MADE IN HULL. 1 swallowing & growing

This space is for alive things. 

Some that compel me and some that may change things. 

It's not so nearly Spring.

Pour yourself something new. 

We may get wordy. 

                                                                                             But we won't stay here for long.


“Transformation”. Noun.

Definition – a marked radical change in nature, form or appearance.

In Physics - “an induced or spontaneous change of one element into another”.

In Maths - “a process by which one figure, expression, or function is converted.”

 In Art/Culture ....?.


                                                                                       Do you think they know?        

                                                                                                          Should we tell them?


Today is January 7th 2017.

Week 1. Arriving back from a creative mission and new year’s adventure to Amsterdam grinning like a 10 year old girl at the starting line back in one of my favourite cities,               


Galvanised by all that’s growing in our year of boom and yes.

Or “UK City of Culture 2017” as it’s known to the rest.


"the time is now to wake up from our sleep" Romans 13


and while we're here, a reminder 


“Culture”. Verb

Definition - In Biology

“maintain (cells etc.) in conditions suitable for growth. 

a more accurate version.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and I've always preferred verbs to nouns.                                                                                                                By definition

Culture is alive.                                                                                                                                             On the move. 

Yes we know.


As artists, we’re pre – occupied with the challenge, joy and infinite possibilities of new ways to connect and transform material to new. I’ll tell you that for free.                                                                                                          But I believe we're all born in built with that same genetic capacity                                                                      and I think we can all agree                                                                                                     that our world has never experienced this kind of hungry.

For that 


feeling that can be found when

when we 




for our own abundant radical creativity. 

for the things that 

wake us up from our sleep


rare moments that re-direct our plans and replace them with

that feeling of...

   Good news.

It's begun






Season number one.

The first event in Hull’s new season of "transformative culture" saw new cells forming as hands, humble feet and hearts of Hull were literally “exalted”, standing on paves newly re laid – dug deeper than the olden days. Calling us out and making us new. Some alive cultural fruit that's starting to alter strands of DNA of those who came and will continue to quench their play. Beyond this first event - a sonic wattage in the city’s square although may not leave us for days.



Hull is a city undergoing a tectonic and radical re – birth. 


It appears we’ve just been righteously affirmed and electrocuted into the year.


This kind of behaviour will cure illness and improve the sleep of our grand-children.


and it's making people hungry for more

                                                                                                                                                                     ....This is what I saw.

The opening event was an inexhaustible week long experience of stories of Hull’s folk across the city’s buildings in light that simply reminded us who Hull is. An immersive re - set button described in the official programme as “large-scale projection, illuminated skylines and soundscapes to celebrate the last 70 years of life in the city”. 


Described by Nadine who served me in the supermarket today as a piece of art that

“helped me and my husband relate to our parents in a closer way”


Described by Dylan on my street live from his pram as

“made me feel good”. 




Described by Ellis who served me proper coffee from somewhere in Guatelmala today as

“it made me….what’s that word? I learnt it in RE, about when something deep happens and makes you like?..……...

like you really ......that feeling of.....?..."







Truth - whilst being reminded that people from “a city build on hands and needs” gathering in masses and reacting - together - is simply a powerful thing. Stuffs shifting. I'll be responding, gathering and making about changes. But back to the event that kick started it all. Catalyzed with 361 degrees of sonic surround heart grabbing, love making, bone affirming restorative light projections of faces, words and a rocket on aquarium. 

(Google it.)

A free for all

that was free for all.

Using the powerful language and tools of music, stories of war, architectural theatre, design animation and a flood of electricity that also somehow managed to celebrate all the unseen of the makings of tomorrow by reclaiming the true identity of it's people. What’s to come.

From us.

Me. Better – You.


For people who didn’t expect it, but showed up.


With people whose minds were elsewhere, but stayed.


People who didn’t know why,

but come back for thirds.




an example of this rare prescriptive alchemy

in a light show

that said

"Here you are, here we are

it’s okay where you are

Coz look what we can do

and when you come

and where you’re headed

because there’s more

and new


it’s starts with you".


What else did we see?

       In an outrageous techni-coloured alchemy we saw Hull’s faces and feet, old, young and the not sure, gather, stop, wonder, “breathe in” (Ellie 6), weep (Sarah 28) and “swallow” (Frank, 84). An example of where authentic creativity met with innovative technology to meet a hungry humanity?


                                                                                                 Calm down. 



all this swallowing and silence and "....." and goodness

made me thirsty

sharing in different ways over the year mostly in


like Make, Do or Play

                                                                                   because action is louder than words. 

Truer than ever today.



Back at the cafe on the marina, Thieving Harries, Ellis (aged 24 1/2) is still searching

for that word


"you know - when it make you feel, not in a religious way but....."


 “Cathartic? Transformed? Moved? Born again? spirit filled?

......transcended, epiphany?......”

we continued on our quest.

(Ellis would love to be in a gritty play one day, but he won’t tell you that. Instead he’ll make you a really good cocktail.)

“....holy, sacred, heaven?”

I'm not helping anything. Throwing more words. 

at his search       

my quest

                                                                                                          biting his nails

for the one.


No words are sometimes the best words. The only words. 

Maybe a new way to measure?

a beautiful thing.

We know a secret.


But won't, can't - keep it in for long.



 “I had to swallow."

said Frank (84). 


I did. It got me right here.

he touches his heart – or near enough


Because I’ve lived it, seen it. And I never ever thought - it would, but



it did Sarah

I had to swallow”.

(Frank, 84, takes my bins out and drove me to the ferry port)


Then I needed milk

so there I met

Drew (20)

who served me patiently at Asda when the self scanner had a breakdown said,

“I already know a lot of the history of Hull, so I don’t know why but……

it brought up some

emotional feelings -

I didn’t understand why or how or where they came from

or that I even

                                                    had them

- Not happened before.

and I feel proud. We can do


he said confidently

joy and victory 


(Drew enjoys live music at weekends in Hull because it reminds him of what a carnival might be like.)


Maybe by the time I post this there'll be a new surprise for us that makes space for us to voice new things in new ways, that connects and plays. But it appears we’re on a role at the super market now.


Nadine - looking entirely great for 57(?) - serving me cheerily at the supermarket 


“we shut our eyes – being in the middle of it all

it helped us to understand"


to our parent's stories in a completely closer

new way. We've been closer since...."


"...even though it must have been a bit louder in the trenches”

she continued.


“it will stay”


The bit she couldn’t see – but made her shut her eyes.                                                                    The “I won’t forget the feeling – just the words sometimes”                                                           The word he couldn’t find - "I'll Google it". better                                                                                       saves time. 

Paul (50 ish) wrote about that in a letter, 

“the visible things are temporary, it’s the invisible things that are permanent”. (Corinthians)

 My friend Craig said,

“Any game is nothing without a crowd

and an atmosphere. The numbers that showed up made it work, proved that there is an appetite for culture in the city and in a single week, pretty much ensured that the rest of the year will be a success.”

(Craig's good at with words for a living, seeing into the future and sharing soup with. But he won't tell you).


                                                          back in the supermarket now, there's quite a lively queue .


“give us a load of colouring pens, let us write all over it all day!

and then it would be the only turbine like it in the sea”. (Nadine on Blade)

Nadine on checkout continues


facilitating a kind of breakthrough


handing me another bag for 5p

But it still woke up a part of her

that made her think how she’d….maybe, what if we did it 

in a different way

she's not "thought about that before"


And what’s great is

she’ll tell you that

for free.


So without knowing it or perhaps we do


with all this space for creative radical new things we’re starting to dance some new moves

in ways we were always meant to

now lets improve

it's no rocket science

that alive Culture and creativity can be great tools

to make the intangeable tangible 

whilst hard working humbled hands and feet

getting dirty, serving the congregation

Caffeinating and sustaining

people waking up from sleep

With some architectural mapping

And a million re – tweets.


a good disruption.


the kind you get where there's another dimension at work

and it looks like fresh permission 

to wear your heart on your sleeves

All over again

Showing up

ready to race

like we’re ten.


Passed the noise, the programme and the hoody from the shop.

an unapologetic crowd


“what’s the $^@#! is that word?..…              

we learnt it at school!!!” 

(Ellis, January 31st)


                                                                                                                  ....missing still 

                                                            should we tell them?

or better 





Yes it's time for a series of re - definitions

for change of our seasons for this global transition 

I'll tell you some secrets with or without your permission




In Biology  “the genetic alteration of a cell by introduction of new DNA”. With a year of game changing making across the world in two thousand and seventeen, I'd like to propose a new addition today.

A new definition

Transformation: in Art/Culture


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Essential for growth and making and Frank swallow.

Bringing up something we didn’t know or had forgotten

for radical experiences that alter and invite

making Dylan want to ride faster on his trike

doing something easily inside here without us putting up a fight.

Preserving life giving conditions in excess amount


“Like when your filled with awe and wonder!?...” 

to those still about, down Harries, our Ellis shouts (Feb 3rd).


Affecting the fundamental nature with thoroughly curative blends                                                        Of movements that nourish and Jazz fusions that mends                                                                                                                                        Culture that resuscitates, heals and feeds                                                                                                wakes up the bits we so easily forgot - restoring bits we didn’t realise we'd lost

                                                              or even know we need?

Connecting us with the bit we can’t explain                                                                          Because didn’t we "already knew it before" and "I don't know it's name"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           To delight, shake, shed and silence, once more                                                                               Wake up and love us all over again

Tickets to shatter pride

                                                                                                     momentarily                                                                                                                                             moving us into brand new territory                                                                                          with a blatant invitation                                                                                                                where we may even be reminded to say the things we’ve never said                                                   aloud or even to ourselves in bed                                                                                                              too scared or too proud                                                                                                                                 And when words fail us                                                                                                                               Making things that say it for us                                                                                                                      That give us new coats to wear                                                                                                   That might affirm and adore us

“What is that word!? I’ll find it - I will.”

I admire the tenacity and courage                                                                                             of making space for the extraordinary

and true

“when you feel something kinda really…....”

"reminds you of you?"

verbs have nothing to lose or prove.

where nouns seek a face and need to be seen.

Wait - top yourself up, there's time for one more


Radical – adjective

Affecting the fundamental nature                                                                                                             A departure from tradition?                                                                                                                   on the edge new mission?                                                                                                          Actually you’ll find by earthly definition  

 “radical” actually means

“to be rooted”.


"Radix" - from the latin

we'll save those resources that he next season

                 So yeh

– we’re here in a city re – born                                                                                                                              radically ready

                                                                                                             fresh off a ferry.     

In a changing city where people are starting to feel ready and rooted for the radical, the forward and the future to happen.                                                                             

I’ve fallen in love with the city all over again and will fall in love with it all again tomorrow.     

I hope you will too.                                                                                                                             And get involved. And dirty.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      on your bike. 

and intentional 

Like your ten.                                                                                                                                    with words and without.

Speaking of which....


I’m now sat in Thieving Harries Cafe



tunes are always gold




Today is 4th February. 2017



The view looks different, I hear...



                                                                                         'they new bike racks?

             No, Next to that...


Look up.



I see people

inserting words here


Another new space has been made for play



Speaking truth at a lecturn as their voices go into a block of wood and transcend into something higher up. Connecting your words aloud into light for all to see. Whatever that will be.


ca - poofed into brand new materials


you and me.  



“SARAH!!.....SARAH!!....                    I FOUND IT…..”

downstairs Ellis shouts


                                                                    The word he was looking for all those weeks ago.


“I googled it”





he said

that feeling of....




“Numinous.” Adjective

with pride and conviction 


"it made me feel....



a presence of divinity.”



“or feeling a mysterious or holy quality which makes you think that God is present.”

Live from the book of Ellis Todd – Thieving Harries (age 24 1/2) in association with Google search 2017.







you never know, beyond the new paving stones and stage

when we show up, make, do and play

make space

for all kinds of new games

it may just change our DNA

in comfortable silence

that maybe a clue

and yesterday Hull’s crowd have felt it too -

just today found his words for that 

her future ready found

feeling that there's


“something else bigger than you” 





A new epic adventure beginning soon FLOOD...

A new epic adventure beginning soon FLOOD...