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21st August 2019

A new exhibition exploring the role of women in the fishing community opens at Hull Maritime Museum this Saturday.

A new exhibition, Fisherwomen, that explores the heritage and tradition of women working in the fishing community opens at the Hull Maritime Museum this Saturday (24 August).

Award-winning photographer, Craig Easton, well known for his landscape work and intimate portraits of real lives, explores the past and present. His work will bring together three strands of the fisherwomen’s story: their heritage, their journey and contemporary portraits, including exciting new commissions of Hull’s own fisherwomen.

Featuring more than 22 large format portraits and landscapes, plus an audio visual presentation with almost 100 images and voiceover by local Hull fisherwomen Dawn Walton, the exhibition will highlight the central and essential role women play in the modern fishing industry today. Nowadays, many women still work in the demanding industry and their work is now almost done entirely behind closed doors in processing factories, sheds and smokehouses.

Work to install the exhibition is well underway

With his work, Craig has followed the traditional route of the herring trade from Shetland down the east coast, via Hull to Great Yarmouth exploring the role of women in the fishing industry.

Craig Easton, said: “Women have been the backbone of fishing communities for centuries and in the long tradition of the east coast herring trade, their work was done come rain or shine on bustling quaysides as they gutted and packed the salted fish into barrels.

“The character, camaraderie, dress and good humour attracted the attentions of great artists in the past from the early photographic portraits of Hill and Adamson to the paintings of Winslow Homer and John McGhie. Now, working almost entirely out of sight of the public, my aim with this work is to connect today’s fisherwomen to that long heritage and to celebrate the essential role they still play in the modern fishing industry."

A range of large format portraits and landscapes will be on display

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure Limited, said: “Fishing fleets have long depended on female workers to process their catch and this exhibition captures the fisherwomen at work in refrigerated factories.

“We are particularly fortunate to work with Craig and add some of his portraits to our permanent collection so visitors fully appreciate the tough conditions they work in but also highlight an unseen part of the fishing industry.”

Following the exhibition, some of Craig’s new work of Hull women will be used within the planned new displays at Hull Maritime Museum, as part of Hull’s major maritime project.

This free exhibition will run from Saturday 24 August to Sunday 27 October. The museum is open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4.30pm, and Sunday, 11am – 4pm.