This October, Humber Street Gallery presents Perches and Flyways, an engaging exhibition that shines a light on bird species that are becoming rare in the Humber’s environment alongside more common varieties.
The local Humber Estuary has international significance for birds. The expansive wetlands which line the shore provide a critical stopover site for migratory birds traveling between breeding grounds.
Each year, over ten million of these birds leave northern Europe and the Arctic seeking warmer skies in Western Europe and Africa via Hull on a route termed the East Atlantic Flyway.
Like many coastlines around the world, our local East Yorkshire coastline is changing due to pressures caused by rising sea levels and extreme weather which has a knock-on effect on a variety of bird species who temporarily find their home in these significant habitats. Several evocative species, such as the Night Heron, the Shelduck and Ringed Plover are among the birds are declining in the area.
Artist duo Juneau Projects have been commissioned by Absolutely Cultured to explore this flyway and to work with Creative Connections and ceramicist Jennifer Holtridge to create delicate birds representing these endangered animals. Their ceramic creations will be central to the installation in the gallery’s Space 1 and will form part of the engaging and informative display.
Run by Artlink Hull, Creative Connections is an ongoing series of workshops pairing local artists with Disabled communities to explore creative processes and improve wellbeing. Working with ceramic artist Jennifer Holtridge and artist-duo Juneau Projects, the participants have created a collection of ceramic dioramas showing the birds in their natural habitats.
Creative Director of Absolutely Cultured and Humber Street Gallery, Marianne Lewsley-Stier, said, “We’re delighted to present our new exhibition, Perches and Flyways at Humber Street Gallery this Winter. The work is a collaboration between a group of talented artists who have explored Hull’s local ecological environment and features the rich variety of birds we have in our area. Hull’s proximity to water makes us particularly vulnerable to climate change so as well as highlighting this wonderful wildlife, we hope this ceramic installation will ignite thoughts and meaningful conversations about the impact we have on our local natural environment.”
Lead Creative Producer of Artlink, Jemma Brown said, “The Artlink Creative Connections programme started back in March 2019 with the aim of promoting creativity within Disabled community groups in Hull. The project improves wellbeing by supporting people to learn new skills and express themselves creatively, reducing social isolation, building support networks and friendships, and helping people build the confidence to try new things. Both groups of artists have really enjoyed creating as part of Perches and Flyways and we look forward to working in collaboration with Humber Street Gallery in the future.”
Juneau Projects said, “We’ve loved working with Humber Street Gallery and members of Artlink Hull to celebrate the birds that live in, or near to, Hull and are thrilled to see the results that have come from this process. In our past projects, we’ve teamed up with other community groups to study the wildlife in our area, and we always see that people are keen to learn more about the creatures they see every day, as well as the ones that are much rarer or may soon no longer visit us.”Alongside the exhibition, Humber Street Gallery has programmed a series of events for the public to attend, including the Exhibition Launch Party, a Thursday Lates event with poet Dean Wilson and an online Artist Talk with Juneau Projects, alongside a series of Lunchtime Tours on themes relevant to the exhibition.