One of the reasons for my recent visit to the Hungate area was to see this community art exhibition on the theme of York’s city walls. The artwork was created in May and June 2010 and will be on display until later this year, on the hoardings around the Hungate site, in the area alongside the telephone exchange building. The theme of the exhibition is the history of the city walls.
This painting (left) brilliantly captures the way the older stone weathers.
Some of the paintings show how the city walls might have looked when they had open land beyond them instead of suburbs, and when the area we now call Foss Islands was the watery ‘King’s Fishpool’. Other paintings show the defensive role the walls played, with sword-wielding warriors at the gates.
Viking longboats move up river, near the walls in their earlier, wooden incarnation. As well as the fish in the once-watery area near the Red Tower, the paintings show birds, butterflies, mammals and plants around the walls. The Victorian period is illustrated by trains leaving the old station within the city walls, while a cyclist on a penny farthing passes by.
Five groups took part, each looking at a different aspect of the history of the city walls: Arts Alive – views from the walls; A Team – the history of the walls; Glen Lodge Art Group – nature on the walls; Aspire – the stonework of the walls, and Greenworks – people and the walls.
A fabulous and cheery exhibition. In difficult economic times there’s some debate over whether valuable resources should be used to fund the arts. Seeing this kind of exuberant and accomplished work would, I hope, make most people say yes.
Links & more info
Outdoor gallery unveiled at Hungate, York – The Press