A Gallery of Images from Hull: Portrait of a City Exhibition
Acclaimed photographers Martin Parr and Olivia Arthur from photography collective Magnum Photos take a unique look at Hull life in a new exhibition, ‘Hull, Portrait of a City’, that opens at Humber Street Gallery on Friday 13 October.
The photographers, whose work has been shown around the world, were commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017 to explore two different aspects of the culture of the city. Martin Parr has captured the rich culinary scene of Hull and Olivia Arthur has captured the creativity of the young people in the city. Collectively they aim to open a discussion about how the people of Hull define their culture, landscape and themselves.
The photographers have spent time in the city in order to gain an insight into their subject matter and build relationships with those local people who are featured in their striking images.
Chiedu Oraka, one of the subjects in the photographs said: ‘I was really happy to be involved in the project, not only is it a great opportunity to be involved in a project by such a well-known photography collective, but it was also great that the lives and experiences of young people in Hull were being recorded in this way.’
“Individuality, identity and aspirations”
Olivia Arthur’s black and white photographs exploring the youth culture of Hull features a broad spectrum of people from Elvis impersonators to pet snakes and their owners, footballers, bodybuilders, teenage style, relationships and young families. The images depict the subjects in domestic interiors or the recreational areas where they spend much of their time. Building relationships with local people has resulted in a series that reflects the individuality, identity and aspirations of the young people of the city.
In contrast, Martin Parr’s bright and bold images focus on the culinary landscape of the city. From classic fish and chips to patty butties, the world-renowned Chip Spice and Hull Pie, to more upmarket vendors appearing up along the regenerated Fruit Market, and European and specialist supermarkets – the city’s attitudes, traditions and enthusiasm for global cuisine are depicted in these photographs. Parr is known for his interest in British leisure and consumption – and this new series of over 100 photographs presents a snapshot of the central contribution of food to the character, social life and culture of Hull.
This exhibition is one of a number of different events that will reflect on Hull’s City of Culture year, including the ‘Substance Festival’ that takes place in December and James Graham’s new play The Culture: A Farce in Two Acts in 2018.