A new exhibition at Beverley Art Gallery from Saturday 16 December will highlight The Humber Estuary.
One of the largest estuaries in the UK, the Humber stretches almost 70 kilometres from Goole to Spurn Point. A vast nature reserve and a site for fishing, shipping, industry, agriculture and holidaymaking, it is also a launch for foreign travel. An unfaltering backdrop, the Humber has inspired art as diverse as the region itself.
For some, this vast expanse of water has inspired dramatic maritime paintings of ships in turbulent seas. For others, its hinterland offers uncompromising and raw industrial views. The Humber has been represented by mean, moody and reflective riverscapes or bright vibrant poster art.
Like all waterways, the Humber has offered both sustenance and hardship for those who have lived and worked on its banks. The economic growth associated with increased trading links and the development of the ports is evident in 19th century views that teem with ships and boats. Like many waterways, the Humber is a place of recreation and artists have been inspired by gulls on the mudflats, merriment at the regatta or ‘seaside’ fun with ice-cream and sandcastles at ‘Cleggy’.
But Humber views have also reflected the region’s social privation. They tackle the brutality of life at sea for trawler men and the associated wretchedness for families at home. Artists have captured wartime devastation and the hardship that followed with the collapse of core industries. The despondency and cynicism that resulted has shaped many of our Humber views and indeed views of the Humber - visual, political or personal.
Hull UK City of Culture 2017 has witnessed a new wave of artistic productivity. Contemporary artist Ian Mitchell was commissioned to produce two exciting pieces, ‘Crossing the Humber I & II’, for Beverley Art Gallery. Sheffield-based contemporary artist Stephen Todd contributed towards the exhibition with a collection of his paintings and drawings specifically inspired by the Humber.
Humber Estuary: Changing Views celebrates the iconic; it celebrates regional identity; it celebrates regeneration.
This exhibition is funded by the Humber Museums Partnership (HMP) which consists of the museums services of the East Riding, Hull and North Lincolnshire and is sponsored by the Arts Council of England. The HMP develops collaborative working for the purpose of delivering better services to the public.
The HMP is keen to promote the heritage and culture of the often unsung region of the Humber to a wider audience and this exhibition is part of that ‘place-shaping’ ambition.
The exhibition will be open to the public from 16 December, 2017 to 17 February, 2018 at the Treasure House and Beverley Art Gallery, Champney Road, Beverley HU17 8HE
Full details are at : www.museums.eastriding.gov.uk/treasure-house-and-beverley-art-gallery/