Hull city centre will be lit up this month with an enchanting and spectacular three-day event, celebrating the city’s rich maritime heritage.
Navigate, featuring mesmerising sculptures and outdoor exhibits from the acclaimed Kazimier team, will celebrate the start of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project and take place from Thursday 30 January until Saturday 1 February, from dusk until 9pm each evening.
Councillor Dave Craker, portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “Hull has a proud cultural heritage and a strong artistic identity, catapulted by the success of Hull City of Culture 2017. Art and culture will play an important part in Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City and we are already working with artists to discuss how their talents and creativity can be incorporated into other elements of the project.
“This incredible installation from Kazimier is a great example of how art and culture can play an important role in the exciting regeneration and future of our city.”
Navigate will include four installations – Meridian, Oracle, Zenith and Pendopo – across the city centre.
Large beams of light will be shone from Hull City Hall and over Whitefriargate as part of Meridian. Using four powerful lasers, a visual line is created in the night sky, a point of reference for those navigating the city.
An eight-metre lighthouse, Oracle, which has been specifically commissioned for Navigate, will float in Prince’s Dock and show the superstitions and importance placed on the weather and what it holds for the fortunes of those venturing to sea.
Linked wirelessly to meteorological sensors, the Oracle takes real-time readings of wind speed, humidity, pressure, temperature and rain. Every 30 minutes, it contacts the Met Office and displays a weather omen foretelling prediction for the forthcoming hour with a dynamic audio visual performance. The installation will remain in Prince’s Dock until March.
Michael Lill, Kazimier artistic director, said: “Oracle is essentially a communication device. Part lighthouse, part navigational instrument and part fortune teller.
“Due to the inherent risk of sea travel, maritime history is rich with folklore and superstition, all of which is inextricably linked to the weather. With Oracle we wanted to create a piece that brought the functional and fantastical together. The tower really does predict tomorrow’s weather while at the same time it gives the viewer a reading of their own fortune.
“As a group we have always had an interest in structures that have personality. The aim is for the piece to have a life of its own, to be constantly changing along with the environment and to bring a sense of drama and excitement to the people of Hull.”
Queen Victoria Square will also be home to a chorus of kinetic sculptures, Zenith, producing an immersive sonic landscape of the sea. The public will be encouraged to explore an evolving sound piece emanating from the stars, each slowly rotating, emitting their own mesmerising sonic character.
Trinity Square will host the Pendopo, a sound and laser installation containing a remarkable robotic musical instrument inspired by the metallic sounds of East Asia’s ‘Gamelan’ percussion ensembles. It will feature The Hive, originally commissioned by AND Festival, a larger-than-life resonator, with vibrating chimes for visitors to interact with and create new compositions.
Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City is the city’s latest major project, with £27.4m set to be invested in the city’s maritime site in the next few years, celebrating Hull’s 800-year maritime heritage.
The project will highlight Hull’s remarkable journey as a global powerhouse for trade and cultural exchange, and its connections to the rest of the world through its role as a major, thriving port city.
Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project is jointly funded by Hull City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment and regeneration, said: “We are just at the start of this amazing journey, which will see the city’s rich maritime heritage celebrated and reimagined through a multi-million pound investment that will include the refurbishment of historic maritime sites and the creation of a brand new and world-class visitor destination for the city.
“This is a brilliant way of celebrating the start of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.”
[Michael Berriman – Hull City Council]