BOOTLEG SHREG & FRIENDS, 2023. Bruce Asbestos © Bruce Asbestos

Pop culture, catwalks and parades; Absolutely Cultured’s colourful summer programme

  • A newly-commissioned interactive exhibition from artist Bruce Asbestos will open across the Humber Street Gallery building;
  • The venue will be hosting supporting activities and events, such as artist talks and Horrible House, a Thursday Lates event that asks visitors to take part in a green catwalk;
  • Handmade Productions will host a Spring Bank Heritage Community Festival as part of Abolutely Cultured’s community engagement work;
  • Local artists on the INTER_CHANGE programme will take part in masterclasses on the visual arts industry and touring.

Absolutely Cultured’s upcoming programme offers colourful opportunities to engage with arts and culture, running from July through September 2023.

Opening at Humber Street Gallery on 14 July throughout the building is BOOTLEG SHREG & FRIENDS by Bruce Asbestos. An exhibition that invites you to enter the world of ‘Shreg’ and collaborate in designing this unique character. The show explores the idea of combining the best qualities of popular green cartoon characters like Shrek, Yoda, the Grinch, Yoshi, or Luigi to create a brand new one. The exhibition features interactive inflatables, paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces in various mediums for visitors to enjoy.

BOOTLEG SHREG & FRIENDS is a tribute to unusual green characters from pop culture that use their strength, wisdom, love of adventure, sharp wit, or unwavering determination to overcome challenges and protect their loved ones. In Space 1, visitors can assemble the new character from inflatable shapes and in Space 2, they can make their version of SHREG using plasticine and check up on Asbestos’s sculptural homework.

This is an imaginative exhibition that introduces a fresh character in an exciting and thought-provoking way, through a collection of new works commissioned by Humber Street Gallery.

Alongside this exhibition, Humber Street Gallery will be hosting supporting events as part of a public programme. This includes a free entry Exhibition Launch Party on 13 July, An Evening with Critical Fish (27 July) to unpick the show’s themes, and an online Artist Talk with Bruce Asbestos (7 September).

In addition, there will be a special Thursday Lates event hosted by the artist on 17 August. Horrible House will be a night of DJs, “open” house music and a bring-your-own DIY catwalk extravaganza. Keen cosplayers and fancy-dress enthusiasts are invited to walk a makeshift green catwalk. House music-makers in Hull can also submit original tracks to Bruce Asbestos for a chance to be played on the night.

To submit music, email using the subject line “Horrible House”, with your Name, Track Title and an MP4 or AIFF download link before 7 August.

Toile will bring their workshops back to Humber Street Gallery, offering art-lovers a plein air drawing session on the roof terrace (19 August) and an opportunity to try out lino printing (24 September). In addition to this artistic programme, the popular Sound Bath experience returns on a new schedule, now repeating every four weeks. These are adult-only sessions that open with a guided meditation before moving into a deeply relaxing soundscape, creating a deep sense of wellbeing and calm.

On 26 August the venue will present What’s The Tea?; an afternoon tea party hosted by drag queen Heather Phetish, with performances by Trixie Blue, on their roof terrace. Two hours of comedy, lip syncs, bottomless prosecco, gin cocktails and picky party food.

Tickets for all Humber Street Gallery events can be booked via the Absolutely Cultured website:

Beyond Humber Street, Absolutely Cultured will continue providing creative sessions and activities with Hull communities. Commissioned by Absolutely Cultured and supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund, award-winning community arts and parade specialist Community Interest Company Handmade Productions will be hosting a Spring Bank Heritage Community Festival on 15 July. This one-day free event in Peel Street Park will give residents the chance to celebrate their diverse community and raise awareness of the area’s history, particularly that of the Zoological Gardens that once use to inhabit the site.

In the lead up to the event, Absolutely Cultured and Handmade Productions will explore the history of the Zoological Gardens, it’s animals and the stories around it and deliver a series of creative workshops on the theme for local community groups and schools. The outcome will be colourful community artworks that will decorate Peel Street Park and be paraded around the site. There will also be a variety of activities for Spring Bank residents to get involved in, including Abadaba Circus workshops and performances, music from Beats Bus, face-painting and much more, supported by HEY! Volunteers.

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 July and September, the programme will see the cohort take part in a series of masterclasses covering topics such as how galleries, curators and the ‘Art Industry’ works and touring.

To keep up to date with our work, follow @AbsCultured on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.