20 Jun 2017

Paper City: The artists’ designs

Here’s what to expect from the celebration of colour over at Humber Street.

Paper City brings together eight top creatives from the worlds of art, design and architecture to create stunning, new, temporary installations in Hull’s Fruit Market.

Developed as a creative partnership between G . F Smith and Hull 2017 UK City of Culture, Paper City forms part of the Look Up series of commissions which have so far included Nayan Kulkarni’s Blade, Michael Pinsky’s The City Speaks, Chris Dobrowolski’s Washed up Car-go and Claire Barber’s The Train Track and the Basket.

Beautiful, colourful and surprising, each installation will use the most fundamental creative material, paper, from the renowned Colorplan range of Hull paper merchant G . F Smith.

The “World’s Favourite Colour” will also be revealed at the pop-up shop in Humber Street, which will include fabulous iconic British products, all specially customised in the world’s favourite colour.

So what are the artists up to? Here’s a brief overview of what to expect.



Back in 1993, sculptor Joanna Sands started off by making large sculptural, site-specific installations in abandoned buildings and squats using found materials.

For Paper City, Joanna has created an installation which uses the structural qualities of paper to create gentle curves that travel across the floor, using softer colours to enhance where shapes continue, meet and separate. She was inspired by the quality of light in Hull, reflecting and diffusing between the water, clouds and on to the land itself.


Photo © Joanna Sands



Apeiron Flow is an installation by Architect Adam Holloway that showcases the endless expressive potential of paper. Using principles inspired by nature to increase its structural stiffness, paper is algorithmically grown and crafted into an expansive and fluid sculptural form.

The form weaves and transforms space which forms exploration and movement.


Photo © Adam Holloway



Jacqueline Poncelet began her career working in ceramics and has since extended her practice to include painting, sculpture, installations and public art commissions.

Her complex work has been developed through a system of cutting and folding, assembling and placing, using all of the colours in the Colorplan range. The floor-based installation creates a series of interesting and unexpected colour relationships, with intricate and irregular shapes – almost a three-dimensional painting that changes and develops as you move around it.


Photo © Martin Plasek


BETHAN LAURA WOOD, Seaweed kites

Bethan Laura Wood explores the relationships we make with objects in our everyday lives.

Found in the unique location of an old smoke house, Bethan’s Paper Seaweed gently hangs and sways to create a suspended world of colour and shapes. Combining the shapes of British seaweed with details from kite construction, Bethan uses the properties of laminated paper by cutting and twisting to transform flat sheets.


Photo © Bethan Laura Wood


MAX LAMB, 35,000 gsm

Designer/maker Max Lamb combines traditional design methods with digital design to create unusual- looking objects and has a huge passion for furniture.

In the past, Max has worked on projects such as My Grandfather’s Tree, where he turned an 187-year-old ash tree from a farm in Yorkshire into 131 logs – just as the tree started to become rotten. He revealed the trees growth rings, knots, branches and crotches, giving it a new lease of life.

For Paper City, Max has embraced the standardised stock paper sizes and weights produced by G F Smith to create four pieces which might form a range of Colorplan “furniture” – developing a potentially new standard weight of paper in the process; 35,000 gsm.


Photo © Max Lamb


MADE THOUGHT, The Fabric of Hull

Made Thought is an award winning brand identity development consultancy based in London.

For Paper City, the team has created a stunning scale installation symbolising the way that the history of Hull and G . F Smith are interwoven and interlinked.

The installation is a huge suspended tapestry of Colorplan paper, handwoven in the G . F Smith factory in Hull by its employees, which makes reference to the jobs, community and relationships that the company has create in the city during their 130-year history.


Photo © Made Thought


LAZERIAN, Local Fish

Lazerian is a contemporary creative studio that manipulates established design concepts, created by British designer Liam Hopkins.

Local Fish relates to Hull’s past and present relationship with the cod. It is made up of a four-metre-long anatomical paper model of a fish, central to the historic fishing industry. Lazerian’s mobile studio will also be turned into a mobile fish and chip van for the duration of Paper City.

A limited number of paper fish and chips will be sold from the van every day throughout the exhibition.


Photo © Lazerian



Richard Woods’ architectural-scale interventions along Humber Street will use standard sheet sizes of Colorplan paper to create graphic brickwork, building “new” walls in an area of regeneration and redevelopment.

The paper is also a material connection to the city and its history, a product that has been a building block of the city.


Photo © Richard Wood

Paper City runs from Friday 30 June to Sunday 9 July in the Fruit Market.


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