Hull 2017: What’s On in January

I’ve compiled a short guide to January’s main events and installations so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s going on in the UK City of Culture in January 2017, ordered by date. By the sounds of it there are a lot of great things to come. If the first week is anything to go by it will be an incredible year and the city will be well worth visiting. I hope you find this useful if you live in the city or are planning a trip to visit, or maybe it will inspire you to go and give Hull a chance.


2 Jan – 19 March @ Hull Maritime Museum (Free)

The University of Hull and Hull School of Art and Design have created a lifelike audio visual installation of a Bowhead whale to honour the city’s whaling heritage.

Hull Charters

3 Jan – 24 Feb @ Hull History Centre (Free)

A different approach to understanding the city’s history in the History Centre’s first exhibition of 2017. Through its Charters, from the first in 1299 to that of Queen Mary, the exhibition reveals the rights, responsibilities and privileges the people of Hull were granted and the effect they have had on the city up until this day.

British Museum: Lines of Thought – Drawing from Michelangelo to Now

3 Jan – 28 Feb @ Brynmor Jones Library, The University of Hull (Free, but book tickets for guaranteed entry)

Visit The University of Hull’s brilliant campus, from which I happen to be a graduate, to see this exhibition. The University has recently been investing in renovations to improve the campus and the Brynmor Jones Library is its shining example. It contains a great gallery space and the first exhibition to be held there in 2017 is certainly impressive. ‘Lines of Thought’ includes the work of Michelangelo, Matisse, Degas and Rembrandt to name a few. On show are the drawings from these masters, which reveal the basis and creative starting point for many of their works.


8 Jan – 18 March (as part of Look Up, which runs all year) @ Queen Victoria Square (Free)

This installation by Nayan Kulkarni is part of Look Up, a series of installations which will feature in different spaces of the city throughout the year. The series encourages people to see the city in a different way, to look around them and to notice things they never have before, to stop staring at screens and get out to explore the city. The Blade installation turns one of the first 75m B75 rotor blades made in Hull into a piece of art. Or is it?  In photos online it doesn’t look real, it looks like it has been photoshopped into pictures of Queen Victoria Square, an internet hoax. This makes it even more interesting to see in person, to see the sheer scale of it, to look up at its unique curves and to see how it changes the space of Queen Victoria Square.

Ferens: Hull’s Philanthropist 

13 Jan – 31 Dec @ Ferens Art Gallery (Free)

Ferens Art Gallery opens on the 13 Jan after a £4.5m refurbishment. Enjoy the gallery’s permanent collection in the now revamped gallery that came into being due to Thomas Robinson Ferens’ philanthropic gift.

Pietro Lorenzetti: Siena to Hull, A Masterpiece Revealed

13 Jan – 23 April @ Ferens Art Gallery (Free)

For the first time since its acquisition in 2013 the panel painting, Christ between Saints Paul and Peter (c.1320) is shown at the Ferens Art Gallery and is shown amongst other works which give the piece context.

BP Cultural Visions Lecture Series: Martin Green, Chief Executive & Director at Hull 2017

18 Jan (first in series) 6:30pm @ Middleton Hall, The University of Hull (Free, ticketed)

Opening Ceremonies: From London 2012 to Made In Hull

In the first of a series of lectures which will run throughout the year, Martin Green shares his story and experiences of the London 2012 Olympics where he was Head of Ceremonies to being the Chief Executive and Director of the City of Culture year. Learn about the creation, production and staging of such events and the creative process that goes into such ‘cultural moments’.

Open exhibition

21 Jan – 12 March @ Ferens Art Gallery (Free)

The Open Exhibition showcases the talent and creativity of local amateur and professional artists and 2017 marks its fiftieth anniversary at Ferens.

Francis Bacon Screaming Popes

21 Jan – 1 May @ Ferens Art Gallery (Free)

Joining the display of the permanent collection are five of Francis Bacon’s ‘Screaming Popes’, including the revered Head VI (1949).

Anthony Minghella: A Retrospective 

ALL @ Middleton Hall, The University of Hull (£5-7)

  • 22 Jan: Minghella on Television
  • 24 Jan: The Talented Mr. Ripley 
  • 25 Jan: Cold Mountain
  • 26 Jan: The English Patient  

An Oscar-winning director, producer, playwright and lecturer Minghella is a Hollywood Legend who also happens to be one of the most famous alumni of The University of Hull. To celebrate his life and legacy, screenings of several pieces of his award-winning work will be held in the newly refurbished Middleton Hall. A look back on his life, from where it all began with his studies at the university. There will also be a free accompanying display of artefacts from his play Whale Music and his production of Madame Butterfly.

Lisa Ronson

25 Jan 7:30pm @ Fruit (£10)

‘Ronson’s rare sound is a dynamic convergence of synth pop and alternative rock with dystopian and existentialist lyrics.’

Creative Voice Dance

29 Jan 7pm @ Hull Truck Theatre (£3)

See Hull’s next generation of performers in a new piece created by the Hull Dance Youth Company inspired by Ceyda Tanc Dance, a professional Turkish contemporary company.



Hull Independent Cinema 

1 Jan – 31 Dec (various locations)

Catch a film you’d not usually be able to see in mainstream cinemas with Hull Independent Cinema. Link to their upcoming events above.


2 Jan – 31 Dec (various locations) (Free)

Bringing art out of the gallery space and onto the streets, onto billboards to be exact. Every four weeks 13 billboards will be ‘transformed into platforms for artistic excellence’ with accompanying cultural events at these sites.

Humber Street Gallery

Opens Jan

This new contemporary art gallery in the cultural quarter of the Fruit Market will showcase forward-thinking exhibitions and contemporary arts ‘from the shocking to the sublime and all points in between’.

And check out what happened in the first week of Hull 2017 here:


7 thoughts on “Hull 2017: What’s On in January

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