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Bringing Hull's maritime heritage to life in creative ways

As part of the restoration and refurbishment of Hull’s Maritime Museum, two historic ships and Queens Gardens, several award-winning artists have been commissioned to create art inspired by our maritime history.

These artworks will enrich the new maritime attractions, and also take our maritime heritage, collections and stories into public spaces and places. The artists’ work will provide a wide range of new ways to encounter Hull’s maritime heritage – from video, sculpture, displays, bespoke seating, museum fixtures and street furniture, to the pavement under your feet.

Here is an introduction to the artists who will create maritime inspired work to be displayed in the future.

Heinrich & Palmer

Heinrich & Palmer are two British artists who have worked collaboratively since the early 1990s creating site-specific multi-media installations, films and artworks integrated into the public realm. They have maintained a fascination for the boundaries between real and virtual and for evolving projects and artworks in response to place.

In 2016 they started working with point cloud data to augment large-scale projected virtual spaces and artefacts with actual sites. Their work with heritage collections such as Hull Maritime Museum have created artworks that can become both immersive projections (such as Ship of the Gods at Hull Minster) and sculptural objects such as the CNC carved marble topped waymarkers being created for sites around Queen’s Gardens.

They first worked in Hull in 1996 as part of the Root Festival organised by Hull Time Based Arts. More recently they created Floe as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and then a year later Ship of the Gods at Hull Minster as part of Urban Legends: Northern Lights commissioned by Absolutely Cultured.

Ship of the Gods at Hull Minster as part of Urban Legends: Northern Lights commissioned by Absolutely Cultured.
Scans of the Spurn Lightship and Arctic Corsair were used

Heinrich & Palmer have worked site-specifically all over the UK. This has included some extraordinary heritage sites and collections including Lindisfarne Castle, Crossness Pumping Station, Mottisfont National Trust, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Gallery, National Railway Museum in York and Hull Maritime Museum.

For Hull Maritime, Heinrich & Palmer are working on a series of interventions across the scheme, based on detailed and immersive exploration of the Maritime Museum's collections - from small fish tokens to the mighty Arctic Corsair.

Their work will appear in film and video pieces across all three venues, as well as forming part of the new landscaping and street furniture at Queens Gardens, as part of interpretation and wayfinding along the route that links the Maritime Museum to the North End Shipyard.

As Hull Maritime develops, the aim is to extend their involvement in the city interpretation scheme to routes that link other significant elements within Hull Maritime.

See more of their work here.

Designs for waymarking along Guildhall Road, each topstone is created from a 3d scan of a museum object

Angus Ross

Angus is best known for exquisite, sculptural furniture with a sense of dynamism and flow. He has been innovating with wood for almost thirty years, making micro-batch production domestic furniture, one-off commissions for private homes and gardens, and installations for public spaces.

His studio-workshop in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, has been in continuous use for woodwork since 1886. Timber is sourced from a beautiful collectively owned bluebell wood five miles away. Angus fells and mills a few trees each year to improve the biodiversity and overall health of the woodland and this supply of small section, characterful, richly coloured oak has led to a deep exploration of steam-bending which is now his signature process.

Angus bends, moulds, sculpts and folds wood to create site specific furniture with a strong narrative - clients include V&A Dundee, National Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Sustrans, Churches, and Museums across the UK. He has won a number of awards, and his furniture is exhibited internationally.

Seating for the remembrance area
New reception desks

Angus is creating bespoke furniture for the Hull Maritime Museum, including new reception desks, resting seats on the first and second floor areas outside the galleries, chairs and table for the remembrance area, a meeting room table and chairs for the first floor and the wooden elements of a spiral staircase to access views from the cupola. His designs are all drawn from maritime influences, details of the Museum building and its collections.

He will be using a variety of techniques, including steam bending, and will work in ash and oak.

Katayoun Dowlatshahi

Katayoun is an artist, print-maker and fine art photographer. She has 27 years of experience in the field of public art, lecturing, mentoring and strategic development work, as well as making and exhibiting her own fine art works.

She embraces a wide range of materials to suit her conceptual approach, and researches each project extensively, taking into account social, environmental and historical factors. Projects include work in glass, sculpture and large scale landscape interventions, using screenprint, vinyls, sandblasting, inlay, engraving and many other techniques – all depending upon the site and the context.

Most recently she has focused on natural elements and materials, and created an award winning habitat trail in Chester. She often collaborates with other creatives and design professions, and enjoys stretching her knowledge and acquiring new skills in this way.

Recent schemes she has been involved with include an extensive residential development along the riverside in Rochester, new city centre developments in Cheshire and Exeter, and the refurbishment of Rochester station building. She is currently working on a site-specific project for the new station and associated landscaping in Selby. Katayoun also continues her highly specialised studio practice in fine art photography, particularly in the historic technique of carbon printing.

For Hull Maritime, Katayoun is designing a number of landscape interventions as part of the new design for Queens Gardens. They are based on the history of the gardens as a dock - with reference to artefacts from the Maritime Museum and other elements of maritime history - and also the history of the gardens since its 20th century in-filling and use as a public park.

In particular, her designs based on elements of the scrimshaw collection within the Maritime Museum will be engraved into the new "seating steps" on the edge of Queens Gardens, which will offer a place to rest and also a space for audiences to watch events.