6 Apr 2016

Down to the Ground – say hello to Hull’s new art space

Say hello to Hull’s newest art space.

A group of inspired Hullensian artists have recently opened an exciting three story gallery space on Hull’s Beverley Road, showcasing a range of artistic activity from bookbinding to zine workshops.

The gallery are doing a top job at bringing the arts community together in a fresh and inspirational way, and locals have welcomed the group to the area with open arms.

We caught up with Lilly Williams, William Vinegrad and the fabulous team at Ground who tell us exactly why.

So what is Ground and how did it all come about?
Ground is an artists’ studios, gallery and project space. It came about because a few of us had the idea at the same time to start something in Hull. It was a chance to do something on our own terms, to pursue our collective love of art making, and to make space for progressive and alternative ideas and activities in Hull. We knew people from the charity HIHAC who own the building, and it had been empty for some time, so we asked what they thought about us taking it on, and they’ve been amazingly generous and supportive. Then it was just lots of hard work and lots of great people helping out!

Why did you decide to call yourselves Ground?
We had a list of names about a mile long, Hull Fish Rental was a contender, Mammal Jam was too, that ended up as the name of the opening festival. Ground was something everyone could agree on, it felt open, like there was space for all the different things we wanted it to be. The word ground is down to earth, deep, lends itself to a million puns, and means something to everyone.

Ground Gallery Hull

How would you describe the space to someone who’s never visited?
It feels cosy, a lot of people have said it’s a bit like being in someone’s house, and we like that. It feels like somewhere you can hang out with the art and get to know it.

What are your aims?
To make a space that is open to as varied an audience as possible, a space where art is not scary but useful, where people can feel empowered to participate. To have somewhere to show our own art, other art from Hull, and from further afield. We also want to contribute to Hull’s art scene, and to broaden it a bit, and to create a hub for communication, skill sharing, action, talking, growing and music…

How do you feel about opening your gallery here in Hull?
I feel really excited about Hull, it feels possible to make things happen here, and it feels like people have wanted a space such as this. The purpose for Ground is developing every day with different people approaching us and bringing their ideas, it feels like Hull is welcoming us so it must be the best place to be!

Ground Gallery Hull

What difference has the gallery already made to the artists and people who attend?
We have already provided opportunities for local artists, musicians, poets, activists (etc…) to perform, discuss and showcase their work. It also makes a huge difference to all the artists working on the project, providing us space to work and try out ideas. We’ve had a chance to spend our energy on something worthwhile, and to learn a million new skills we never thought we’d need!

It’s a relaxed environment where people from all backgrounds are welcome, and many people seem to see it as a safe place to explore creativity, and just have a cuppa, chat, draw and play instruments…

Which is your most popular workshop so far?
All the workshops at Mammal Jam (our opening festival) were pretty well attended; we hosted activities such as yoga, bookbinding, growing vegetables, weaving… a lot of varied stuff. We are doing some zine workshops with Untold Hull, and the one we did at Ground last week went down a storm!

Ground Gallery Hull

Where do you see Ground going? Are there any other projects in the pipeline?
We have a lot of plans for the future! One very exciting thing is that we will soon be getting our very own Risograph printing press, so we will be able to make original prints and artists books, we will also run workshops around using the Riso. We’ve got great stuff coming up, like lindy hop, noise and drone, big drawing collaboration times, films, talks, more zines and new exhibitions.

To get involved with all things Ground, give them a cheeky follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or drop into the gallery during their opening times: Mon 11am-4pm, Thurs 12pm-5pm, Sat 12pm-5pm

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