- Absolutely Cultured and Tom Dale Company will present a double bill of dance performances, in partnership with Hull Truck Theatre;
- Two newly-commissioned exhibitions from artists Hetain Patel and Luke Beech will open at Humber Street Gallery;
- The venue will be hosting supporting activities and events, such as artist talks, an opportunity to unpick themes of the works on show with Critical Fish, and performances from dancer Gareth Chambers and artist Michael Barnes-Wynters;
- Supported local artists on the INTER_CHANGE programme will undertake a series of masterclasses and take a networking trip to Leeds;
- Middle Child Theatre and Handmade Parade will run creative sessions in Absolutely Cultured’s social actions sites at Gipsyville and Spring Bank.
Absolutely Cultured’s upcoming programme features innovative and immersive activities for all, running April through June 2023.
On Tuesday 18 April, Tom Dale Company and Absolutely Cultured present SUB:VERSION and SURGE, a double bill of dance performances, in partnership with Hull Truck Theatre.
SURGE gives life to a future human on the bridge between the digital and organic worlds. Four stellar artists collaborate to create a brand-new staged concept album in this immersive, audio-visual, genre-breaking performance. Featuring exclusive new music from British music producer ITAL TEK, live vocals from performer Jemima Brown and digital design by Vent Media – who last brought their work to Hull in 2021, with their Overflow piece as part of Absolutely Cultured’s FloodLights outdoor public project.
SUB:VERSION is ten dance sketches that form a new group piece; an elegant selection of dance work that weaves a hypnotic journey through an array of electronic music sub-genres using WEN’s album EPHEM:ERA. The album offers a framework for performers to connect with their bodies and each other – exploring the pleasure of moving to music. The result is a core celebration of dance itself: the body, and the limitless possibilities that music can evoke.
Tickets for this event can be booked via the Hull Truck Theatre website: hulltruck.co.uk/whats-on/dance/sub-version-and-surge.
Open at Humber Street Gallery from 14 April to 25 June in Space 1, visual artist Hetain Patel presents Baa’s House. A collection of films, sculptures and paintings that explore the personal significance of Patel’s late Grandmother, Lakshmiben Patel, and her home in Bolton. “Baa”, meaning “Mother” in Gujarati, becomes a central figure, sometimes connecting marginalised people to the widely-recognised world of Hollywood, and as a symbol of resistance against oppressive forces.
The Jump (2015) is a two-screen film installation. Part family portrait and part recreation of a Spider-Man scene filmed in Baa’s living room. Shot in super slow motion to an epic orchestral soundtrack, the theme of metaphorically taking a leap into the unknown parallels Patel’s family’s migration to the UK.
Paintings newly-commissioned by Humber Street Gallery are rendered in acrylic, gold leaf and automotive paint. They form part of a wider body of work that began in 2020, which sees the artist revisiting the subject matter of Baa’s House for the first time since Baa’s death in 2017.
In Space 2 from 12 April to 2 July, Hull-based artist Luke Beech presents Winner Breaks First, his debut solo show at Humber Street Gallery. The new body of work reshapes the gallery space into a snooker hall pocket realm, found by an artist from another world who explores the game for the first time.
Beech promises a “sort of silly but quite revealing ballad of hurt and queerness and madness and joy” which draws on his own experiences, and hopes to make sense of them set against a casual snooker game and a swift half. The show features installation, videos and a sound piece. You can become a part of the art and play a game yourself, amongst the other works on show.
Beech previously took part in Absolutely Cultured’s 12-month talent development programme INTER_CHANGE, as a member of the 2021-2022 cohort.
Alongside these exhibitions, Humber Street Gallery will be hosting supporting events as part of a public programme. This includes a free entry Exhibition Launch for both shows on 13 April, an online Artist Talk with Hetain Patel (3 May), two opportunities for outdoor exploration in A Queer Foraging Tour (7 May & 4 June), An Evening with Critical Fish (10 May) to unpick themes present in the current exhibition programme, and an In Conversation panel with Luke Beech, Dom Heffer and Simon-Mary Vincent (11 May). Thursday Lates return this season too with BAIZE MOI by dancer Gareth Chambers (20 April), a dance solo that explores the sexual personae of masculine working-class archetypes prominent in pop culture, and SALAAM! (8 June) with Hull-based artist Michael Barnes-Wynters leading a performance in the preparation, cooking and offering of a designed dhal with chapatti for all attendees in response to Hetain Patel’s Baa’s House.
Toile will bring their classes back to Humber Street Gallery between April and June, with four workshops offering art-lovers the chance to paint their own plant pot and homewares, to try out lino printing and to craft flower crowns. 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, creating 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.
Absolutely Cultured’s current INTER_CHANGE cohort of local artists are co-creating their experience across the year-long development programme, based on their priorities as participants. Between April and June, the programme will see the cohort take a trip to Leeds to meet and network with other arts organisations. They will also take part in a series of masterclasses covering Finances and Legal Responsibilities, Budgeting, Working with communities and Marketing.
Beyond Humber Street, Absolutely Cultured will continue providing creative sessions and activities with communities in their Gipsyville and Spring Bank sites – led by award-winning theatre company Middle Child and award-winning community arts and parade specialist Community Interest Company Handmade Parade respectively – supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.