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How a French masterpiece is inspiring young artists in Hull

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Young people from Hull are taking centre stage as part of an exhibition focussing on Claude Monet’s stunning landscape painting, Antibes (1888).

The masterpiece – on loan from The Courtauld Gallery, London is currently on display alongside artworks from the Ferens Art Gallery’s permanent collection until 4 July.

The exhibition, Monet in Mind, focusses on the importance of mindfulness and reflection in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Monet in Mind showcases the creative talents of the Future Ferens, a group of young curators, marketers and creatives, aged 16-25 years old, who are all passionate about art.

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “The Monet in Mind exhibition was designed to give young people an opportunity to engage with cultural decision-making. The whole process has showcased the creative talents of young people in Hull.”

Over the past year, during lockdown, the Future Ferens met together online to create the exhibition. As volunteers in the Ferens, they have worked in collaboration with the gallery’s team of experts on all aspects of curation, design, writing and promotion of the exhibition.

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), Antibes, 1888.

Mollie Gapper from Future Ferens said: “It has been amazing for us to be involved in curating an exhibition around a painting from an artist as well-known and highly regarded as Monet.

“Our decision to focus on mindfulness was partly in response to the events of the last year which has been challenging for everyone in different ways.

“We hope that the exhibition will allow visitors to take some time to think about what mindfulness means to them, and to pause and reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and mental health.”

Monet in Mind seeks to showcase the artistic talent of emerging young artists in Hull. The main title exhibition soundtrack, One Summer Long Ago, was composed by composer Adam Pattrick, with The Warren, Hull. Over the past year Pattrick looked to music and sound as an escape from the stresses of daily life, channelling his concerns into art. Inspired by childhood visits to the seaside, this composition seeks to transport the listener to a simpler time, where they may reflect and practice mindfulness, free from the burdens of the present.

Samuel Courtauld, the founder of The Courtauld Institute of Art, wrote poetry about the artworks in his collection. Following in his footsteps many years later, young people from The Warren Youth Project in Hull were inspired by paintings in Monet in Mind to produce new reflective creative writings. Performed and displayed in the gallery and online, these creative writings bring a new dimension to the exhibition and give an opportunity to showcase the works of aspiring writers.

All creative writings and soundscapes are available to view and listen here.

Monet in Mind runs until Sunday 4 July at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull. Tickets are free and can be booked here.

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