We have an obvious interest and a real passion for great design, wherever we find it. But, when it is also British, that is an added bonus – and so we were delighted when it was revealed that Hull would be the next UK City of Culture. We have taken a look at what this means for the Yorkshire city.
When you think of creativity, art and culture in the UK, you would be forgiven for instantly thinking of London events, galleries and so on. However, 2017 is the year that Hull shows its cultural identity through a string of events, festivals, instalments and all sorts really.
The city won the award for ‘the worst place to live in the UK’ in 2005 and was last year dubbed ‘a glum port town falling apart at the seams’ by Vice magazine, however this year will see them brighten the place up. In fact, they have already begun with a fireworks extravaganza and other New Years events.
As an example of the events that will roll on throughout the year, in January alone, there is: Made in Hull, at the Hull City Centre, Bowhead at the Hull Maritime Museum, The Pitmen Poets at the Pocklington Arts Centre and a Brass Band Spectacular at Hull City Hall.
This range of events going on in Hull throughout 2017 are clearly being designed and commissioned to try and change the city, bring positivity, intrigue (and money from tourism).
However, it is not only attitudes and connotations of the city that are changing, the bricks and mortar changes are occurring too. For instance, the Ferens Art Gallery has just re-opened following a £4.5 million refurbishment and it will be hosting the Turner Prize later this year.
Speaking to ITV, the chairwoman of Hull City of Culture 2017, Rosie Millard, said that people visiting the area this year would find a city transformed. She said: “I think Hull is the least known city in the UK and for outsiders, they will be surprised and amazed by what an extraordinary place Hull is, and for locals, they will be proud of what the city has achieved. They will have an amazing welcome from one of our 4,000 volunteers, who are mostly from Hull, and all absolutely bursting with enthusiasm. They will see a city with great optimism. They will see a transformed city."
Our very own Head of Design, Andy, has previously worked on creative projects to promote tourism and culture in Yorkshire and the North of England and so he has an interest in the creative development of these cities.
There are hundreds of interesting and, most importantly, creative acts, performances and exhibitions coming to Hull throughout the rest of the year, and we will certainly be keeping a close eye on proceedings.