The three storey gallery in a former fruit and vegetable warehouse will present a range of contemporary visual art, design, film, photography and craft throughout 2017, with a café and rooftop bar for visitors.
The opening season will feature two exhibitions running from today until 22 March: the first major show to explore the work and legacy of COUM Transmissions, which was founded in Hull by artists Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, a subversive collective that took the art world by storm in the late 1960s, ahead of their later involvement in the musical collective Throbbing Gristle.
Featuring materials drawn from their personal archives, and curated by Hull-born Cosey Fanni Tutti herself, this first retrospective will also feature musical performances, programmed by respected music website The Quietus.
The second exhibition, Power in Woman, features three sculptures by Sarah Lucas, commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, shown in Hull with the support of the Art Fund.
“We are really excited to be opening Humber Street Gallery, which will be an amazing cultural asset for the city,” Martin Green, CEO and Director Hull 2017. “It helps consolidate the Fruit Market’s status as a cultural quarter and adds to Hull’s already strong visual arts offer, which has been led by the wonderful Ferens Art Gallery and Brynmor Jones Library, as well as the smaller galleries and collectives to be found around the city.”
Hull City Council’s initial investment of over £4m capital funds to kick-start the redevelopment of the area included the complete transformation of the internal structure of each unit and installation of new bespoke facades on a number of residential and commercial units, in-keeping with the unique historic character of the area. Each unit was reinforced with stronger internal roofs and walls, conservation windows, cladding and drainage.
A wider £80m rejuvenation of the Fruit Market is now being driven forward by the Fruit Market LLP, a joint venture involving regeneration company Wykeland Group, residential developer Beal Homes and Hull City Council.
The Fruit Market LLP has invested £250,000 to repair, refurbish and upgrade the three-storey building housing the gallery, which includes a new glazed frontage behind renovated and repainted timber doors, a new lift, new toilets and decked roof terrace, as well as connections to services.