Something has awoken in the depths of Hull this month, creating an innovative new trail as part of a major project aimed at bringing the city’s maritime heritage to life.
Trapped for nearly two centuries, a creature has awoken from the murky depths of the city’s river and over the next few weeks, giant inflatable sculptures will take over the streets of Hull.
The Kraken is alive.
In what is the first major event to highlight the multi-million pound Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project, the new commission has seen the mystical sea creature escape to cover several sites within the city centre in a major installation and spectacle, which will run until 26 August.
Based around The Kraken of Scandinavian folklore, the free trail, starting at Hull Maritime Museum, will offer a few surprises for visitors to the city centre, including tentacles creeping around corners and a nest of eggs on Monument Bridge.
Giant inflatable sculptures measuring 10 metres in length have appeared on several key landmarks, some with a maritime theme, while the trail will also include maritime characters and living statues, theatre performances and live music.
Hull aims to redefine itself as a key city of the north with a huge investment in a four-year project that will see some of its most historic maritime attractions expanded and improved, creating new visitor attractions.
Making Hull’s 800 years of seafaring history even more of a key part of the city’s tourism offer, the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project will ultimately create a new route to guide visitors through the city to the River Hull, highlighting its outstanding maritime heritage.
But as the transformation takes place, there are still opportunities to share in its rich maritime history and seafaring links – with The Kraken the first of a series of major events in the build-up to the delivery of the project.
With the removal of thousands of treasures from the Maritime Museum, as part of the refurbishment there, rooms within the basement have been disturbed as the sea creature escapes.
The bespoke installation is the work of Designs in Air and is their largest city-wide tentacle installation to date as well as the first time one of their Krakens has taken over a ship – The Spurn Lightship.
They have delivered art sculptures all over the world with past installations in Lisbon, China, Berlin, Australia, and Hong Kong as well as featuring at many major events and exhibitions including the 2012 Olympics, the Eden project, Glastonbury Festival and for Cirque du Soleil.
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.
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 maritimehull.co.uk. A 24-page comic inspired by Hull’s maritime past via a fictional backstory designed by local artist Gareth Sleightholme will also be available.
For more information visit maritimehull.co.uk or follow @Hullmaritime on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #HullKraken
For all other tourism information about Hull, see www.visithull.org