Hull, the seemingly unglamorous town up’t North is sporting a new look these days as it prepares for a year in the spotlight, a year being the City of Culture 2017.
The year will be split into four seasons, inspired by the city, its people and its place in the world: Made in Hull (January – March); Roots & Routes (April – June); Freedom (July – September) and Tell the World (October – December).
Hull is a treasure trove of British history and transformation, from the cobbled streets of the city's Old Town medieval Hanseatic League and Museums Quarter, to the 25 year old Fish Trail and the Humber Bridge.
“The ambition for Hull 2017 has been to create a year-long programme that speaks of the city, its people, their creativity and energy,” says Martin Green, CEO and Director Hull 2017. “With Made in Hull, artists have created an unmissable, immersive tapestry, which we hope will inspire, amuse and create an emotional response amongst everyone that experiences it. It's just the start of an amazing year that will see hundreds of events in every corner of the city, to be enjoyed by the people of Hull and visitors alike.”
Our highlights for Hull’s year in the limelight look a little bit like this:
Hull’s Fish Trail is 25 years old in 2017. Find the fish and explore the city via an A-Z of fish sculptures! 41 pieces of sculpture make up this impressive piece of public art with each representing the actual size of fish, from a tiny anchovy to a 10ft ray. Spot an electric eel outside the electricity sub station and a shark outside a bank.
Visit the free Museums Quarter in Hull's Old Town. Journey back 235 million years to encounter sea monsters, Romans and a life-sized woolly mammoth at the Hull and East Riding Museum of Archaeology. The Streetlife Museum of Transport brings history to life with all the sights, sounds and smells of the past. Visit the birthplace of William Wilberforce and find out about the transatlantic slave trade in Wilberforce House or experience the hazardous life of deep-sea fishing aboard the city's last sidewinder trawler, the Arctic Corsair.
See world-class art
Alongside new art and culture experiences, visitors to Hull in 2017 will also be able to see some of the world’s finest artworks when the refurbished Ferens Art Gallery re-opens, hosting the Turner Prize 2017 in September, but also major masterpieces, including important loans from The National Gallery in London and Royal Collection Trust.
Light up the city
Not surprisingly, art is integral to the city's redevelopment for its ‘Big Year’ with acclaimed artists, such as Michael Pinsky and poet Shane Rhodes, creating imaginative installations, while renowned lighting specialist Nayan Kulkarni will highlight historic buildings and sculptures with his permanent installation The Golden Hour.
Cross the Humber Bridge… to music
It was the world’s longest single span suspension bridge when it opened and more than 100,000 vehicles use it each week, but there’s also a walkway offering a chance to stroll across to really appreciate this impressive structure. From April 2017, as part of the Hull UK City of Culture programme, the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North will turn the iconic structure into a living piece of music, transforming it into a massive soundscape.
Rosie Millard, Chair of Hull 2017, added: “2017 is here, and kicking off in sensational style. Throughout the year there will be a stunning variety of cultural events for people across the city to enjoy. Since Hull won the bid in 2013 there has been incredible, not least amongst the thousands of people who have signed up to become volunteers and Hull schoolchildren are already involved through our learning programme. It's a year that will build upon Hull's strong credentials as a city of culture and we will continue to work with the council and our partners to ensure there is a lasting legacy for the city.”