Revealed: Plans for Hull spectacular that will rival the Olympics

Animation director Zsolt Balogh stands infront of the Hull Maritime Museum, where his work will be projected. 
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Animation director Zsolt Balogh stands infront of the Hull Maritime Museum, where his work will be projected. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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The artist behind the centrepiece of a seven-day light and sound spectacular in Hull says it will be as good as work created for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

Zsolt Balogh is creating an “immersive video map” which will be played across three principal buildings in Queen Victoria Square telling the city’s “rollercoaster” history.

Made in Hull: Artist impression by Zsolt Balogh

Made in Hull: Artist impression by Zsolt Balogh

He says the 15 minute animation “will be comparable” to the seven-minute sequence celebrating 50 years of art, culture and entertainment, which was projected in the Olympic stadium in 2012.

A sneak preview revealed technicolour buildings, glowing with colour, inspired by Hull Fair, trawlers cresting massive waves, recalling the 1968 triple trawler tragedy and historic buildings crumbling into dust after the Blitz. The images will be played onto the Ferens Art Gallery, City Hall and Maritime Museum, to a soundtrack by composer Dan Jones.

Zsolt said: “The end product will be comparable with the Olympics opening ceremony and much more inclusive. That was joyful for the 80,000 people who crammed into the stadium and the rest following at a distance.

“I am hoping all 270,000 people (from the city) come to the Square at least once. It will be on for a week on a loop between 4pm and 9pm. It is family friendly, very beautiful and unusual.”

Made in Hull: Artist impression by Zsolt Balogh

Made in Hull: Artist impression by Zsolt Balogh

“They asked me to come up with a storyline with Hull Fair, the bombing, the fishing industry. It is a little bit like a rollercoaster ride, because that’s how I see the history of Hull - amazing and exciting times and also great tragedies.

“The message is after these ups and downs, my feeling is Hull is certainly on an upwards trajectory, There is so much happening and City of Culture is a very good advertisement for Hull.”

A dozen other artists are also involved creating a range of soundscapes, art installations, animation and interactive live footage, which will be played out over the streets of Hull city centre, starting at 4pm on January 1.

It includes a piece by video, music and digital artist Jesse Kanda, who works with Bjork, which should get people dancing in front of three screens in the Myton Bridge underpass. “It’s a fantastically exciting idea that people can be absorbed into art,” said creative director Sean Mc Allister. “Knowing people from Hull, they will get into it.”

Sean McAllister, the award-winning documentary film director, who is curating the opening event for Hull 2017 City of Culture. Picture Tony Johnson.

Sean McAllister, the award-winning documentary film director, who is curating the opening event for Hull 2017 City of Culture. Picture Tony Johnson.

As people dance away under the Myton Bridge, they will get glimpses of more giant projections onto the Deep, as part of a soundscape created by Hull-born composer Terence Dunn, called Arrivals and Departures.

“There’s going to be a combination of stop-frame animation and video art,” he said. “They are using maps turning into migratory animals, like whales, which is quite amazing.

“My job is to do the immersive sound experience which is going to throw sound from the Deep to the ampitheatre (on the other side of the river) using speakers.” Terence is basing the rhythm on morse code, and will also use a recording of the Freedom Choir singing the Navy Hymn, Eternal Father, with the music of John Bacchus Dyke - born 1823 in Hull - at Holy Trinity Church.

Made In Hull is free and starts on January 1.

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