Hull-born artist Patrick Coyle is back home this week with a futuristic performance that encourages audiences to think about our role in the future of our city and the planet.
We grabbed him ahead of his unique performance, Kingstupon Hull Stumption, that takes place at Ferens Art Gallery this Thursday (July 25).
Why is a performance like this, that seems almost as much as a warning/lesson as well as a performance, so important?
I wouldn’t describe the performance itself as a warning, but it presents a particular future where we no longer have the same level of control over our natural environment as we do today, and I’m interested in how people respond to that.
This is a site-specific performance and presented in a way that some audiences might not have seen before. Why did you decide to present the performance in this way? Without working to the dimensions of a gallery, how does the ‘freedom’ of the piece add/influence the performance?
I originally wrote a version of this performance for an exhibition exploring the history of the River Thames at Pump House Gallery in London , so it seemed fitting to write a guided tour, I call it a ‘tourk’, that led people from the river to the gallery. The more I learnt about the history of that site, the more I began to imagine its future, and the script developed its own logic and its own language. I enjoy the comic aspect of describing things that are clearly not true, and delivering a script outside, as opposed to in a gallery, often introduces many more chance elements into the narrative. For example, I explain that birds have become extinct as ducks and pigeons are flying past. I have since rewritten the script for Wrexham, Aberystwyth, and now Hull, where the route has gone full circle, beginning at the Ferens art gallery and ending at the river Hull.
How has Hull influenced your art?
The first things I called ‘art’ were made in Hull, and its uniqueness as a city creates constant reference points for me wherever I continue to make art. I always find myself thinking back to the people, the landscape and the language.
How much do you think the city has changed in terms of being a place where art and artists can develop and be inspired? What impact do you think things like City of Culture and major investment in spaces like Ferens has had on the city?
I think that in the last few years Hull has been brought into the national and international consciousness as a city of exceptional creativity that has always had its own vibrant set of ever-changing cultures and subcultures, and I think that creativity should continue to be celebrated and developed.
The performance, which is presented as a walking tour, will start outside Ferens Art Gallery at 8.30pm on Thursday.
It is part of the current contemporary art exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery, Is This Planet Earth? which features curious life-forms and strange landscapes.
Tickets are free and can be reserved online here