Artist, designer and maker Liz Dees here she talks eloquently and intelligently about the changes happening in Hull…
‘One of my theories is that the recent renaissance that Hull is experiencing is a direct bi-product of the global economic downturn. I believe that when the economic downturn hit in late 2007, graduates from within the city stopped returning to their home towns etc. young professionals stopped searching elsewhere for job promotion or better prospects. I believe these individuals decided to stay in Hull, because there were poor opportunities elsewhere, and staying here in Hull was cheap and a relatively safe bet for the short term. A decision made to stay maybe, until an up turn in the economy arrived, and to make the best of what Hull had to offer.
Due to low living costs Hull became a good place to begin establishing creative enterprises and benefited from the region being designated an area of cultural deprivation and a target for regeneration and investment. Thus hence, due to a greater graduate retention and the formation of many new young creative and cultural enterprises, Hull began to experience an upturn in quality cultural activity and ambition.
Ultimately left without an annual exodus of newly educated and trained young creative professionals Hull has begun to grow and develop an increasing exciting cultural scene. Longer established creative practitioners in the city responded well to the stimulus, being given new and renewed vigour to believe that greater things were possible.
The moment that the winning of city of culture was announced, that early morning televised announcement, I found myself almost overcome with emotion, ‘My goodness this is amazing’ I thought ‘ This is a real game changer’, ‘ This is an opportunity to make a difference to Hull and never turn back’.
So here we are 18 months on, and two years away from celebrating our own cultural rebirth, the future is exciting and increasingly positive. We all now have the power and potential influence to make beautiful progress with all our dreams and desires for our own cultural and creative practices, as well as our belief in the potential for Hull’s future. So there’s my theory.’
The Changing Face Exhibition preview event is happening on April the 2nd you can book tickets for it by following this link:
Photo © Quentin Budworth