— John Cage
A ‘Secret Shed’ Commission for Walk the Plank in association with the Freedom Festival.
5th – 7th September, 2014
‘EN-ROUTE’ (2014) - Hull Station, Ferensway, HU1 3QX
A sculptural explosion of migration from birds to people, goods to ﬂight paths. The shed represents a physical manifestation of a 3-dimensional map rooted within Hull’s rich and diverse background as a sea port. As a sculptural palimpsest the intervention maps human transitory behaviour against ornithological migratory paths and North Sea connections to Antwerp (West), to St. Petersburg (East) Le Havre (South) and Trondheim (North).
The exterior of the shed is covered in cartographic information.
The interior provides a stimulating web of information that the viewer can both read and see, touch and consider. QR codes link to live information & web pages for ﬂight departures and population numbers, migratory routes and train timetables.
Contemporary statistics such as ‘3300 new long-term migrants arrived in Hull in 2011’ will rest alongside historical information such as ‘from 1836 - 1914 Hull developed a pivotal role in the movement of transmigrants via the UK. During this period over 2.2 million migrants passed through Hull en route to a new life in the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia.’
‘EN-ROUTE’ is designed to take the viewer on a physical and emotional journey by exploring a ‘constellation’ of space, time and history.
“The present rearranges the past. We never tell the story whole because a life isn’t a story; it’s a whole Milky Way of events and we are forever picking out constellations from it to ﬁt who and where we are.”
― Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
Walk the Plank:
Walk the Plank are outdoor arts experts, who create powerful events with mass appeal.
From international stage to village square, our team of experts develop remarkable moments that enrich the lives of our audience through shared experience - encouraging a sense of place, a feeling of pride, and well-being.
"At a regional, national and international level, Walk the Plank has built a reputation for quality and innovation in its outdoor work, and is recognised by Arts Council England as a lead and ambassador for the sector in the UK.
"The organisation has attracted international commissions to create high profile and exciting events of worldwide reputation. It provides opportunities for artists, participants and small arts organisations to support their skills and training which is key for the next generation of outdoor arts creatives.
- Angela Chapell, Arts Council England
Freedom Festival grew out of commemorations in Hull in 2007 of the 200th anniversary of William Wilberforce’s Act of Parliament, which abolished the slave trade in the British Empire.
William Wilberforce was born on High Street in Hull on 24th August 1759. He began his political career in 1780, becoming the Independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire in 1784. A few years into his career, he became involved in the movement of abolitionism, campaigning to end slavery in the UK and its colonies, and he soon became one of the leading English abolitionists. For 26 years, Wilberforce headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.
Hull Train Station:
Image Credit: Robyn Woolston
Source: The New York Times - Dot Earth Blog by Andrew Revkin
AS AN artist, film-maker and former winner of the Liverpool Art Prize – a competition that began during the European Capital of Culture year in Liverpool in 2008 – I can state categorically that what Hull is about to encounter offers a myriad of truly life-changing experiences…
Words by Sinead Nunes, Editor. Liverpool Art Prize winner Robyn Woolston will be taking part in Threshold 2014 http://thresholdfestival.co.uk
I’ve just returned from a research trip to France that explored Nantes and the St Nazaire region courtesy of Polly Moseley (Consultant/Producer), the British Council (http://www.britishcouncil.org), Lieu Unique (http://www.lelieuunique.com) and Voyage à Nantes (http://www.levoyageanantes.fr/en/).
The concentrated nature of the trip, lasting just a few days, reminded me of how densely layered new experiences can be when one fully commits to the ‘shock of the new’.
“I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map…nights with strange paintings and floral spreads and cable television that furnish a reprieve from my own biography, when in Benjamin’s terms, I have lost myself though I know where I am. Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail on vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home.”
A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit
The Designed and Emergent dancing intensely with each other over the course of just a few days. Psychogeography creating as great an impact upon the experience as the round table discussion with Thomas Heatherwick (http://www.heatherwick.com), Kirsty Lang (BBC) & creatives from the region.
The British Council framed the strategic discussions by raising the following themes:
"Our purpose in designing this event has been to develop and strengthen connections between the UK and the Nantes region, both bilaterally and in wider multilateral projects. We would also like to explore new ways of taking these fledgling partnerships forward, helping them to reach their maximum potential and to gain recognition for the richness that cross-sector collaboration brings to wider society."
Julia Handelman-Smith. Head of Programmes and Partnerships, British Council France.
Whilst I realise what I’ve seen and heard, explored and learnt will take weeks and months to digest fully. There are some conclusions that come to mind…
“All that we make and do is shaped by the communities and traditions that contain us, not to mention by money, power, politics, and luck. And even should the artist or scientist think she as extracted herself from the world to stand alone in the studio, a tremendous array of faculties and mind-states may well attend her creativity.”
Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership - Lewis Hyde
ABOUT THE BRITISH COUNCIL:
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7,000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
Incredibly pleased to be exhibiting alongside Mike Badger, Jyll Bradley, Li Wei Chen, Jagjit Chuhan, Rick Creed, Gill Curry, John Davies, Alan Dunn, Michelle Edwards, Jemma Egan, Leo Fitzmaurice, Pete Flowers, Elaine Furniss, Mark Harrison, John Hughes, David Jacques, Jason Jones, Gareth Kemp, Nicki McCubbing, Geoff Molyneux, Neil Morris, Tabitha Moses, Bernadette O’Toole, Jeannie Powell, James Quin, Pauline Reeves, Ottoman Said, Amrit & Rabindra Singh, Emily Speed, John Steele, Chris Sutherland, Nick Sykes, Chiz Turnross, Claire Weetman, Elizabeth Willow, Lila Wilson, Alex Wolkowicz, Simon Woolham & Hannah Wooll.
— R. Buckminster Fuller