Council Estate Transforms into Artwork for Hull UK City of Culture

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Council Estate Transforms into Artwork for Hull UK City of Culture

Council Estate Transforms into Artwork for Hull UK City of Culture

Hull 2017 project shines new light on council estate

A council estate in Hull has been transformed into a colourful work of art as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Spearheaded by social enterprise Goodwin Development Trust, I Wish To Communicate With You has seen the residents of the Thornton Estate working with an artist to transform their homes into an ambitious art installation.

The Thornton Estate has begun its colour makeover with the majority of the 600 residents, living in 240 homes, across the five high-rise tower blocks participating. But over the course of the year, the project will gather pace. It will go on to include neighbouring buildings such as William Booth House, Adelaide School, the Danish Church and the Hull Royal Infirmary.

The initial concept for the project was developed by Italian artist Silvio Palladino, Goodwin’s artist-in-residence, and brought to life by international lighting design consultant James Bawn and the people of Hull. Silvio took his inspiration from Hull’s connection with the sea and the international maritime flags used to communicate with ships.

Council Estate Transforms into Artwork for Hull UK City of Culture artist

Hull’s Thornton Estate is lit up by an art installation

“The effect is nothing short of spectacular”

Once the residents have chosen their colour, tinted filters are fitted in the communal lighting areas. Coloured sheets are then stuck in the window panes of each property.

James Bawn says: “The process is simple but the effect is nothing short of spectacular. When darkness falls, the whole blocks light up and can be seen for miles.”

Sharon Darley, Quality of Life Manager at Goodwin Development Trust, says: “I Wish To Communicate With You is about raising aspirations, self-confidence and improving the quality of life for a community blighted by bad press and negative assumptions. This will be the enduring legacy from the project and local residents will have a more positive understanding of and interest in arts and culture as a result of participation.”

Council Estate Transforms into Artwork for Hull UK City of Culture phone box

‘I Wish To Communicate With You’ is an ambitious mass participation project engaging local residents in a major art installation

“This project is all about inclusion”

Resident Robin Watkin adds: “When we heard Hull was going to be City of Culture, to be honest, we didn’t think it was for us. But this project is all about inclusion. It has connected us to our immediate neighbours but it is also a way of waving a big hello to the rest of the city who are welcome to come and visit our estate to see it for themselves. It’s even made it onto the national radar, which we never could have imagined, putting where we live on the map. It is brilliant to be involved in such a positive project and it makes me feel really proud to live here.”

I Wish To Communicate With You is one of 60 new projects to receive funding through the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme. This is being delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, a Principal Partner of Hull 2017.

Henri Duckworth, Executive Producer at Hull 2017, says: “I Wish To Communicate With You is a fantastic project. It is bringing local people together and involving them in the creation of a piece of public art right on their doorstep. How many people can boast that they live in an illuminated multi-coloured art installation?”

images © Sean Spencer

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