Welcome to Hull, the UK City of Culture! During 2017, the doors are being thrown open wide and the world is invited to see what the city has to offer as Hull delivers 365 days of arts and culture.
SEASON TWO - ROOTS AND ROUTES
42 new commissions and world premieres, 24 festivals and 13 new exhibitions amongst hundreds of events and activities taking place from April to the end of September 2017 – it's a really exciting time here in Hull.
Season two, Roots and Routes will big up Hull’s international links from Rotterdam to Reykjavik, whilst Freedom will explore the city’s pivotal role in the emancipation movement and it’s relationship with twin city of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
- Hull New Theatre reopens following £16m transformation with a visit from The Royal Ballet led by its Hull-born director, Kevin O’Hare
- Philip Larkin’s life and work celebrated with major exhibition New Eyes Each Year – and Grayson Perry as The Philip Larkin Society Distinguished Guest Lecturer
- Slung Low’s year-long epic adventure Flood by James Phillips told online, live in Hull and on BBC television.
- International pioneers of site-responsive performance dreamthinkspeak premiere ONE DAY, MAYBE in Hull
- The Ferens Art Gallery hosts the Turner Prize and presents a major exhibition exploring Skin, including works by Ron Mueck, Lucian Freud and the first showing of Spencer Tunick’s photographic work featuring 3,200 local people in the nude and painted blue for Sea of Hull
- The 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate will be announced in Hull prior to the first ever children’s literature festival in the city
- New work by artists including Bob & Roberta Smith, Tania Kovats, Chris Dobrowolski, Claire Barber and Claire Morgan in shopping centres, car parks, streets and public squares as part of the visual art series Look Up.
DIVING INTO CULTURE
But what has The Deep got to do with City of Culture we hear you ask? Well, here is just a taster of what 2017 holds for us at Hull's award-winning aquarium.
We are involved in a series of new artworks, located at or close to The Deep inspiring you to look up from your phone and take in the sights around you.
The Deep has invested significant funds and partnered with Hull 2017 to deliver a series of new and exciting artworks as part of the phenomenal Look Up programme, which is designed to challenge people's perceptions of Hull and offer different ways to experience the city. This year long programme of artists' works have been made specifically for Hull's public places and spaces and will be focused on the marine environment.
Chris has brought the beach of the Humber to the car park of The Deep. Featuring Hull landscapes and plastic toys, his new installation looks at environmental concerns around plastics in our oceans. Not all cars parked there will belong to visitors, and their contents may suprise you. Chris studied at the Hull School of Art, and spent most of his time building different vehicles to escape in. He's somehow come full circle, but is very happy to be making work here in the city once again.
Tania Kovats is creating a new large scale sculptural work called 'BLEACHED'. This newly commissioned artowrk responds to both the beauty of underwater coral landscapes and urgent environmental concerns about the increase in incidents of coral bleaching worldwide. Working closely with the staff from The Deep, she has recycled coral casts from the recently dismantled Lagoon to make BLEACHED. Kovats' recent work has focused on our relationship with the sea. Other works being made include new wall-based barnacle sculptures and drawings using salk and ink on hydrology charts. Her work will be displayed both here and at Humber Street Gallery in the Fruit Market.
NICK ONEILL (on show March and April)
Nick is a British artist who specialises in contemporary marine and wildlife art.
Growing up among a family of divers, his passion for the sea and its creatures grew during holidays to destinations by the Red Sea, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Nick's first diving adventures took place at an early age, allowing him to experience first-hand the vibrancy and amazing textures of the magnificent fish. Although he had been snorkelling for years already, learning to scuba dive at age 11 allowed Nick to experience the unique effects of light streaming through water and the changes in colours when in deep water.
Nick's experience and artistic talent allowed him to develop a unique style of painting, which combines the technique of using pure colour on a dark background, as invented by the 16th century Venetian artist, Giorgione with the vibrant colours and truth to nature practiced by the 19th century Pre-Raphaelite artists, like William Holman Hunt.
Although Nick is most well-known for his marine life work on his signature black backgrounds, in recent years Nick has expanded his focus to incorporate metals and high gloss resin adding new textures finishes. Nick used these new materials to bring the sea to life in new and exciting ways not seen before in the art world, such as his new "split level" water effect.
Nick's stunning works have been highly acclaimed by collectors and the Press, appearing in Sport Diver magazine, Marlin and Crest magazine. He has been selected as a finalist in the International Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition every year since 2010, winning the "Into the Blue" category in 2016.
THE BIAZA PHOTOGRAPHIC AWARDS (on show May and June)
Each year the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) holds an annual photography competition – The National Zoo Photography Awards.
Dozens of entries are submitted with shots conveying life within a BIAZA collection, work behind the scenes and wildlife in the wild in connection with the zoo or aquariums conservation work.
The competition is open to all staff and volunteers within BIAZA collections. Working with animals provides a unique opportunity to really get to know individuals and offers the chance to capture some truly amazing moments. Keepers and aquarists hold many hidden talents, often being skilled artists and photographers. This competition allows them to show off their creative flare and showcase a remarkable relationship.
This collection of images celebrates the wide array of species in our care, their quirky characteristics and the dedicatedces in animal husbandry, BIAZA is a conservation, education and wildlife charity that supports its members to share expertise and best practice with the aim of continuously improving standards.
Today, modern zoological establishments are much more than visitor attractions. Over 100 zoos and aquariums proudly display the BIAZA logo and are committed to having the highest levels of animal welfare. They participate in conservation projects, their discovery and learning programmes are continuously being developed, and they actively contribute to a body of research that will, ultimately, help us to conserve species in the wild.
NICK HUNT (on show July and August)
Nick has a real passion for photography, both above water and below. After leaving a corporate career in 2008 he began travelling around the world for 2 years but now resides in South East Asia working as an underwater photographer.
Having grown up in Hull he now lives in Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand working between seasons in Thailand (Nov – April) and Indonesia (May – Oct).
Since making the decision to leave the UK, he has crossed many continents, visited a number of places and dived many oceans. As well as exploring the underwater world he has enjoyed his time exploring new countries, cultures and meeting new people from many backgrounds.
He has a real passion for sharing his knowledge and experience amongst his students and jointly with his photographic skills has provided an experience of a lifetime with memories to last.
ERNST HAECKEL (on show September and October)
Haeckel was a German Biologist, Naturalist and Artist who discovered and named thousands of new species. In 1899 he began to publish a series of extraordinary images that changed the way we viewed the relationship between Art and Science.
100 of his images were put together to create 10 volumes of Art Forms of Nature. Many of the organisms included within these collections were first described and classified by Haeckel himself. This stunning combination remains, to this day, an astounding record of life on earth.
The subjects of each lithographic plate were carefully selected so that they would encapsulate the organisation of organisms. Haeckel was no stay at home biologist. Throughout his lengthy career he discovered 150 new species of simple organisms called Radiolarians.
Between 1859 and 1887 he described several thousand more new species. He also coined many biological terms that we use today – phylogeny, phylum and stem cell – the most notable being the word ecology.
These images have been reproduced with the kind permission of the ZSL (Zoological Society of London) Library, which houses a wide range of modern and historic books on the subjects of animals and their conservation, along with a huge catalogue of journals and magazines, the ZSL archives, zoo-related ephemera and unique artworks. Founded in 1826, ZSL is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.
ALEXANDER REICHARDT (on November and December)
Reichardt's compelling imagery is based strongly on the motif of the fish as the all-encompassing symbol of the sea and its fruitfulness. His exquisite fish designs feature on the ceramic and porcelain work of Bolesch and are incorporated into artefacts of luminous beauty that include silver jewellery, Naxian marble, brass, wood, and lithographs.
From his earliest years, Alexander Reichardt has engaged with the sea in every way and most intensely through scuba diving, a pursuit that has invested his art with its unique aesthetic. Such close engagement has also imbued him with a profound sympathy for the marine environment in general and his engagement with marine conservation is expressed through his close association with the Cousteau Divers.
Thus, respect for the sea, for its beauty and its danger, defines Alexander Reichardt's aesthetic and ethical view of the marine environment. He believes that the rich diversity of the Mediterranean that has captivated him from his earliest years has been greatly diminished in his own lifetime. His artistry and his beautiful images are a celebration of that diversity and reflect also a powerful plea for its recovery and restoration.