The characters and stories of Hull’s seafarers will be brought to life at an exhibition in the city.
Portraits at Sea, an exhibition of 30 portraits depicting the men of Hull’s Merchant Navy, will take place at the Hull Maritime Museum in Queen Victoria Square, Hull, from Saturday 22 September to Sunday 16 December.
It comes after the Maritime Museum revealed its highest year-on-year percentage increase in visitor figures for all museums and galleries across the UK, with more than 200,000 visitors last year. The museum has continued this trend after passing the 80,000-visitor mark already this year – more than the total for 2016 (70,238).
Last year, Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, artist Dan Llywelyn Hall sat with the men who shaped the seafaring industry. He met both fishermen and merchant seamen to learn how the jobs changed as a response to challenging times faced by the city’s maritime community.
“I was invited to meet the men of Hull’s seafaring past, when the ports were bustling with fishermen and the Merchant Navy. I discovered some truly resilient and engaging men who were full of stories with rich characters forged by time at sea. This collection serves as a testament to these men, their generosity of spirit as ships pass at night.”
An accompanying film documentary by Ann-marie Conlon shows Dan carrying out the sittings and discussing the lives of the mariners who formed a vital part of Hull’s social history.
Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said:
“Hull’s maritime past is rich with colourful characters and fascinating stories, which Dan has managed to capture expertly through his work.
“The Maritime Museum is one of the best ways to learn about Hull’s relationship with the sea, from the late 18th century to the present. This exhibition could provide the perfect introduction for those who have not yet visited the museum and will hopefully encourage them to come back again and again.”
The Hull Maritime Museums is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm and Sunday from 11am to 4pm, with final admission 30 minutes before closing. Entry is free.