Absolutely Cultured will ring in the New Year with cultural experiences for everyone

Absolutely Cultured’s aim to give everyone the opportunity to get involved in the arts will be advanced in the New Year, with their upcoming season of cultural activity running January to March 2023.

National Art & Design Saturday Club at Hull School of Art & Design with Andy Dakin and Dom Heffer.

As a cultural development organisation, their ambition is to offer cultural opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the city, for its residents and creative practitioners, that otherwise wouldn’t exist. To increase the relevance and value of the arts in peoples’ lives. Learn more about Absolutely Cultured and their work in this introduction: We Are Absolutely Cultured

Opening on 18 January in Humber Street Gallery is brand new body of work Climate Feedback Loops from Austrian artist Oliver Ressler, co-commissioned with Kunsthalle Krems, Austria. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising five-to-seven times faster than the global average. Svalbard, the archipelago between the Northern coast of Norway and the North Pole, has become a hotspot, perhaps the fastest overheating place on the entire planet.

In mid-summer, the Svalbard sea ice now melts almost completely. Extreme warming thaws enormous amounts of methane, sealed through millennia into permafrost soil. The resulting greenhouse gases leak into the atmosphere, increasing temperatures further and thawing yet more permafrost soil. Chain reactions of this kind, repeated over and over again and no longer stoppable, are “climate feedback loops”.

This project is based on recordings made in Svalbard in the framework of an expedition in July 2022, and has been carried out in the framework of “Barricading the Ice Sheets”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF: AR 526). The sounds of Arctic collapse in the installation serve as acoustic counterpart to visuals depicting the collapse of the texture of life.

Continuing in the New Year until 26 March is Earth is a Deadname; the first solo exhibition by Margate-based artist Lou Lou Sainsbury, installed first at Gasworks,

London in July 2022. Working across film and performance, poetry and textiles, she presents a newly commissioned body of work that seeks to reimagine transgender experience beyond the limiting language of medical terms.

Alongside these exhibitions, Humber Street Gallery will be hosting supporting events as part of a public programme. This includes Lunchtime Curator Tours (every Thursday at 12pm), an Exhibition Launch for Climate Feedback Loops (26 January), an online Artist Talk with Oliver Ressler on the topic of Emergency Art and Climate Activism (15 February), Descending Notes Like Rain In The Abyss a Thursday Lates performance by Lou Lou Sainsbury (2 March), an online Artist Talk with Lou Lou Sainsbury (8 March) and An Evening with Critical Fish (23 March) which is an opportunity to unpick and reflect on the themes of both exhibitions. There will also be two additional Thursday Lates events (12 January and 9 February) featuring performances and activities related to the gallery, exhibitions and their themes, along with newly-created, free learning resources for visiting families.

In addition to this artistic programme, the popular Sound Bath experience repeats on the last Saturday of each month. Adult-only sessions that open with a guided meditation before moving into a deeply relaxing soundscape featuring a remo drum, crystal singing bowls, koshi chimes and tuning forks. Resonant sounds and vibrations affect brain wave activity resulting in a deep sense of wellbeing and calm.

Tickets for all Humber Street Gallery events can be booked via the Absolutely Cultured website: absolutelycultured.co.uk/humberstreetgallery.

Beyond Humber Street, Absolutely Cultured will continue working with communities in their Gipsyville and Spring Bank social action sites – with many activities supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

At Gipsyville Library, regular coffee and chat sessions will be open to residents every Wednesday 10am to 12pm. Alongside this, creative workshops will be led by award- winning theatre company Middle Child every Friday 3-5pm, and from February new artist-led sessions will also focus on the heritage of the area every Saturday 10am to 12pm.

At Spring Bank Central, Handmade Parade, an award-winning community arts and parade specialist Community Interest Company based in Hebden Bridge, will run weekly creative sessions, every Saturday 2-4pm. This activity will take inspiration from the zoological gardens that used to be in the area from 1840 to 1861.

Starting in February, artists will be working with the community to connect to Spring Bank’s past through performance, in weekly creative sessions every Tuesday evening 3:30-5:30pm.

Absolutely Cultured will fund a local artist residency at Pearson Primary School. The 8-week residency will begin in February 2023 and will consist of art sessions with a large group of Year 5s during school-hours. There will be related after-school activities for the pupils, their families and the local community, which will be held at Spring Bank Central – one of Absolutely Cultured’s satellite centres for social action work.

The aim is to nurture young minds creatively and show them art processes they might not have encountered before. Offering positive interactions with a real-life artist and getting children excited about art.

Absolutely Cultured’s INTER_CHANGE cohort of local artists are co-creating their experience across the year-long development programme, based on their priorities as participants. Between January and March 2023, the programme will focus on a series of masterclasses which will cover a variety of topics; including business planning, exhibition planning, drafting proposals and artist statements, and making work accessible to audiences.

To find out more about Absolutely Cultured and their work, including all of the above, please visit their website at www.absolutelycultured.co.uk and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @AbsCultured.