Category Archives: City of Culture

Land Of Green Ginger

Hello everyone!!

I hope you’re all well and enjoying soaking up the amazing sunshine we are currently having. Firstly, my apologies to you all, I’ve neglected you. I’m bogged down with exam marking but I promise to take time now to catch up and read all your wonderful posts. Secondly, I want to share a little treat with you today before my June post for the Read The Year Challenge. So whilst I had a spare twenty minutes to sit in the park (look how postcard perfect it is!) I want to show you this little wonder.

Last week, every house in Hull received a copy of the magical Land of Green Ginger book. This book follows the huge success the city has had as City of Culture in 2017. Inside this amazing little book are the stories of the city, a bonfire in Longhill and an enchanted golden nose in Bransholme. The writer, Katie Fuller, has expressed her love of the project and its impact on the city.

“The project was for everyone; it was designed to surprise, delight, intrigue and remind everyone of the joy of unleashing a childlike imagination.”

The Land of Green Ginger was a flagship project which contained a number of events homed under one narrative, coming together at the end of the year for Land of Green Ginger Unleashed parade. This book is the seventh and final Act of Wanton Wonder and it’s a pure gift to the people of Hull. This book keeps the magic alive for future generations. Katy Riddell’s illustrations are so beautiful too!

What’s it all about?

This book contains a number of poems about different events in Hull. It starts with the prologue explaining about the Acts of Wanton Wonder and what the book is about. The magic is in the ordinary people, the sounds of the city and the delights it holds for us.

Act One: 7 Alleys

To some, the 7 Alleys are a place of fun, games and laughter. However, to others they are spooky. This poem centres around Scary Mary and children playing Knock Off Ginger. However, one boy, Richard, had to knock the door but he fell over! Disaster! He lands at the door of the most feared lady around. Nervousness follows. Yet, he meets Scary Mary and she wants to hear tales of the alleys. He explores and adventures with his friends who mock him about the baby fairy tales he’s believing. Nevertheless, he continues to believe and experience them from the previous events. He reports back the following day. (Not So) Scary Mary wants to go! We see her energised and excited; young again.

“The ground beneath them moves, Vibrating with beat of hooves.

A whinny, bells, the violin;

Smoke and sparks and it begins.”

Act Two: The Gold Nose Of Green Ginger

This poem centres around the arrival of the Gold Nose in Bransholme (found 50 years before as the first homes were being built.) Chelsea, a shop owner who deals with gold, didn’t have a clue as to what all the fuss was about and was rather curious. However, as interest in the Gold Nose increased, trade for her decreased. Following the belief that those who came into contact with the nose would be blessed with good luck, she wished hard for a baby of her own. However, she was a little bit underwhelmed at the appearance of such a special nose…

“But Chelsea would always remember that day.

For standing alone there with the Gold Nose,

The hope in her belly ignited and rose.”

Act Three: The Longhill Burn

This is probably my favourite part of this book. It’s just so so lovely! This poem celebrates the Longhill Burn which involved singing, dancing and excitement. Jimmy Johnson didn’t feel quite right; he knew something was missing. That one person is Laura. He takes a walk and bumped into the Firesmiths. Here he learns that they have been asked to build a fire. Not just any old fire though, a fire beyond anyone’s belief for Eastmount Playing Fields. The Firesmiths ask everyone to write down what gives you hope on a card ready for the fire, to free them into the world. His joy: Laura returns!

“All their hopes are crammed within,

And burning them till black and curled,

Will send them out into the world.”

Act Four: Re-Rediffusion’s Voice Park

Agnes, the main character of this poem, is wandering around Walton market, looking for supplies when she is approached by a man collecting voices. Agnes can make herself disappear and believes she has nothing of any value to say. He gives her a card in the hope she changes her mind, with details of a future event in the city. The Voice Park. She heads to Pickering Park on the bus having completely forgotten that chat some months ago when she feels a pull towards those who have the same cards as her. The noises, the lights, they’re all calling her. She finds the man from before who gives her a potion to help her speak, to give her a voice of power. Three months later she is transformed and she is now confident and a Hull Volunteer, helping others live the city.

“Then all of a sudden, to her great surprise,

She feels like her body’s been magnetised;

The pull is insistent, and she’s not alone”

Act Five: Micropolis

Dave was a watchman at the Springhead site where workers there deal with the constant stream of rubbish discarded by everyone in the city. One thing that causes him constant irritation is the flashing light. One evening he heard a sudden crash! What he sees is this incredible little city with its own shops and schools. Hours go by but Dave doesn’t leave: he’s entranced. He rushes back to tell everyone what he has seen. Crowds form to see it which is completely unexpected for him. Thankfully, they all love it too!

“Perhaps, he thinks, the time has come

To be a happier watchman.”

Act Six: Land of Green Ginger Unleashed

This final poem tells the story of how something is brewing in the city. People can hear horse hooves; something is approaching! Crates that brought this very book to the people of Hull are being described. People surround them, overtaken with curiosity. All of a sudden, the crates burst open and the tales of the city are for all to share. Giants, horses, Gold Noses, magic and song. Everyone is together, old and young. Life will not be the same again.

“And nevermore will life be dull.

Forevermore for those from Hull

These wanton, wondrous Acts will linger:

Memories of Land of Green Ginger.”

Overview:

This was a complete surprise in the post and what a magical little gift it is. I’ll treasure it forever. What a way to celebrate City of Culture. Life here has changed. Now, I realise many of you won’t get to see this. However, if you ever do get chance to read it or read about it, DO IT. Information Here!

Yet, the messages from this book are universal. The everyday, the ordinary, the people we meet make our lives extraordinary. You have all made a huge impact on my life.

Big love to you all xxx

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Hull Has A Banksy!

Hey Loves!

I hope you’re all well and have had a restful weekend. This week brought some quite astounding news to my attention. You may have heard that Hull has its very own Banksy mural. I can’t believe it!! I have been away this weekend so had to patiently wait until this evening to see it.

It didn’t disappoint. I was absolutely blown away by it. It’s so unexpected, so unique. I’m honoured to have seen it. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. It felt like a time stopping moment. The more I looked, the more I saw; the more it meant.

As well as the art, I love the mystery that surrounds Banksy. I think that’s quite special. I’m happy to not know who he is. I like that veil to his character. That way, the art speaks for itself.

To some this may just be more graffiti. However, it’s brought many people out to see it. Who knew a disused bridge could be so popular?! I hope it’s preserved and cherished forever. Yet, the barriers haven’t been a welcomed asset.

Another unique element brought to the City of Culture, and I’ve seen it! I can’t quite believe it. Head down there and see it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s quite a feeling to have something so amazing on your doorstep.

It appears that whilst I was writing this, the mural has been destroyed.Absolutely devastated. Thank goodness I, and so many others, got to see it before this happened.

Update!! It appears that work has been done to rescue it. Thank goodness!! It’s just so amazing. We need to preserve it forever. We are lucky Banksy chose Hull after all.

Big love xx

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Hull’s Weeping Window

Hey guys! 

Happy April! Hope you’re all doing good. I’m exhausted but still going. We’ve broken up for Easter and the sun is shining so I finally found time to visit the Weeping Window moving art installation. 


You may recognise it from the Tower of London in 2014 as part of the First World War remembrance commemorations. Sadly, I didn’t get there to see it which is why I’m very excited we have it in Hull for a few months. 


10,000 poppies are currently draped over the Maritime Museum. It’s incredible and very moving I have to say. I looked kind of silly just standing there, amongst the crowd, taking all of it in. Until I noticed everyone else doing the same. 

The poppies are going on tour! It’s definitely worth while you going to see them. Info here


Enjoy the sunshine people! 

Big love xx

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Bye Bye Blade

Hey all!

Happy Sunday! Two posts in two days! I am on it! Today’s post is another City of Culture post. Today marks the end of the iconic blade in Queen Victoria Square as it is being moved back to where it was made: the Siemens plant in Alexandra Dock. 

Photos below taken 3rd February 2017. 


It’s quite an overwhelming piece of architecture really. It’s massive! A whopping 75 metres in fact. As strange as this sounds, it’s incredibly smooth as well! 

The blade is the work of Nayan Kulkarni. He took a rotor blade, that would normally be used to be a part of a wind turbine, to create the artwork. It is there to represent the work in Hull on engineering and manufacturing. Whilst it had mixed reviews from those outside of Hull, for us it’s become a massive talking point. In a way, I can’t imagine the square without it. 

So today I popped back to say ‘bye’ and to marvel in it’s wonder for the last time. Apologies for the bedraggled selfie – it was raining and I’ve not been very well! 


That’s it! Bye bye big blade! What’s next Hull?

Big love x

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Ferens Art Gallery Hull


Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! 

I hope you’re all well and spring is treating you well. Today I had some spare time so I went for a wander around the newly refurbished Ferens Art Gallery. 

You may have heard that last month Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited as part of their day around the City of Culture. I had to see what had changed and what amazing art was being housed here. 

The last time I visited the gallery was in 2012 as part of my Masters degree. I studied a module looking at art and Victorian literature. Now, 5 years later, I can’t believe how much it has changed! 

Gallery 1: Renaissance. It is here that Ferens currently homes Pietro Lorenzetti’s stunning panel painting, Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter. It absolutely took my breath away. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was or how it’s still survived all these years. It’s dated to the 14th century after all! There was a queue of people waiting to see it so I was unable to get a photograph. Nevertheless I did manage to get a postcard. 


Also there were two other paintings that caught my eye in this collection. First, The Virgin and Child with Two Angels. The gold is striking. 


The final painting here that was absolutely beautiful was The Betrayal of Christ. I can’t believe how bold and striking it is. The colours, the gold, the story. It’s unbelievable. A picture is worth a thousand words after all. 


Next The Netherlands. Progressing through time we are now in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was at this point that the Netherlands flourished as one of the major European art centres. My favourite painting here is by Cornelius Gijbrechts. Little is known about this painter; he is an enigma. Nevertheless I love this painting because it represents the passage of time. It features an hourglass, pocket watch and burnt out candle. It shows the simple pleasures in life: the violin now, bubble and wine glass. It’s a trick to the eye this painting. I was stood gawping at it for ages. The more you look, the more you see. 


Onto Eighteenth Century Europe. My favourite here was the beautiful Anna Isabelle Milbanke. She’s an absolute cherub. Look at those cheeks. 


Onto my favourite collection of the gallery: Victorian and Edwardian Art. It is here that takes me right back to my Masters. I spent a long time working on Leighton’s Farewell. I found the face absolutely painful. I wonder what the inspiration was for this. Of course we can all relate; we’ve all said ‘farewell’ at some point. But what happened here?! 


My absolute favourite painting here is John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Princes Dock Street. It’s dark and moody. I love it. I love how Grimshaw plays with light in his other works too. It usually comes from windows of passing buildings. Very clever. 


Modern and Contemporary Portraits finally. Here this young lady caught my eye. I think it was her nose that I saw first (nothing offensive meant here!) She’s fabulous; her hair, make up, pale skin. 


There’s other galleries as part of the Ferens collection currently, but it was just these that caught my eye today. For a free venue it is absolutely fabulous. Well done Hull! 

Other exciting news! When I was leaving I saw them working on the Poppy installation. Sneak peak below! 


Oh Hull. We really are showing the world. City of Culture 2017! I’ve had a wonderful couple of hours wandering around aimlessly, absorbed by culture. 

Big love xx

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Made In Hull – UK City of Culture 2017


Hey guys! 

Happy New Year! I hope the first 8 days of 2017 have been treating you well. 

You may or may not know that Hull (where I currently live and work) is City of Culture for 2017. There will be a huge range of events happening over the year and I can’t wait! You may have even seen the firework display on the news. I have to say, it was very impressive! 

The first event was Made In Hull. Running for a week, it shows the story of a city and its people via a range of installations about the city. Lights, images, sounds, people. What has happened in Hull’s history and what is in store for the future. 

I managed to catch the last evening of the light show. There were thousands of people there; dancing, cheering, laughing, welling up. There just was a real sense of community. I’m not from Hull, but even I, the permanent tourist, got caught up in it. 

The light show on the City Hall was incredible. I genuinely do not have enough words to describe how moving, emotional and utterly awesome it was. So, I’ve got some pictures for you!


We are Hull! Bring it on!!!! 

2017. Hull’s story. Be a part of it. Make memories, wherever you are. Tell your story. We certainly are. 

Big love xx

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