Writer commissioned as part of Queen’s Gardens refurbishment project

A writer has been commissioned to produce work that will displayed as part of the Queens Gardens refurbishment.

Author and artist Joanna Walsh.
Author and artist Joanna Walsh. Photo: Lauren Elkin.

Author and artist Joanna Walsh has been jointly commissioned by the project and Humber Mouth literature festival to write prose that will feature alongside of a number of public art installations in the gardens.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment and regeneration, said: “As part of the refurbishment of Queens Gardens, we wanted to include art installations to help engage visitors and make the area even more of an attractive green space.

“Art and culture will play an important role in the refurbishment of the garden, including in how we celebrate and tell the story of our rich maritime heritage.”

Walsh’s piece will feature on a new substation in the gardens. The text will be inscribed on the four facades of the building.

Joanna Walsh said: “I’m honoured to have been asked to write on the walls of this key building in Queens Gardens, and excited to be involved in such a wonderful public project.”

Joanna Walsh is a writer and artist. She has written seven books, including Break.up, Hotel, Vertigo, Worlds from the Word’s End and the digital work Seed.

She was commissioned by Humber Mouth in 2019 to be its first digital writer-in-residence and developed the Hull Story Map, which gathered in people’s stories about the city. 

Catherine Sadler, arts development officer at Hull City Council and director of Humber Mouth said: “We are delighted to be working with the Queens Gardens project. Writers and writing are an integral part of Hull’s history and identity, and Humber Mouth has a proud history of welcoming writers to the city. 

“We are thrilled to be working with Joanna again on this commission that further embeds literature into the heart of Hull.”

Queen's Gardens development, Hull.
Queen’s Gardens development, Hull.

The £4.3m Queens Gardens refurbishment is set to feature a number of other permanent art installations that will celebrate and bring to life Hull’s rich maritime past.

The installations, from internationally-renowned and award-winning artists Katayoun Dowlatshahi and Heinrich & Palmer, will include a new seating area in the Peace Garden, integrated artworks on new amphitheatre-style seating, as well as maritime-inspired installations and lighting along the boundary of the gardens.

The Queens Gardens refurbishment will improve accessibility and visitor flows, deliver structural repairs through rebuilding the retaining walls, introduce bespoke pieces of public art, improve biodiversity and regenerate a much-loved open space.

The project will make the gardens fit for purpose, futureproofing the space and its ability to host large-scale events. The history of the gardens will be incorporated in its design, reconnecting it with the origins of the space as a former dock.

The Queens Gardens refurbishment is being funded by Hull City Council.

[Michael Berriman – Hull City Council]

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