Yes we have. Actually we had a staring competition with William Wilberforce AND Amy Johnson the Hull-born heroic aviator over the last Bank-Holiday weekend. They won because they never blinked. In fact they still haven’t blinked a fortnight later because they’re part of a brand new giant gable-end mural in Larkins Bar’s on Newland Avenue which was part-funded by Creative ENRG.
The Larkin’ Out Music Festival in Larkins Bar’s Magic Garden was the backdrop for two days of mural painting by local aerosol-artists collective Spray Creative – all witnessed by an estimated 3,000 people who came along throughout the three-day festival.
We sat in the Magic Garden’s new beach-huts, fixated as Ollie and Kain from Spray Creative weaved their magic and firstly painted an old steam train (the garden is next to Newland railway bridge) driven by Philip Larkin, which looked as though it was crashing dramatically through the old Victorian brick gable-end of Larkins Bar. The steam emerging from the train engine’s funnel billowed above and – over the weekend (thanks to the artistic flair of Oliie and Kain) – that steam became the faces of William Wilberforce and Amy Johnson.
While all this was happening – at the other end of the Larkins Magic Garden, under a beautiful Moroccan-style gazebo, some of Hull’s finest musicians were performing throughout the day on Larkin’s new festival stage as local artist Calvin Innes painted some striking images of iconic Hull landmarks (all of which were auctioned to the audience in aid of local charity The Warren Youth project). Across from the stage another graduate of the ENRG programme, Mike Emberton was showcasing his ‘Hull Truths’ – a selection of quirky images portraying unusual events in Hull’s history – all displayed on his equally quirky hand-made barrow.
The temperature dropped a little as the evenings started to roll in, and just as we were starting to think we might have to tootle off home, the staff emerged with big whicker baskets of wrap-around-comfy blankets (we nick-named them Nana-blankets) and also lit the outside wood-burner. We were now toasty-warm once again.
Which of course meant we had to order another round of drinks – it would have been rude not to. After all, we still had a staring competition to win.