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On 15 January, the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme, in which we will award small pots of up to £1,000 to local groups and individuals, reopened for applications. In this blog series, Emma Smith asks successful grantees from the last round of funding to share their experiences, highlights, and top tips on applying for a grant. Here she chats to Kate Genever who worked with Three Ways East.

Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work of Three Ways East?

Three Ways East is a collaboration of experienced culture sector professionals with a long history of work that creates positive impacts on health, wellbeing, people and place. Three Ways East believe a relevant, active cultural life can play a huge role in how people and places can flourish.

Three Ways East exists to develop work with the HU3 community. Artist Kate Genever was brought in to support our work in the area. Kate and TWE use methods designed to connect, unearth and find ways to work with people that are authentic and often not typical. You can see some of our work in the current edition of the Encyclopedia of Us [EofUS], a newspaper we co-produce with HU3 community members.

You were successful in the second round of community grants. What did you do for your project?

Kate has been working in collaboration with photographer Tony Ward of Top Color, Hessle Road and a small group of men, all with maritime backgrounds, using tattoos, or lack of them, as a route to explore identity, overlooked maritime lives and the visible and invisible marks of life. The men range in age from late 20’s – to late 70’s and have lived their lives according to a HU3/maritime way. Together they have all been recording their stories and creating powerful photographic portraits in Tony's photography studio.

The photographs, with the stories and further imagery are on display in Rayners pub and each person involved received a free print of their portrait.

Kate has used the portraits to create a series of large scale ceramic platters, which they ate fish and chips off and now hope to display in a Hull museum context in the future. Images will be included in the next EofUs issue.

How important was a Community Grant to this piece of work and what did it enable you to do?

The grant enabled us to reopen and use Tony's studio in a creative way, while also celebrating people of the area who are often overlooked. All involved have been part of deciding how the portrait looks, which image we should use and what the final texts include.

Tony and TWE/Kate have built stronger relationships with people and organisations in the area, such as Rayners pub, learnt more about what makes HU3 unique and know from conversations with participants this work has helped them claim their stories and support their fellow community by declaring “you are not alone!”.

Practically, the grant has enabled us to create new artworks that are relevant to a wider audience in HU3 and regionally. Artworks that extend common Maritime narratives and the negative stereotyping of an area and its people.

What is your favourite thing about the project?

Seeing all involved get creative, followed by seeing/listening to people's reaction to the images.

Photographer Tony Ward in Top Color with Dougie’s Martime portrait and story

What’s one tip you would give to something thinking to apply to Round Three?

How can you work together with your/a community to celebrate but also challenge traditional Maritime stories - think laterally.

Look under the obvious...what can your work tell an audience that we don't already know or see.... and how can it celebrate those voices we seldom hear.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences of Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme with us!

Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme reopens on January 15 and applications will be accepted until Friday 23 January.

To find out more and to apply for the scheme, click here.