City centre to be seen in a new light as Golden Hour goes live

Some of Hull’s most treasured landmarks are set to take the spotlight as new permanent artistic lighting is switched on across the city centre.

Complementing the recent transformation of the city’s public realm, lighting specialist Nayan Kulkarni’s artwork has been designed to draw the eye naturally from the ground up to the sky and is now available for visitors to the city centre to view every evening after sunset. 

The Golden Hour seeks to create a calm and inspiring set of illuminations that throws some of Hull’s significant buildings and historical monuments into the spotlight. In combination with new street lighting, the installation will constantly change the city at night by manipulating its lit effects.

Alongside buildings including Hull City Hall and Hull Minster, some of Hull’s most iconic statues will be illuminated, from the Queen Victoria to newly restored Andrew Marvell, and The Guildhall monuments ‘Strength’ and ‘Maritime Prowess’, which stand at the top of the building.

Commissioned to take charge of this ambitious project is nationally recognised light art installation specialist Nayan Kulkarni, who has drawn on his experience of creating some of the most ambitious light works in the UK and brings his skills to Hull with designs and lights 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.

Nayan Kulkarni said: “Looking in light at A.H Hodge’s Maritime Prowess is a personal highlight that underpins the subtle change we made to Wilberforce with the Gilding of his speech; it too glints in light.

“It has been a very long journey. I have learnt more than I thought possible about roofs and the nesting habits of the gull. However, all of that has been beautifully offset by the superb Hull sense of humour.”

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager, said: “Nayan’s work has provided a great opportunity to unlock the full potential of the city centre’s historic buildings and bring Hull’s lighting on par and above 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.”

Photographer’s key time of the day, ‘Golden Hour’ has been reflected in the scheme and will see the city centre plunged back into the period shortly before sunset during which daylight is softer and ideal for landscape photography. It will begin each day after sunset and will see street lights dimmed slightly, fountains in Queen Victoria Square and Solar Gate in Queens Gardens take on the Golden Hour colour and additional lighting switched off to create the affect.

Other capabilities include the increase of a certain colour on specific nationally recognised days, for example the city centre could be red during World Aids Day. There is also potential for the scheme to extend further across the city.

The full scale of the lighting’s capability will be on show for the next four nights, starting on the same night as the first Street Food Night of the year, offering a view of what is possible, before taking standard patterns ready for key dates and events throughout the year.

A trail map will also soon available from the Tourist Information Centre, highlighting the statues and buildings included in Kulkarni’s scheme.