Hull’s historic monuments and buildings set to shine

Some of Hull’s most treasured landmarks are set to take the spotlight as plans are underway for a series of light installations.

Complementing the transformation of the city’s public realm, the light artwork has been designed to draw the eye naturally from the ground up to the sky.

Alongside buildings including Hull City Hall and Holy Trinity Church, subject to consultation and approval from church authorities, some of Hull’s most iconic statues will be illuminated, from the Queen Victoria and the Wilberforce monuments, the statue of Andrew Marvell, which is currently being restored before it returns to form, the centrepiece of a regenerated Trinity Square, and the Guildhall monuments ‘Strength’ and ‘Maritime Prowess’, which stand at the top of the Guildhall.

Commissioned to take charge of this ambitious project is nationally recognised light art installation specialist Nayan Kulkarni, who will draw on his experience of creating some of the most ambitious light works in the UK who brings his skills to Hull with designs made exclusively for the city.

Kulkarni’s unique schemes, ‘Sculptures in the Sky’ and ‘the Golden Hour’, will shine a brand new light on some of the city’s most recognisable buildings and sculptures, as well as offering the opportunity  for countless lighting displays to coincide with special events and significant dates.

As part of the project, Hull City Council have now submitted a listed buildings consent application for the new lighting rigs to be fixed to Ferens Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum.

Nayan Kulkarni said about his projects:

“It is a huge privilege to be invited to illuminate the city’s streets, historic buildings and sculptures, not just for 2017 but as a permanent installation. The Golden Hour seeks to create a calm and inspiring set of illuminations that will transform some of Hull’s significant buildings and historical monuments. In combination with the new street lighting, the installation will constantly change the city at night by manipulating its lit effects.

“Using bold and subtle mood changes, colour and shadow will attract the eye from place to place, reflecting speed of pedestrian movement and city life.

“Eyes will be drawn upwards naturally, revealing some of the Hull’s historic architectural features in a way perhaps never seen before. That is, artificial light makes us see differently.”

Subject to listed buildings consent being granted, work will begin on The Golden Hour and Sculptures in the Sky will start later this year and will be delivered in parallel with Hull City Council’s £25 million public realm improvement scheme.

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager said:

“We have a great opportunity that aims to unlock the full potential of the city centre’s historic buildings and bring Hull’s lighting on par with other cities.

“The commissioning of Nayan and the integration of art and creativity throughout the project will ensure the very best of Hull is enhanced.”

Martin Green, Chief Executive of the 2017 City of Culture Company said:

“This project really captures the idea that there is more to Hull than meets the eye. You may think you know this city’s streets, but Nayan Kulkarni’s illuminations will take you on a fascinating new journey as darkness falls.

“In drawing your attention to specific features that may have previously gone unnoticed, it will encourage you to look at familiar buildings in a completely different way.”

The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said:

“The plans for an innovative lighting scheme covering key sites in Hull city centre are very exciting indeed and we’re delighted Holy Trinity has been chosen as one of the landmark structures to be illuminated. It underlines Holy Trinity’s status as an architectural jewel in the city’s crown and complements the £4.5m transformation of the church and grounds which are well under way.

“The proposed lighting of the church is subject to consultation and approval from the church authorities and the tests will inform that process.

“We’re really excited to see how Nayan Kulkarni will enhance even further the beauty and majesty of an iconic building as old as the city of Hull itself but as relevant to local life as it has ever been.”