Hull Cityscapes Project

View over Hull with Statue of Wilberforce.
William Wilberforce Looks out Over Hull.

Hull is a very flat city and it's difficult to find buildings tall enough to provide panoramas or good vantage points for cityscapes. The views here are from Hull College Tower, the "Observatory" of Hull University Brynmor Jones Library, council estate tower blocks, and Premier and Holiday Inns.

The larger paintings are 40" x 50" (102 x 127 cm) and are here accompanied by some poems from Pilgrim Tongues. Some of the paintings have been exhibited at: the Estate of the Nation exhibition, Octagon Centre, Thornton Estate 2015; the Ferens Gallery, Hull, Open Exhibition 2016; the Yorkshire Open Exhibition, Beverley 2015 and 2016; Hull-in-Paint travelling exhibition 2015 and 2016, and at a one-man Hull-in Paint pop-up exhibition at Princes Quay, Hull, 2016.

Ten of the paintings were exhibited in Hull Central Library as part of the Hull to Iceland and Back multimedia event commissioned by Humber Mouth Literature Festival, October 2017, which included a performance of Voyage for Solo Trumpet, my musical collaboration with the composer Deborah Pritchard and trumpeter Simon Debruslais.

Smailes Goldie are sponsoring and hosting an exhibition of the paintings at their Hull offices from November 2017 into the the new year.

Click on the painting on the right to enlarge. Click again to enlarge further.

To see enlarged versions of the other paintings, please click on the first image below to activate a slideshow.

Paragon Railway Station

1) Paragon Station: View from Thornton Estate High Rise.
Size: 74 x 120 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2016

2) View over Drypool from Hull College Tower: Demolition of Clarence Flour Mill.
Size: 74 x 120 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2016

 

00 Paragon Railway Station, Hull

Paragon purrs: whooshed
doors, whistles; mag-lev trains rise,
aim at squares of wheat,

are gone on the dot
toward sand-paper, wrinkles
painted on the sea.

Your chopper’s eye shows
an immaculate reef-knot:
motorways, A roads,

underpasses, fly-
overs slipped through each other
to baize estates, leafy,

neat neighbourly streets,
with health and leisure centres,
Big Screen complexes;

escalators coil
round marinas, malls, swoop
to galleries, cathedrals,

gleaming academic towers.

*

Drypool, Clarence Flour Mills Demolition

Maybe to mock us,
there are mock-ups of all this
in the Mayor’s office.

Balsa, perspex, card,
wire, felt, Hornby 00 trees;
hand-painted families

cross concourse, zoom high
to where their Dinky hatch-backs
are unstacked from sky,

and a couple of sniffs
of cotton wool are caught on
one lonely chimney.

Back at Paragon,
the face-lifted station
is where the future seems

to have run out of steam.
From up there you’d see
DIY factories:

Texas, Homebase, B&Q.
And further, beyond
where Spurn’s thin bird-bone of sand

drifts in from the east,
the estuary,
the night-bound ferry:

the wake from the lit-up P&O.

View from Hull University Library

View from Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull.
Size: 91 x 120 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2015

 

Cranes

All day the cranes have towed us west,
hauled blocks of light into the sky.
You note their stilted charm, their tall disdain,
their slow t’ai chi to point at you.

They swivel to admire size zero
reflections in the glass: banks of paparazzi
firing as you alight from the taxi,
lug luggage to the sand-blasted station.

They oversee where estuary
washes margins, where whales beach.
Glaciers of blubber: gravity is avid
for these creatures; their organs flatten

under fat, their own slack weight;
pockets of gas blurt up through skin.
Up go the cranes as land hits the deck
and something in our cells runs off to sea.

It all goes up. They slot in power and light,
dig up earth, hollow our city out, so that,
hawsers screwed tight into cumulus,
our pasts will be less of a burden,

when we have suspended all our longings,
all our buildings from the sky.

View from Hull University Library

Corner View from Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull
Size: 60 x 122 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2015

View from Premier Inn over the Deep, River Hull and the Humber.

View from Premier Inn Over the Deep, River Hull and the Humber
(courtesy the collection of Rosie Millard)
Size: 102 x 127 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2017.

Hull, Statue of Wilberforce

Statue of William Wilberforce: View from Hull College Tower
Size: 102 x 127 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2016

Anlaby Road seen from Thornton Estate tower block

Anlaby Road: View from Thornton Estate High Rise
Size: 90 x 121 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2017

Construction, Hull University medical building. View from my office window.

Construction of Medical Building, University of Hull: View from My Office Window
Size: 102 x 127 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2017

William Wilberforce Looks out Over Hull.

William Wilberforce Looks Out over Hull: View from Hull College Tower
Size: 50 x 120 cm. Medium: oil on canvas. Date: 2015

View over Hull with Statue of Wilberforce.

Some earlier paintings and prelininary sketches for the cityscapes project.

Drypool, Clarence Flour Mills Before Demolition

Drypool, Clarence Flour Mills Before Demolition

Hull River Lights

Hull River Lights

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