Dave Windass – Writer

I met with Dave in the main auditorium of Hull Truck. Here he speaks in his own words about life in Hull…Dave Windass

I was born in Hull. There are three council houses next to Albert Ave swimming baths. I came bawling into the world in the middle one, number 90. Growing up involved a lot of time in the outdoor pool next-door-but-one and swimming lessons with Jack Hale, the Olympic swimmer who revolutionised the butterfly stroke.

Our house was a creative one. My dad was a signwriter, responsible for all those fluorescent posters that used to fill the windows of Jacksons supermarkets. When he wasn’t working he was painting. He painted our bedroom walls with caricatures; our favourite cartoon characters, sporting heroes, whatever we wanted. The house was full of books. My sister was always wearing holes in the carpets with her dancing.

I write for a living now but I went the long way round to get here. I worked for ten years in the construction industry and filling notebooks with words, writing short stories, sketches and plays wasn’t anything that I could tell the lads at work about. The full story is too tedious to share but I ended up working as an arts journalist for all kinds of publications, including The Stage, Big Issue in the North and Emap. Then I started discovering outlets for my creative work and got more involved than is healthy in writing for the theatre. I’ve done some stuff with Hull Truck, including Sully back in 2006.

Hull is an exciting place to be able to do this. We’ve got a blank canvas, in essence, and there’s a chance that we could invent the future of theatre right here in this city. For me, that would be theatre a million miles away from the stuffy confines of traditional spaces, diverse work that appeals to people that might not, otherwise, go anywhere near theatre.

 The Changing Face Exhibition preview event is happening on April the 2nd you can book tickets for it by following this link:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-changing-face-of-hull-preview-tickets-16160036103?aff=efbevent

Photo © Quentin Budworth

Liz Dees – Artist / Designer / Maker

Artist, designer and maker Liz Dees here she talks eloquently and intelligently about the changes happening in Hull…

Liz Dees

‘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.’

You can find out more about Liz Dees and her work here:
www.hullcarnivalarts.org.uk
www.lizdees.co.uk
www.apusproductions.co.uk

 The Changing Face Exhibition preview event is happening on April the 2nd you can book tickets for it by following this link:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-changing-face-of-hull-preview-tickets-16160036103?aff=efbevent

Photo © Quentin Budworth

Steve Elliott

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Hull is a good city to live and work in. People in the art scene are working hard to generate an improved perception of the city, its history and people.

I settled here five years ago after getting regular work with Creative Partnerships, a scheme which engaged artists to collaborate in schools to inspire teachers to be creative in their lessons.

The scheme has finished now but my freelance work is the same. I still try to create opportunities for learning and the development of creative skills.

I make processional sculpture, Little Giants, mostly to make people smile.

In 2014 I have collaborated with Dom Heffer, Amanda Lowe, Carol Walker, Anita Anita, Creative & Cultural Company, Judy’s Attic and Kingston Artgroup.

Steve is pictured here working on a giant Jack Frost  a joint commission with Amanda Lowe and the Creative and Cultural Company – you can see the finished processional sculpture at Princes Quay until the end of January 2015.

http://www.stevelliott.co.uk

 The Changing Face Exhibition preview event is happening on April the 2nd you can book tickets for it by following this link:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-changing-face-of-hull-preview-tickets-16160036103?aff=efbevent

Photo © Quentin Budworth

Andy Richardson – Music Promoter

Today’s Changing Face is Andy Richardson. Andy was one of the participants at the Hull International Photography Gallery last  friday – here he speaks about Hull In his own words – which are remarkable … 
 Andy Richardson - Workshop Participant HIP Gallery
‘I began promoting music in Hull in 1997 with the world music collective Hot City Beats. Our first gig was the Ghanaian band Ifang Bondi at the Adelphi Club, about four weeks into the bright dawn of New Labour. I was hooked and have spent the last seventeen years as a promoter and agent working locally regionally nationally and internationally.
 During that period there has been, since 1999, one constant factor – Wreckless Eric, my teenage hero. We have done four national tours together over the years and today we come together again to launch the Hull Music Archive – a project close to my heart. So how has Hull changed over this period? I didn’t think the Blairite years were a great time for the arts in Hull – maybe the ready availability of public funding weakened what to me is Hull’s artistic strength – the underground.
The coalition cuts have wreaked great damage on the people of Hull but in the arts I sense a renaissance: new venues & promoters, galleries, radio stations, record labels, collaborations and people pulling together to make things happen – with or without funding. My hope in the run up to 2017, and beyond, is that there will be thriving underground scene once more in place – inspiring, leading and taking chances. And once more ‘it will never be dull in Hull’.
Wreckless Eric is playing at the Adelphi Club in Hull tonight. (10-12-2014)
And just for fun a contact sheet from the shoot …

You can actually see the point at which I say to Andy ‘So tell me about Eric?’

Mick Mcgarry

A fantastic portrait session and some illuminating conversation at Hull Maritime Museum with the indomitable musical force of nature that is Mick Mcgarry – In the interview he spoke of his life really beginning with retirement and the joy that singing brings him. Mick is truly remarkable man who is changing the face of Hull through his work with the Hillbilly Troupe and his other musical activities within the city.

We are keen to work with and hear from the good people of Hull especially those with an interesting story from ALL walks of life. JOIN US! THIS Friday, 5th December between 6-30 and 8-00pm.at Princes Quay (Next door to the POP Gallery).

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Sydell Faith The Early Bird Eater

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Meet one of our first ‘Changing Faces’  blogger of Hull life…. Ms Sydell Faith – ‘The Early Bird Eater’ here she talks about her life in Hull in her own words…

Hello my name is Sydell I created The Early Bird Eater around two years ago. The Early Bird Eater has turned my life from something quite normal into something I could not have expected. Creatively I feel free and people really embrace what I am about Hull’s creative culture and people make me what I am today.
Food is my way of expression and I love that there is variation I go to the butchers veg shop and a place to buy spices and create. Food is my whole life giving food to people is a pleasure sharing what I cook on social media via my blogs/articles and other means is really exciting too.
 

 The Changing Face Exhibition preview event is happening on April the 2nd you can book tickets for it by following this link:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-changing-face-of-hull-preview-tickets-16160036103?aff=efbevent

Photo © Quentin Budworth