Through a series of sculpture, performance and installation Ecstatic Rituals explored the tradition of Hull Fair. Reflecting on urban folklore as well as past and present notions of mass festivity, this exhibition considered the city’s medieval era when the fair was started and when the city of Hull was one of the main sites for international imports to the UK.
Contributing artists: Faye Spencer, Anna FC Smith, Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Johnson, Tom Ireland, Medieval Helpdesk.
Tom Ireland is an artist and curator living and working in Blackpool, UK. Spanning a variety of media, Ireland’s practice is centred around broad notions of space, distance and the things which fill it; he is interested in what these things are, both physically and ideologically, their interaction with one another and how they operate within the world to shape our individual and collective understanding.
Faye Spencer’s hand – made mediator figures in traditional morris dancing attire provide a contemporary take on the ‘Fool’ and the ‘Beast’. Spencer says “I would like to make space for the less genteel aspects of British folklore and celebrate the ugliness and camaraderie of urban folk tradition, as well as question the extent to which we can revive a tradition without commodifying it.”
Anna FC Smith is a Wigan (UK) based multimedia artist. She studied Critical Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton, graduating in 2007 and has exhibited internationally. Smith has a longstanding obsession with the overlooked in history, folk culture, and communal traditions. As a practitioner she locates herself between artist, historian and anthropologist, with historical and anthropological research forming the basis of much of her work. Through her practice Smith celebrates ‘low culture’ relating with concepts of the carnivalesque, bawdiness, irreverence and ambivalence. She explores the role of history and the archive and the links contemporary society has with its predecessors.
Collaborative artists Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Johnson (MSR FCJ) are the duo behind collections that dare to explore all manner of odd but enchanting circumstances. Themes of unbridled romance, mild horror, biting humour and plain weird fantasy unfold. Two brains and two hands work as one, a process that loosens any pre-visions, leading down a path to the unknown, in a direction they could never foresee. Through an experimental exchange, somewhere between the chaos and harmony of melding visual ideas, MSR FCJ consciously push traditional concepts of craftsmanship in favour of personal styles of figuration. They challenge these classical methods in order to present an intensely personal view of the world around them.
Medieval helpdesk is an anachronistic curatorial project that reactivates perceptions, objects and rituals associated with the ‘Dark Ages’ within contemporary contexts. It comprises writer/editor Lara Eggleton, and artist David Steans, both based in Leeds.
Installation view, 2020. Jamie Crewe, Solidarity & Love. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2020. Photo by Jules Lister.
Jamie Crewe, Solidarity & Love
Proboscidea Rappings, Ollie Dook
Wrapping, Nnena Kalu
Frances Disley, The Cucumber Fell in the Sand. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2019. ©Jules Lister
Frances Disley: The Cucumber Fell In The Sand
Jade Montserrat: Instituting Care
Ella Dorton, Journey to the Centre of the Couch (Couches & Other Good Ideas). Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2019. © Jules Lister
Journey To The Centre Of The Couch (Couches & Other Good Ideas), Ella Dorton
The Witching Hour
Keisha Thompson: Man on the Moon
IETM Hull 2019 Artistic Programme
Measures of Life by The Lumen Prize for Digital Art
A Duckie Summer Tea Party / LGBT50
Installation view, 2020. Lucy Clout, ZZZ. Courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist, 2020. Photo by Jules Lister.
Lucy Clout, ZZZ
Dance Exchange Hull
© Chris Pepper
Hull Takeover: Previews
Image: Athena Papadopoulos, A Tittle-Tattle Tell-a-Tale-Heart, courtesy of Humber Street Gallery and the artist 2019. © James Mulkeen
A Tittle-Tattle Tell-a-Tale Heart, Athena Papadopoulos
Suki Seokyeong Kang
Place To Place: Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme
Jamie Reid XXXXX: Fifty Years of Subversion and The Spirit
Contains Strong Language
Act VII: Land of Green Ginger
John Grant's North Atlantic Flux: Sounds from Smoky Bay
Hull Truck Theatre
The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca
Equanipolis, Aniara Omann
Image: Installation View. Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Jones (MSR FCJ), Ecstatic Rituals.
Emerging Cultural Leaders Mobility Bursary 2019 - Information Event
PRS Foundation New Music Biennial 2019
Image: Cut, Humber Street Gallery 2019. ©James Mulkeen
Cut, Richard Houguez & Graham Jones
Candoco Dance Company Face In by Yasmeen Godder Photography by Hugo Glendinning
IETM Hull 2019 Plenary Meeting
Urban Legends: Northern Lights
Home Town Story
It Takes a Village