The group were given the chance to get involved in the project by Associated British Ports (ABP), which used local contractor CR Reynolds to build the new footpath and cycleway.
ABP Project Manager Laura Morrish has been heavily involved in the planning and consenting of the development and approached the Hull School of Art & Design, part of Hull College to see if it had any students that would like to get involved.
“As part of the planning consent for the scheme we were asked to add interest to the footpath by introducing a number of art installations along the route, which runs from Victoria Dock in the west, to the public car park on Northern Gateway further east,” said Laura.
“We decided that this would be a perfect project for some of our local art students and when we approached them, they jumped at the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their creations on display next to a world-leading facility and we’re looking forward to seeing what the students come up with.”
Anna Kirk-Smith of Hull School of Art & Design said: “ABP has presented a fabulous opportunity to our BA (Hons) Fine Art students and Hatch graduate interns to gain career-developing experience in working on a live project.
“The open-minded and supportive approach of ABP has given the students and interns the freedom to develop a diverse and imaginative array of site-specific sculptural proposals, linked by the maritime theme.
“The five commissioned artists are learning the intricacies of the construction process – from their initial creative designs to the practical fabrication of the large-scale sculptures, alongside the associated planning, installation and legal issues of making public artworks. In addition, they have received generous support for the latter from Spearfish, a Manchester arts company specialising in delivering artforms in the public domain.”
Six pieces made with new and reclaimed materials will be placed at strategic points along the pathway, all of which will represent Hull’s maritime heritage and its future. The works will be accompanied by permanent exhibition panels designed by local primary and secondary schools, and information boards telling the story of Alexandra Dock.
ABP has donated materials and a number of pieces of equipment from the port estate, all of which is either no longer in use, or is surplus to requirements, and the students are able use these to create their artwork if they choose to. The submitted pieces will be judged by a panel of representatives from ABP, Spearfish, Hull City Council and Hull College of Art & Design in October, before students begin the build process.