to take in before you understand the idea. If your brain is not gifted with maths [like mine], I struggled to understand the patterns and reasons for each of the jar being filled. ahh. Could this be taken out of Hull City Of Culture 2017 content and displayed elsewhere? Would this be just one for the Hull?

World should know more about our experience this year and BIG PICTURE AND GRAINS OF SCANDALOUS BLUE PART 1 is definitely there to show off to the next CITY OF CULTURE and other cities in the UK.

Overall rating 9/10 from me. The visit made my week and I was left very happy and satisfied.

BANKSY IN HULL

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26th of January will be marked as the day when world famous Banksy left his mark in Hull.

Woken up by the BBC News on Friday morning and hearing Hull’s name being called out for positive reason was just the perfect breakfast for my mind.

On Saturday I made my way to see it for myself. Of course I was not the only one there seeing the rustic bridge marked with someone famous and controversial as Banksy only for that reason. It became a trend, a hot spot.
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And then to hear the news on Monday about someone going totally bonkers and ruining the graffiti and then be saved by very own Hull’s windows cleaner becoming a hero… The drama and the reason to talk was there and as they say… every publicity is good.

So yes. Here is my first month of 2018, my first report on culture in 2018.
I could have done more, but I am busy working on something amazing. Hopefully I will have more content this month.

Are you feeling the Legacy of City of Culture in 2018? What are your expectations?

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 52 – THE FINAL?!

HELLO AND GOODBYE?!

I HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN FINISHING THE YEAR WITH A BANG OR LOOK BACK ON 2017 IN PEACE AND APPRECIATION.

AND WAS THERE A PUBLIC BANG TO SAY GOODBYE TO 2017 AND HULL 17 CELEBRATIONS? HAVE I MISSED IT?

On the last day of the year I have chosen to stay in in my safe place, my home, with family and rub my hands in excitement for next year.

Just a few things that made my year a success:

  • HULL 2017 AND BEING PART OF THAT
  • NEW FRIENDS
  • HULL 10K
  • TWO MAGIC HOLIDAYS TO CRETE AND LANZAROTE
  • THREE VISITS TO LATVIA
  • MUSTANG DRIVE
  • NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES

and so on….

 

The year however didn’t end on a high note in some lemon tasting life aspects, but I am still moving forward, because that’s what we sometimes have to.

Week 52 sadly was culture-less in Hull. First few days I spent in a Christmas spirit, from Tuesday I was gone – I was in Latvia pretending that my other life in the UK don’t exist and on the 31st December I was back.

Today the only thing I had the energy for was Pearson Park and the Whispering Sweet Nothings – A Tree Sculpture

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Being surrounded by amazing culture all year round, I feel like this is sweet nothing, but I am glad the sculpture was there. My only outdoor adventure on the last day of the year, so thankful for the little things.

 

I am repeating myself most of the weeks, but 2017 has been incredible. Every drop of culture in the bucket made my life so much better.

 

Highlights?

Made in Hull

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Humber Street Sesh 2017

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ReRooted Festival

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7 Alleys

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Freedom Festival 2017

A MERRY URBAN MESS LES VERNISSEURS FREEDOM FESTIVAL 2017

 

and so on…..

In 365ish days I have taken over 1000 photographs, some are just factual recordings, but some I will milk for a very long time. Some of my favourites:

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PAPER CITY MADE THOUGHT THE FABRIC OF HULL

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You are probably wondering what is next…
We have been promised that the Hull 17 legacy will live on for a bit, so the expectation is high, we demand culture, we have been spoilt all year…

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL will live on a monthly basis [someone has to keep an eye on it, huh?] and I will continue my love affair with Hull.

 

Maybe one day the year long photo journey will be more than just a digital memory, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.

 

THANK YOU TO EVERY SINGLE FOLLOWER, READER AND “KIND OF HEARD ABOUT ANETE SOODA” FOR MAKING THIS MEANINGFUL.

 

I WISH EVERYONE HAPPY 2018. MAKE IT COUNT!!

 

LOVE

ANETE SOODA

 

MY CITY OF CULTURE – MY HULL – WEEK 51

You may well wonder of why I am not making Christmas happening, instead writing weekly culture…

Life sometimes is full of lemons, I certainly have bucket full of lemons for past week and for Christmas. Culture and Hull 17 events have actually dragged me out of the misery this week. Having a focus on happy things has saved me.

At the beginning of last week I made a wishlist and I was very lucky to tick two points from the list:

But first.

HULL BEERMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL and the beer mats where found. At Larkins Bar Hull down Newland Avenue.

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Still sulking a little bit, but the material they are made from means they won’t last forever and we may need another competition in few years time.

 

Second. I was trying to Christmas shop this week and the madness, greed and consumerism wasn’t really a surprise. These photographs were taken way before it was appropriate to talk Christmas, but few weeks on and I think its worth sharing Princess Quay decorations.

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During the week I had some time to walk down Newland Avenue on my way to Brynmore Jones Library and PAINTING POWER: THE ART OF TERENCE CUNEO and aww, it was so lovely to see how local community is celebrating this wonderful time. Well done and thank you for a big smile on my face.

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The viewing experience was pretty cool and will last in my memory for a long time. Mainly because of the volunteers and how that change my experience.

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First circle around the exhibition was my usual self – instead of seeing the whole picture, I pay attention to details – frames, lighting, detail in artwork. And sometimes it is very brief. Like I am there, but not there.

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I was already leaving when approached by a volunteer. She asked me what I thought about the paintings and have I seen Hull and the Queen, have I seen the mice… Half an hour later I was inlove with Cuneo. 

We – the ordinary people sometimes need help to see the art. I have a lot of cultural background, I have seen a lot and even did a degree in arts. But I still need help and guidance. Or someones passion for art.
And I am so thankful for the conversation, knowledge and passion to the lovely volunteer.

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The same applies to volunteers at Where Do We Go From Here. They deserve a medal for what they do, I even told them I love them. Haha.

Hull on the night is full of character when the time is right and even the few drunk lads did not spoil it for me.

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I finally had the chance to see the robots.

First I headed to Trinity Square.

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They are rising the question of where do we go from here after this year, but I really have to use my imagination to believe in that. But Where Do We Go From Here are fascinating light and machinery installations. The robots make me feel alive in the 2017 being aware of the changing technologies and times. Being aware that humans can’t be fed with the same things, we need something striking to make us think and pay notice.

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The robots are way cool, that is undeniable, but do they pay justice to the year we had?

 

Last but not least. I had a tripod. I haven’t used tripod since I left university. I was excited like a little child getting a unicorn for a birthday. For that reason I went to the Queen Victoria Square and Queens Gardens to photograph Christmas lights and few other low light actions.

First I was very impressed by the building opposite to Queens Gardens that is home to The Warren.

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And here I am. Week away from the end. THE END. THE END.

It is so bizarre to think that whole photo challenge started as an idea. The weekly photo wonders have literally turned my year around by 360 degrees. Amazing. Wonderful. I am proud and thankful.

52 weeks of people, places, jobs, opportunities, surprises, disappointments and love for Hull.

I wish everyone who’s been part of my journey, or reading my blog a very Merry Christmas and unforgettable 2018.
Love
Anete Sooda

HULL COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017

2017 AND WHAT A YEAR FOR HULL COMEDY FESTIVAL.

THIRD YEAR RUNNING I HAD THE HONOURS TO BE THE OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND I HAD THE GREAT PLEASURE TO BE PART OF THE FUNNIEST, LOVELIEST AND BEST FESTIVAL EVER!

THIS YEAR THE FESTIVAL CELEBRATED COMEDIANS FROM FAR, LOCAL, FAMOUS, NEW ACTS AND SPREAD LAUGHTER ACROSS THE CITY IN VARIOUS VENUES.

BIG SHOUT OUT TO CREATIVE DIRECTORS – JED SALISBURY AND GARY JENNISON FOR BEING THE NICEST BOSSES, HUGS BEFORE EVERY SHOW AND NEVER THE LESS – GREAT COMEDIANS THEMSELVES. THEY WORKED SUPER HARD TO PULL THE FESTIVAL OFF AND THEY NAILED IT.

I WAS FOLLOWING THE FESTIVAL THROUGHOUT FROM THE 2 – 22 NOV AND HERE IS THE FESTIVAL IN SHORT:

THURSDAY 2nd NOVEMEBER@KARDOMAH 94

ANNA MORRIS BITCHELORS

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THE NOT SO LATE SHOW WITH ROSS AND JOSH

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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE @JUBILEE CHURCH 4th NOVEMBER

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THE DELIGHTFUL SAUSAGE COLD HARD CACHE + JIM BAYES LIGHT METAL @KARDOMAH 94 7th NOVEMBER

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THE BIG CITY OF CULTURE QUIZ OF THE YEAR @KARDOMAH 94 9th NOVEMBER

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THE KAGOOLS + JACK GLEADOW + RICH JACKSON @KARDOMAH 94 11th NOVEMBER

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POTTERVISION + RICH JACKSON IMPROVISION @JAZZ BAR 12th NOVEMBER

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_Z1A4081POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b_Z1A4098POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b_Z1A4100POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b_Z1A4103POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b_Z1A4107POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b_Z1A4113POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b_Z1A4118POTTERVISION RICH JACKSON b

BEST OF ‘ULL @HULL CITY HALL 15th NOVEMBER

JED SALISBURY
JACK GLEADOW
STEVE RIMMER
NICKY WILKINSON
LIVE NAKED IDIOTS
GARY JENNISON
THE KAGOOLS

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JAKE DONALDSON + DANIEL TRISCOTT @KARDOMAH 94 16th NOVEMBER

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FRIZ FRIZZLE + STEFF TODD @CHANCE 17th NOVEMBER

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THE DELIGHTFUL SAUSAGE + JAMES MEEHAN   @CHANCE 18th NOVEMBER

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_Z1A5353CHANCESATURDAY b_Z1A5367CHANCESATURDAY b_Z1A5402CHANCESATURDAY b_Z1A5431CHANCESATURDAY b_Z1A5451CHANCESATURDAY b

JEDDYBEAR’S&GARY’S PICNIC KIDS SHOW @KARDOMAH 94 19th NOVEMBER

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TENFOOTCITY MAGAZINE’S NEW COMEDIAN OF THE YEAR 2017 CEREMONY @THE SAILMAKERS ARMS 25th NOVEMBER

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