New exhibition explores the women who work in fishing industry

© Craig Easton, A Hull fisherwoman.

The heritage and tradition of women working in the fishing community is to be showcased at an exhibition at Hull Maritime Museum, next month.

In this exhibition, award-winning photographer, Craig Easton, well known for his landscape work and intimate portraits of real lives, explores the past and present. It will bring together the three strands of the fisherwomen’s story: their heritage, their journey and contemporary portraits, including exciting new commissions of Hull’s own fisherwomen.

Fisherwomen celebrates the tradition and importance of women in the fishing industry by following the traditional route of the herring trade from Shetland down the east coast, via Hull to Great Yarmouth.

The exhibition will be on display from Saturday 24 August and will run until Sunday 27 October 2019, highlighting the central role of women in the fishing industry today, even though their work is now almost entirely done behind closed doors in processing factories, sheds and smokehouses.

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “The fishing fleets have long depended on workers to process their catch, many of these were women in what is often mistakenly considered to be a predominantly male dominated industry.

“This exhibition and Craig’s work captures these proud women at work that is often unnoticed, undertaking a critical part of the fishing industry. This is part of our broader commitment within our Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project to tell previously untold and uncelebrated stories within our long and proud maritime heritage.”

Craig Easton, said: “Women have been the backbone of fishing communities for centuries and in the long tradition of the east coast herring trade, their work was done come rain or shine on bustling quaysides as they gutted and packed the salted fish into barrels. The character, camaraderie, dress and good humour attracted the attentions of great artists in the past from the early photographic portraits of Hill and Adamson to the paintings of Winslow Homer and John McGhie.

“Now working almost entirely out of sight of the public, my aim with this work is to connect today’s fisherwomen to that long heritage and to celebrate the essential role they still play in the modern fishing industry.”

Following the exhibition, some of Craig’s new work of Hull women will be used within the planned new displays at the Maritime Museum, as part of the Hull’s major maritime project.

This free exhibition will run from Saturday 24 August until Sunday 27 October 2019. The museum is open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4.30pm, and Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

[Anna Marshall – Hull CC]

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