Banksy may have hit the headlines back in 2018 when he left his mark on Hull, but the city is fast gaining a reputation of its own for impressive public art, including a ‘street art quarter’.
From huge colourful Geisha girls created by an international artist to quirky home-grown murals, Hull’s street art scene is drawing attention from the creative world as well as attracting visitors from near and far.
Proving a real draw is an innovative Hull original – an outdoor gallery of street art.
Bankside Gallery – approved by the local authority and celebrated by residents – began in February 2018, just after Banksy, one of the world’s most famous street artists, painted a mural on the city’s Scott Street Bridge.
Depicting a small boy brandishing a wooden sword with a pencil at the end with the slogan “Draw the raised bridge!”, the mural was later carefully removed from the bridge and is currently being restored. Eventually the plan is for the artwork to go back on public display somewhere in Hull.
But while Banksy shone the national spotlight on Hull, the city can lay claim to a rich tradition of urban art – and one that continues to paint an impressive picture to this day.
Building on its success as 2017 UK City of Culture, Hull continues to offer an ever-evolving arts and culture scene, with urban art playing its part in making Hull a distinctly different destination.
Just last month, popular street artist Dan Kitchener – who has showcased his work across the globe – painted a new mural on the side of the late 17th century Danish Buildings, his second artwork in the city.
His latest creation has certainly had an immediate impact, with the mural on the side of a building located in the cobbled streets of Hull’s Old Town and surrounded by some of Hull’s best pubs, cafes and architecture close to the city’s Museums Quarter.
Known as Dank, the painter takes inspiration from Japanese imagery, and his new mural, entitled ‘Peace’, shows a Japanese geisha. In a tweet, the artist revealed he had been back in “amazing Hull”, adding: “This time a simple delicate geisha emerging from the darkness – much like we are emerging from lockdown.”
His first in the city, ‘Queen Of Colours’ – a more colourful Japanese scene – was revealed in July 2020 on the side of the old King Billy Pub, now Kings, a new live music and events venue.
Both pieces are part of Hull’s Bankside Gallery, where the streets are the gallery, which showcases the latest street art and graffiti in the city. The artwork stretches from the banks of the River Hull in the city centre (opposite the Museums Quarter), through the Wincolmlee Industrial estate, to Bankside and Clough Road (https://bit.ly/33xG12K).
Among local artists is ‘Preg’ – Preston Fox – who is behind some of Hull’s most quirky pieces of street art, sometimes referred to as “Hull’s Banksy” (https://hullpreg.com).
For more information about Hull, see www.visithull.org
Photo: Bankside Gallery.