Five emerging artists from Hull have had their designs commissioned for display along the new footpath that runs along the periphery of Alexandra Dock.
The sculptures, which have been designed by students and interns at Hull School of Art & Design, part of Hull College Group, have now been commissioned by Associated British Ports (ABP) and Hull City Council and will be displayed at strategic points along the new footpath that runs around the dock, site of the new Siemens development.
The pieces will be made with new and reclaimed materials and ABP’s original brief stipulated that they should represent Hull’s maritime heritage and its future.
Debra Keable, Holly Lawson, Jordan Palmer, Luke Beech and Peter Coates have been working over the summer to perfect their designs following an initial panel review in May, during which their proposals were heard by a group consisting of representatives from Hull City Council, ABP, Hull School of Art & Design and Spearfish, a community arts organisation tasked with helping the group through the design and construction process.
A final panel review took place in October and both ABP and the City Council have now given the designs the rubber stamp. Spearfish themselves will provide a sixth piece of art for the pathway and all six will be revealed to the public when they’ve been completed in spring 2016.
Luke Beech, who’s currently in the final year of a Fine Art degree at the Hull School of Art & Design said: “Opportunities of this scale are rare for early-career artists such as myself and I still find it unbelievably exciting that ABP are enabling me to see my project through to fruition.
“The whole experience has been a huge learning curve, helping me develop and expand on a variety of skills. Not only will this be a great addition to my portfolio but the process has helped gear me with the tools and confidence to undertake similar projects in the future.”
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 were able use these to create their artwork if they chose to.
ABP Head of Projects Humber, Simon Brett said: “We felt enormously privileged to be able to give a group of artists who are studying and working locally, the opportunity to get involved in this world-leading project and design a permanent installation for the new public right of way.
“It’s been an interesting and very enjoyable process watching the artists submit their ideas and refine them until they were happy that they were worthy of display. We have found a group of very talented people and I’m confident their work will make the footpath not just a route around the site, but a destination in itself.”
Jon Pywell, Manager for City Cultural Development at Hull City Council said: “I am delighted that this collaboration between Hull School of Art and Design and ABP has provided the opportunity for a number of talented artists to work on a major public realm project, which celebrates our industrial and maritime heritage in such an innovative way.”
The works will be accompanied by exhibition panels designed by local primary and secondary schools and information boards telling the story of Alexandra Dock.