In a need to keep busy at weekends, coupled with a desperate need to not spend any money, a friend and I decided that what we needed to do was soak up some of Hull’s culture this weekend.
Ferens Art Gallery
here. No idea why I loved it so much because it’s not normal material for a child to like but I was totally obsessed with it.
What is always nice about Ferens is that they usually have pretty good visiting exhibitions on. There’s two at the moment – one about Ern Shaw, a Hull-born illustrator, featuring many pictures of his work including designs for Happy Families playing cards and Hull City football club comic strips. There’s also an area for kids to play a giant snakes and ladders board game and there’s a tree on the wall for you to stick leaf-shaped post-its with your thoughts on. My favourite was the person that wrote “I liked this gallery, but it smelled of crisps”.
Two words baby. HANDS. ON.
The sculptures are made out of various pieces of scrap metal and are amazing to look at in themselves but have the added bonus of having levers and knobs and switches to flick and pull and press to make the sculptures move about or make noises. Some of them actually freaked me out a bit. Not least the one with 6 babies heads which all spun round and cried. When I wasn’t expecting it. Lovely. The owl and pussycat in their pea-green boat was rather lovely though and there’s an opportunity for you to get on an exercise bike to make one of the sculptures move – culture AND exercise?! Brilliant. (visit them here to see some of the exhibits)
It’s at Ferens until Sunday 5th September. So you should go....now.
I asked my friend for her overall reaction to Ferens Art Gallery as someone who had never been before (SHOCKING!) and didn’t have the whole nostalgic vibe I had for it:
“Hmm, well I loved Ferens Art Gallery but feel they need a few more modern displays; the cartoon kids area was really cool (apart from the man who insisted on talking to his wife and child at the top of his voice!) My favourite part was the post-it note tree with the messages left from visitors, especially the note left by the 71 year old! Also, more interactive parts please Mr Ferens Art Gallery,although these were actually quite scary at first, I imagine the rotating screaming baby heads may freak some small children out...”
Hull Maritime Museum
Also slap bang in the city centre this museum is the kind of museum that gives museums a bad name. It is boring. B.o.r.i.n.g. I mean I know the clue is in the title but unless you are seriously into your ships and shit this is not going to be for you. I see why it’s there, we’re all about the boats and stuff in Hull what with it being a dock and all (please note. Hull is not on the sea. It’s not even near the sea. It’s on the River Humber. Don’t come here looking for a beach holiday).
It even smells like museum.
It is worthwhile popping your head in to see the big huge whale skeleton and the rather cool collection of narwhal tusks. I’m kind of obsessed with narwhals. It is in serious need of updating and they need to work on getting the place lighter, it’s so dim and dingy. Not good.
Although on the upside, I did learn a new term. “Scrimshandering.” I’m working on finding a way to introduce it into my speech every day.
And Culture Friend’s thoughts:
“Yawn! I’m sorry I know it’s our heritage, blah, blah, but really could be a little bit more interesting Mr Maritime museum (think I could do his job better!) The place smells funny as well. To be honest I was ready to go for lunch within minutes of being in there!”
Also. The Deep is there. People should go to The Deep if they come to Hull. It’s cool. Alas it was not on the list for the Day of Culture because it costs pennies.
We also went to have a look at the old Fruit Market. It’s in a derelict part of the city centre but there were huge plans to invest and do it all up and make it marvellous. These plans are now kind of hanging in the balance thanks to Hull Forward (our economic regeneration company, responsible for making Hull...you know...nice again) being disbanded and shut down.
Thanks Mr Cameron.
It is open and sort of full of random old stalls. I kind of get what it’s trying to do but I’m not really feeling it at the moment. Some old bloke selling his watercolours of cats is not going to cut it I’m afraid.
I do have high hopes for the Museum of Club Culture (which pretty much does what it says on the tin) and I’ll be back over the Bank Holiday weekend when there’s some fun stuff going on.
How's that for one day? One day of culture. In the Hull. There will be more to come...