I sat in front of Louise Dempsey’s brilliant Bowhead – a whale model and animated interaction – for quite a while. But not as long as Louise, a third year student at Hull School of Art & Design – has. She started work on it in her second year as part of her client related practice and is taking it forward now as a multi-disciplinary research project. In the true spirit of collaboration, the accompanying soundtrack for this installation in the Maritime Museum has been composed by students studying music in the new School of Arts at the University of Hull. It’s a stunning piece of work that showcases some of the best of the city’s emerging talent in music and games design and Louise’s skills in 3D design and digital animation, as well as the support she was provided with by my former colleague and Games Design lecturer Paul Starkey, who’s one of many extremely talented lecturers that do their thing without any fuss, and often confronted with no praise and shocking apathy from their masters at Hull College Group, over at HSAD.
I overheard a funny comment while I was sat there, prompted by a woman sat in front of me who is “writing a book about the whole year.” “I’m not sure how I feel about seeing this in a whaling museum,” the potential contributor to this book said in a jolly tone. “I mean, look at these beautiful creatures that we murdered. It’s such a shame.” Not sure that was the planned take-home from the installation, and I’ve never really noticed that the Maritime Museum celebrates this part of Hull’s history; rather, it just documents it. But it’s good that Louise’s great work has the power to provoke these thoughts on a past that Hull was built on.
Bowhead’s on until March 19 and I’d urge you to swing by and see it.