Houlton are delighted to be involved in this exciting Arts based project for the City.

Co-ordinated by Hull Esteem, we and other framework members are donating time, materials and expertise to build deliver and site the viewing shelter on the roof of Hull College.

From 3 May 2021, every day for a year, at sunrise and sunset, a Vigil (person) will keep watch over Hull from a bespoke wood and glass structure located on top of the Hull College building, facing east and west, overlooking Queen’s Gardens and the William Wilberforce statue at one side, the River Humber, the docks and East Hull on the other. Over the course of the year 730 people will contribute to the collective vigil – a 365 day silent performance – watching over the city.

From 10am on 1 March 2021 you can reserve your place by signing up at http://www.thehullvigil.co.uk. Places were allocated on a first come first served basis, with 730 places available throughout the year - it is now fully booked and the waiting list closed.

The Vigil viewing platform consists of a structural steel frame, into which we have installed timber studwork frames. The timber frames have been over clad with plywood and decorated externally in white. Internally the pine faced MDF will receive a clear coat. A double glazed vision panel is installed at either end of the viewing platform and is made up of 2 layers of 10.4mm laminated glass. The roof of the viewing platform has been covered with a single ply membrane to make a water proof cover. The platform was manufactured inside our Fitters workshop as it was the only workshop with a door opening high enough to get the completed platform out of.

The viewing platform is surrounded by an exo-skeleton made out of square section timber which is held together with steel angle bracketry. The exo-skeleton was manufactured in our joinery workshop in sections with it being part assembled in our yard.

Once the Viewing Platform was watertight and decorated it was moved out doors where it was lifted into the exo-skeleton frame. Now the platform is in situ, work on the exo-skeleton frame can continue, which will encompass the top of the viewing platform, ready for transportation and installing on site.

Freedom Festival, an organisation known for creating the unexpected, is proud to be commissioning and producing The Hull Vigil, as Hull becomes the first UK city to host this timely, thought-provoking and large-scale monumental work.

The Hull-based Arts Trust had planned to start The Hull Vigil in March, however the UK’s third national lockdown delayed the build of the shelter and recruitment of volunteers.

Created by Australian-Belgian choreographer Joanne Leighton from Paris-based WLDN, over the past eight years, Vigil has been running continuously in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria and in 2021 it comes to Hull for its 10th iteration.

This ambitious project is presented as part of the Global Streets and the Creative Europe In Situ programmes and funded by Arts Council England. It is also supported thanks to funding from local partners Hull City Council, Hull College and Esteem.

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of Freedom Festival said: “The Hull Vigil is an amazing artistic project which connects with and is delivered by the community. It will be built by Hull building firms for the people of Hull, with a narrative that will develop throughout the year. While each Vigil stands alone, together they form a human chain of community, humanity and resilience. Something even more significant today.

 “The Hull Vigil is the perfect opportunity for us to spend some time to take stock of who and where we are, and hope for a more positive future.

“Vigil (person) will step inside the structure, without their phone or camera, to watch over the city for an hour at sunrise and sunset – looking out across the Humber to the east, the urban spread to the north and out across the suburbs and countryside to the west… when will you take your Vigil?”

This unique structure designed for the city by Benjamin Tovo and built by Hull firms for the people of Hull, the shelter is where the vigil takes place. Located on the rooftop of Hull College overlooking Queen’s Gardens, for the first time in its 10 iterations, it has been built to give unobstructed views to the east and west.

Richard King, Chair of Esteem, said: “The Hull Vigil is a really unique and exciting project for the city and one we were keen to get involved in. By offering our expertise and supporting the Freedom team in getting this project off the ground, we’re proud to be playing a part in bringing this international performance to the city at a time when people need a boost and something to look forward to.

“I’d also like to thank our partners and local contractors who have got behind the project by donating materials, equipment and time to construct the shelter and erect it on site. I can’t wait to see it finished and hear about the experiences of people who take part.”

Anthony Baker Executive Director and Joint CEO of Freedom Festival continued: “We’re incredibly grateful to our partners at Arts Council England, Hull City Council, Hull College and Esteem for helping to make Vigil possible, alongside our creative partners Global Streets and In Situ as we work together again, in this year-long participatory performance, which will showcase the beautiful choreography of our northern city as the sun rises and sets.”

The Hull Vigil is presented by Paris-based WLDN and commissioned and produced by Freedom Festival Arts Trust, supported by IN-SITU and Global Streets

<< Back to News