I recently went on a trip to Hull, I hadn’t done any research prior to arriving, I didn’t even check the weather, I just decided to have a day of discovery, my first stop was the Ferens Art Gallery where I saw photography by Gillian Wearing, Francesca Woodman, Anya Gallaccio, Helen Chadwick, Nan Golding and Spencer Tunick… How’s that for a collection!

First I’ll briefly describe the photograph by Gillian Wearing; at first glance it strikes me as a really odd portrait it has a strange artificial quality but it’s very much human, all is revealed in the eyes! it’s Wearing she’s stolen her uncles identity using a photograph from a family album and with the help of Madame Tussades, she made a series of work called ‘Album’ posing as family members, this photograph is titled ‘Self Portrait as my Uncle Bryan Gregory’ (2003) is in vibrant cerulean blue frame which really suits the formal surreal self portrait.

The Artist I would also like to mention is Spencer Tunick, an international Artist, who was commissioned by The Ferens for Hull’s City of Culture festival (2017). He got over threee thousand residents of Hull to strip naked at various locations in Hull, in one of the images on display at the Gallery the people of Hull lie naked amongst each other in front of the Humber Bridge, in another image everyone has painted themselves blue, positioned around the city’s water fountain! it made me think about the people of Hull, how their willingness to participate in the arts illustrates a spirit of community and openness. I would have to say it was the work by Spencer Tunick which determined my day in Hull; immediately after leaving the gallery I went and spoke with someone on the street who willing to have her photo taken, but also very honest with me about her own insecurities; (see photo of lady in the street) it was also in the background of one of one of his photographs where I spotted a peculiar looking structure, it was in it’s direction I would head in!

lady in the street

The Structure in the skyline of Tunik’s photo, was that of the ‘Hull tidal barrier’ listed in 2017, it’s used over 30 times a year protecting thousands of homes along the river. It could be a bond villains head quarters1 in it’s I direction I headed to marvel in its structure, design and function.

Across from here was the Deep a Building which houses creatures of the deep; where I had I spent most of the day being hypnotised by the Jellyfish.

Published by Ashley Hardman

Image maker from the north west

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