The visual arts programme for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 has been announced, with the year-long festival featuring a host of events, exhibitions and cultural activities.

Divided into four seasons – Made in Hull, Roots & Routes, Freedom, and Tell the World – the celebrations get under way on 1 January with a seven-day opening event.

Marking the start of the first season, Made In Hull will feature large-scale projections and illuminations onto buildings and the city’s skyline. Moving images and live performance will tell the story of the last 70 years of Hull’s life.

Visual arts highlights include the reopening of Ferens Art Gallery, which will become the fifth location outside of London to host the Turner Prize. The gallery has undertaken a complete redisplay of its permanent collection, with works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Mark Wallinger on show, along with a new acquisition, Pietro Lorenzetti’s Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter (c. 1320).

In addition, the gallery will host an exhibition of Ron Mueck‘s work plus there will be the first showing of Spencer Tunick’s photographs from his 2016 Sea of Hull commission. The artwork featured thousands of people wearing nothing but blue body paint in a series of images of Hull’s city centre.

Elsewhere, Look Up is a year-long programme of newly commissioned works by artists made specifically for Hull’s public spaces. Artists include Nayan Kulkarni, Claire Barber, Bob and Roberta Smith, Sarah Barber, Claire Morgan and Tania Kovats.

A new contemporary art space, The Humber Street Gallery, will open in the heart of the city’s Fruit Market cultural quarter. It will host the first major show exploring the work and legacy of COUM Transmissions, which was founded in Hull by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti in the late 1960s, who later formed the band Throbbing Gristle. Three sculptures by Sarah Lucas will be on show at the same time.

In addition, Nayan Kulkarni has been commissioned by Hull City Council to create a series of light installations across the city centre, plus there will be a series of installations by artist Michael Pinsky, award-winning architects Tonkin Liu, and Hull poet Shane Rhodes.

The Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull will host ‘Lines of Thought – Drawing from Michelangelo to Now’, featuring drawings from the British Museum’s collection. These include works by Dürer, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Matisse and Degas.

Martin Green, CEO and director of Hull 2017, said: “From its artists to its residents through to the city’s incredible heritage, Hull will share with the rest of the world what people from here have known all along – this city has contributed significantly to ideas that have changed and enriched the world.”

Use the UK City of Culture 2017 tag for more stories and comment on Hull’s year-long celebrations

1.  Humber Bridge Night. Copyright: Octovision Media
2. Spencer Tunick’s Sea of Hull commission for Hull’s UK City of Culture. Copyright: Ferens Art Gallery
3. Ferens Art Gallery

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