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3rd August 2021

A new and exciting commission for Hull Maritime project escapes!

6 – 26 August, Hull city centre #HullKraken

The first major event to bring Yorkshire’s maritime heritage to life is to get underway.

As part of a major transformational project, this is the first of a series of major events in the build-up to the delivery of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project.

The bespoke installation and huge spectacle will cover several sites within Hull city centre. With the removal of thousands of treasures from the Hull Maritime Museum, rooms within the basement have been disturbed.

Something weird and wonderful has awoken from its slumber and escaped. It’s a sea monster - The Kraken of Scandinavian folklore. Watch out for its tentacles creeping around corners as you move through the city centre, and its nest of eggs on Monument Bridge. The monster is claiming Hull as its own!

Giant inflatable sculptures measuring 10 metres in length have appeared on several key landmarks, some with a maritime theme.

This is Designs in Air's largest city-wide tentacle installation to date and the first time one of their Kraken's has taken over a ship – The Spurn Lightship. They have delivered art sculptures all over the world with past installations in Lisbon, China, Berlin – Germany, Australia, and Hong Kong as well as featuring at many major events and exhibitions around the world including the 2012 Olympics, the Eden project, Glastonbury Festival and for Cirque du Soleil. See previous work here.

Families will get the chance to see this new bespoke inflatable commission for the Hull Maritime project, funded by Hull City Council, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Historic England’s Culture Programme between Friday 6 and Thursday 26 August.

The Hull Kraken has awoken

With an exciting FREE trail starting at the Hull Maritime Museum, there will be some surprises along the way including maritime characters and living statues, theatre performances and live music. A 24-page comic inspired by Hull’s maritime past via a fictional backstory designed by local artist Gareth Sleightholme will also be available.

A map of the trail will be available at the Kraken Headquarters in Queen Victoria Square, the tourist information pod within Paragon Interchange, the Museums Quarter and available to download from

Maritime themed events will also take place within the Museums Quarter on the High Street on 7, 12 and 21 August, 11am and 3pm. Fun craft activities, a show and tell with objects from the museum’s collection and the team will be on hand to update families on the progress of the transformational project.

Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “Developed by the Hull Maritime project, this three-week sculpture installation aims to bring some much-needed fun and excitement during the summer holidays.

“This will be the largest city-wide tentacle installation and will again put Hull on the map for all the right reasons.

“This major event in Hull city centre hopes to raise awareness of the Hull Maritime project, the progress to date and more importantly bring people together in a safe way.

“Following a challenging year, we all need to smile again and what better way to do it than to celebrate our maritime heritage with a fantastical imagining of what might be in the deeps of the oceans that generations of Hull mariners sailed upon.”

Luke Egan, Designer and Director at Designs in Air, said: “We're really excited about this tentacle take-over - our Kraken's love to explore new cities. But please watch out - like the rest of us they haven't been allowed out much recently and they do like a cuddle!”

Follow @Hullmaritime on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #HullKraken