Image: RRR 2018. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © Frances Disley

Humber Street Gallery Announces Exciting New Season of Exhibitions

Humber Street Gallery, which is managed and run by Absolutely Cultured and is the only contemporary visual arts space in the region, has today announced its programme of exhibitions for summer 2019.  

The programme features The Cucumber Fell in the Sand by Frances Disley in collaboration with Greg Herbert, Foodsketz (Alison Claire and Cat Smith) and CBS Studios (Joseph Hulme, Liam Peacock and Theo Vass); Instituting Care by Jade Montserrat in partnership with Bluecoat, Liverpool’s Centre for Contemporary Art; and Ecstatic Rituals by Faye Spencer, Anna FC Smith, Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Johnson, Tom Ireland & Medieval Helpdesk (Lara Eggleton and David Steans).

The Cucumber Fell in the Sand, which opens on Saturday 13 July, explores Hull’s rich heritage around food and production through an exhibition that encompasses sculpture, painting, dyed textiles, plant life and an extensive programme of activities for public participation. The exhibition includes a series of new commissions by Humber Street Gallery.

Across galleries 1 & 2 the artist aims to mimic the philosophies of renowned American architect, systems theorist and inventor Buckminster Fuller who designed La Biosphere de Montreal, a dedicated museum to the environment.

Disley has also drawn inspiration from the Hull born pioneer industrialist Joseph Rank who devised a mechanical mill that changed the production and distribution of flour through his entrepreneurial activity.

Consisting of fully immersive wall and floor based sculptural planters which will propagate plant life that outline the route of production to consumption. The exhibition will be constructed around two zones. Visitors to gallery 1 will experience an environment that celebrates consumption, serving and displaying with scent disseminating devices that enhance relaxation and comfort, mats and scented cushions designed by the artist will be used for pause and reflection. Working in collaboration with Foodsketz (artists Alison Clare and Cat Smith) the artist will also devise comic style guides to food discussion as well as facilitating several events.

Gallery 2 will examine the mechanisms of production, manipulation and growth with a large sculptural table designed in collaboration with CBS Studios, mobile planters filled with vegetables, salads and scented plants associated with stimulation and energy. The mechanics of production will be exposed artistically as Disley aims to explore water filtration systems in collaboration with artist Gregory Herbert. Together they will produce the atmospheric conditions to support growth with specialist water and lighting systems. Here, interactive elements will encourage participants to harvest, sow, water and feed.

Senior Curator at Humber Street Gallery, John Heffernan, explained: “Following on from the exciting programme we had in the gallery this spring, I’m really looking forward to our summer programme. Frances’ and the collaborating artists’ work is really ambitious and I’m sure it will both excite and intrigue audiences. Drawing on Hull’s impressive history as a city of innovation and production has been an important part of the research and I’m sure audiences will be intrigued by how the artists have drawn from this to form a contemporary perspective.

“In spring we launched several new events and activities for kids and the amazing artwork they have created as a result, is now on display in our dedicated Fruit Factory Gallery wall.

We’ve work closely with all of the artists in our summer programme to devise a series of events and workshops that are suitable for all with a core them of learning about food and self-care.”

Instituting Care is an exhibition by Scarborough based artist Jade Montserrat that will be presented in the Project Space from Saturday 20 July – Sunday 1 September. The installation consists of large-scale charcoal drawings made directly on the walls at Humber Street Gallery, alongside a structure designed by the artist. The structure hosts a series of events relating to ideas around care and education.

From May to November 2018 Montserrat worked as artist in residence at Bluecoat, Liverpool’s Centre for Contemporary Art to develop Instituting Care. Whilst in residence, the artist met local artists, educators and activists in Liverpool, some of whom will be facilitating related events during the exhibition. These events include a workshop with ROOT-ed zine looking at and making revisions to, a glossary of terms relating to Montserrat’s research which have been pinned to the wall inside the gallery; a life-drawing class with artist Paul Kindersley modelling in extravagant costume, designed to creative an inclusive, caring environment which is open to all; and a daylong workshop with artist Jane Lawson whose research proposes that the study and care for mushrooms and fungi can offer ideas for how we might structure a more caring and empathetic society. A new programme of events has been devised for the exhibition at Humber Street Gallery that has been developed for audiences In Hull.

Montserrat’s stark wall-drawings give fragmented reflections of her experience navigating her way through education, working as an artist and living in the UK.

Following on from Instituting Care, Faye Spencer, Anna FC Smith, Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Johnson, Tom Ireland & Medieval Helpdesk (Lara Eggleton and David Steans), will present Ecstatic Rituals from Saturday 7 September – Sunday 20 October.

The exhibition will explore the civic tradition of ‘the fair’, considering urban folklore of the past and present and contemporary notions of ‘Britishness’ in contrast to the ways we have conceived of national identity in the past, particularly during the medieval era when Hull fair was started, and when Hull was the main site of imports from outside the UK. This will be explored alongside the visual aesthetics and symbolism of celebration, ceremony and subversion.

John said: “The gallery has an important role in Hull to help bring world-class contemporary art to the city. Hull offers a deeply fascinating historical legacy for artists to reflect upon and the legendary Hull fair felt like a great place to start!

“We’re really excited about the work that we’re bringing to the gallery this summer. It’s our goal to provide access to contemporary art that people wouldn’t see elsewhere in the city and I am convinced that this programme will offer something for all.”

Further details about the exhibitions can be found here.