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The launch of Look Up - Hull City of Culture 2017

With its winning bid back in 2013, Hull demonstrated that it was a city coming out of the shadows. Now as the Look Up programme launches, the city is set to be transformed using different art installations. The year-long programme aims to challenge people’s perceptions of the city while offering different ways to experience it.

To mark the start of the programme, Hull 2017 organisers hosted an evening of drinks and canapés for partners, producers and artists on Tuesday 10th January. The event gave Andrew Knight, who is the co-curator of Look Up, the opportunity to thank everyone involved for their hard work and to reflect on the success of the first week. 

There was an obvious buzz of excitement in the room as people spoke about the first installation of the programme which had been kept under wraps for over a year. The Blade, which is situated in Queen Victoria Square, was the focal point of the evening as many took the chance to view it from the balcony of Hull City Hall. The 75 metre wind turbine that was conceived by artist Nayan Kulkarni displays the work that Siemens do from their factory at Green Port Hull.  

Siemens Managing Director, Clark MacFarlane, also spoke at the event about how Hull were unique for wanting to place a wind turbine in the city centre as he joked that most people usually want wind farms as far from them as possible. But the rarity of having a wind turbine in this location has emphasised the scale of it which has resulted in lots of attention. These installations are a way to give a voice to the city’s past, present and future too and Siemens are a huge part of Hull. Everyone involved who helped make it happen were fully behind it ensuring that it got the surprise reaction they had planned.

Hannah Williams-Walton, Assistant Producer of Hull 2017, explained that the programme was all about the contrast between the old buildings and the new art installations. Hull has heaps of beautiful architecture and often people just don’t take that in so the aim is to encourage people to stop, stare and think. In the first installation alone, every angle you look at the Blade creates a different perspective. 

Look Up has been developed in partnership with Princes Quay, The Deep, GF Smith and Hull School of Art and Design. Throughout the year there will be many more art installations to look forward to from other artists such as Bob and Roberta Smith, Michael Pinsky, Tania Kovats, Claire Barber, Sarah Daniels and Claire Morgan. 

It’s exciting to see what’s in store for the city after In With a Bang and Made in Hull proved to be a huge success. So stop what you’re doing, put your phone in your pocket and look up – who knows what you’ll see.

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