In 2013 it was announced that Hull would become ‘City of Culture 2017’, the second city in the UK to be awarded City of Culture status. Hull UK City of Culture 2017 was set up by the city’s council as an independent company and charitable trust.
Internationally-renowned lighting designer Durham Marenghi was brought in to his hometown to enhance a number of stunning audiovisual installations across Hull as part of the city’s UK City of Culture 2017 inauguration festivities.
Marenghi, who has previously designed lighting for outdoor events such as the London NYE countdown, the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace and the Rio 2016 Olympic Ceremonies, was assisted in the project by West-end theatre lighting designer and Hull resident Tim Lutkin. Together they specified over 60 Claypaky fixtures, 22 RGB wall washers from UKLED and 64 SGM P-5 washes from Manchester-based lighting specialist DBN lighting to create architectural light shows at the city’s historic Queen Victoria square, famous aquarium The Deep – as well as an installation in an underpass famous for secret raves.
“It was crucial for us to keep the open air platform in mind when selecting fixtures; an outdoor environment is always a challenge for the technical aspects of a production,’’ said Marenghi. ‘‘I selected the Claypaky products because they’re lightweight very power efficient and compact, making them easy to rig and weatherproof in these difficult environments; the UKLED and SGM fixtures are IP65 so ideal for Hull in Winter.’’
At Victoria Square, Marenghi and Lutkin employed 34 Claypaky Mythos to complement video content by animator and video designer Zsolt Balogh, which was projected onto the façades of Hull City Hall, Ferens Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum. Titled Made in Hull, the film worked with dynamic aerial lighting displays to immerse onlookers in 100 years of the city’s maritime and aviation industry. The design also had LED strip lights, supplied by UK LED in Hull, radiating from the Maritime Museum and City Hall screens during a sequence celebrating Hull Fair, which reached it’s 700th anniversary in 1993.
The searchlight effect of the powerful Mythos also allowed Marenghi to add extra impact to an audiovisual display at The Deep, the UK’s landmark centre for marine research, and cast beam effects over the Humber estuary. An animation about the origins and travel of Hull’s people by video and projection design house Imitating the Dog was projected onto the building’s striking contemporary architecture, which resembles a shipwreck.
Hull City of Culture will now oversee the 365 days of pledged transformative cultural activity throughout the city in 2017 and judging by the success of the first Made in Hull event the forthcoming events will be a great showcase for the City and its culture.