Hull 2017 project shines housing estate in new light

Photo credit: Jamie King

Photo credit: Jamie King

As part of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 ‘Made in Hull’ celebrations, Goodwin Development Trust and the residents of Thornton Estate are setting the scene for what will become one of the most iconic images of 2017.

I Wish To Communicate With You is an ambitious mass participation project engaging local residents in a major art installation. Over the upcoming weeks Thornton Estate will get a full colour makeover with the majority of the 600 residents, living in 240 homes, across the five high-rise tower blocks participating in this large-scale light installation.

Tinted filters will be fitted in the communal lighting areas and coloured sheets will be stuck in the window panes of each property. As darkness falls a collage of colour will be created across the estate, free for all to view.

The initial concept for the project was developed by Italian artist Silvio Palladino, Goodwin’s Code5 artist-in-residence 2014-15. Inspired by Hull’s connection with the sea and traditional seafaring communication methods using coloured flags his vision is now brought to life by international lighting design consultant James Bawn and the people of Hull.

Sharon Darley, Quality of Life Manager at Goodwin Development Trust said: “I Wish To Communicate With You is about raising aspirations, self-confidence and improving the quality of life for a community blighted by bad press and negative assumptions. This will be the enduring legacy from the project and local residents will have a more positive understanding of and interest in arts and culture as a result of participation.”

I Wish To Communicate With You is one of 60 new projects to receive funding through the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, a Principal Partner of Hull 2017.

Henri Duckworth, Executive Producer at Hull 2017, said: “I Wish To Communicate With You is a fantastic project that is bringing local people together and getting them involved in the creation of a piece of public art right on their doorstep. How many people can boast that they live in an illuminated multi-coloured installation?”

Over the course of the year, the project will gather pace and include neighbouring buildings such as William Booth House, Adelaide School, the Danish Church and the Hull Royal infirmary in this colourful community collage – flicking the switch and shining a new light on Thornton Estate.


For further information, contact Sharon Darley, Quality of Life Manager at Goodwin Development Trust – / 07789 778109

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Goodwin Development Trust was founded over 20 years ago by 14 formidable residents of the Thornton Estate, Hull. It is now a 180 strong community-led social enterprise, delivering a range of services designed to reverse social decline and improve the quality of life for all 5000 residents, with the belief that the arts and culture are critical to achieving that vision. The ‘Estate of the Nation’ collaboration is helping to do just that.

The Estate of the Nation project on Thornton Estate Hull is exemplary
Pete Massey, Arts Council England

I Wish To Communicate With You is one of 60 new projects to receive funding through the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, a Principal Partner of Hull 2017.

A total of £750,000 is being invested in the programme, which was set up to celebrate, nurture and support local talent and develop opportunities for emerging artists.

In addition to cash from Hull 2017 and the Big Lottery Fund, the projects will receive staff support to build capacity in the arts sector, helping to create a legacy. The Creative Communities Programme is also being supported by Hull and East Riding Charitable Trust.

The projects – which range from photography exhibitions to music and food festivals and choral and orchestral concerts to audio-visual installations – will see local artists, community groups, cultural and other organisations in the city working with local people of all ages to create new artistic work, events, installations and other activity throughout 2017.

For a full list of projects visit:

About Hull UK City of Culture

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a 365 day programme of cultural events and creativity inspired by the city and told to the world. Hull secured the title of UK City of Culture 2017 in November 2013. It is only the second city to hold the title and the first in England.

Divided into four seasons, this nationally significant event draws on the distinctive spirit of the city and the artists, writers, directors, musicians, revolutionaries and thinkers that have made such a significant contribution to the development of art and ideas.

The Culture Company was set up to deliver the Hull 2017 programme and is an independent organisation with charitable status. It has raised £32 million, with over 60 partners supporting the project, including public bodies, lottery distributors, trusts and foundations and local and national businesses. Key contributions are coming from: Host City – Hull City Council; Principal Partners – Arts Council England, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, KCOM, KWL, Spirit of 2012, Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull; Major Partners –Associated British Ports, Arco, BP, the British Council, Green Port Hull, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, MKM Building Supplies, P&O Ferries, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Sewell Group, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Wykeland Group.

68 per cent of the funding is dedicated to public facing activities, including the widest range of cultural events in every corner of the city, with a further 11 per cent for legacy and contingency. More than £5 million is being invested in volunteering, learning and community engagement. £1.6 million is being invested to ensure a legacy after 2017. This includes capacity building, such as supporting existing events so they can grow, staging curtain-raiser events, developing future programming for after 2017 and building a new platform to support a unified ticketing system for the city.

Hull 2017’s International Partners are: Aarhus, Denmark, which is European Capital of Culture 2017; Reykjavik, Iceland; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Freetown, Sierra Leone (twinned with Hull). These relationships are reflected in a number of events throughout the year.

For information go to

Follow us on Twitter @2017Hull Instagram @2017hull Facebook HullCityofCulture

About Big Lottery Fund

• The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
• It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
• Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

About Hull & East Riding Charitable Trust

The Hollingbery Family founded the business in 1933 with the first Comet superstore opened in Hull in 1968. The business was subsequently sold to Kingfisher and in 1985 the charity was established with the defined purpose of donating funds to help and support charities, both national and local, and other deserving causes, provided that direct benefit was forthcoming for people who live in Hull or the East Riding of Yorkshire.

For more information, including on how to apply for funds, see
Yorkshire Water

Middle Child

Middle Child Theatre Company have been based at Goodwin’s Darley’s Youth & Arts centre since January 2012. For ‘Estate of the Nation’ they worked with a group of young adults from the local area to create a film, radio play and live performance inspired entirely by them. Each piece has been heavily influenced by those taking part, including the narrative, music, characters and even accents.

The final piece ‘resolution’ was performed on West Hull FM and became Middle Child’s first radio play.

“This was a great opportunity to really engage with local young people. These funny, smart and compelling young adults were all the inspiration we needed to create the performance. The support and guidance from our neighbours at West Hull FM in making and broadcasting the radio play has been fantastic!”

For further information see Middle Chilld’s website:

Silvio Palladino

Through a partnership between East Street Arts and The Goodwin Development Trust, Silvio Palladino, a London based artist, took up residence in the Code 5: Live/Work project on the Thornton Estate in November 2014.

School installations highlighting rising sea levels and a sustainable shopping bag project were some of the ways Silvio engaged with residents on the issues of climate change.

Through working closely with the community Silvio identified the need for an outdoor space for residents. Historic research & community consultation led to the design of a community garden equipped with a pizza oven, tree house and open air stage.

Silvio said, “The creation of the garden was a great opportunity to translate the needs expressed by the community into a natural public space that will link the new Code5 housing and the existing community allotment.”

For further information see Silvio’s website:

Andy Pea

Following the success of last year’s residency, artist Andy Pea has been re-commissioned to continue his work on Goodwin’s community arts projects. Andy is a Hull based artist and a leading member of Kingston Art Group – one of the city’s longest running arts organisations providing affordable studio and gallery space for the artistic community of Hull.

In addition to his work as artist in residence Andy is also working at West Hull FM, the community radio station broadcasting from Thornton Estate…worldwide!. Through this he also has the opportunity to work with the ‘Forget Me Not’ Group creating oral histories for broadcast and puppet making as creative release for the over-60’s.

For further information see Andy’s website:

Carla Moss

Carla Moss is a Leeds based artist with a diverse range of work that explores our relationship with the environment, time and place.

Carla worked with the arts activists at the fringe events of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 and has recently completed a permaculture course. This extends to her art practice at Goodwin where she has been working with the Thornton Urban Gardeners (TUG) group, Adelaide Primary School and St Andrews House at the Villa Gardens community allotment. She has also been participating in neighbourhood plans for green spaces in the area.

She will spend her time on the estate looking at the sustainability and biodiversity of people and places with projects being created under the title of ‘Greening the Estate’. Carla’s studio is currently based in the old veg shop in the heart of the estate – positioning her perfectly to engage the community in an ongoing conversation that helps bring art out of the gallery.

Carla said, “In response to conversations around sustainability we have boiled it down to ‘what makes us happy’. That seems a good place to start, being happy is sustaining”.

For further information see Carla’s website:

Artists in Residence 2014/15

This year’s programme culminated in a celebration event at The Octagon on 16 July 2015, with local MP Alan Johnson as key speaker. He said,

“We achieved City of Culture status as a city because we focused our efforts on what culture and arts could do for the future and what it can do for our communities. I think Estate of the Nation is the first living proof of what we meant by that…. This is a terrific project.”

Our commissioned artists were:

Silvio Palladino
Andy Pea
Middle Child

Watch a film of the celebration event (by Make Moving Messages)

Artists in Residence 2016/17

This year sees two artists – Carla Moss and Andy Pea – commissioned for the ‘Code 5 Artists Live/Work residency’, funded by the Arts Council and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

This participatory arts practice focuses on the issues of climate change and the natural environment, with a commitment to creatively engaging with the residents and the community of Thornton Estate.

To celebrate the mid-way point of the project an exhibition will be held at the Church of the Holy Apostles on Walker Street at the end of September 2016. Members of the creative community and residents of the Thornton Estate will be in attendance for this prestigious event.

Wonder Walls


Wonder Walls began life on a list of a number of ideas for brightening up the decor of our large and popular Community Cafe. It very quickly became the only idea – and following a hugely successful launch in May 2011 (we invited David Hockney to open it – aim high – but he send a very polite and encouraging note saying he was busy with an exhibition of his own!), we have now hosted 12 rolling exhibitions!

Wonder Walls Mission Statement

Art from the community for the community.

Rather than staring at blank walls while you eat, why not have a side-order of art that has been painted, photographed, drawn and designed by local people from Thornton estate and beyond.  The art will include a mix of amateur and professional work; pieces produced by all ages and backgrounds – from kids to ‘codgers’ – from Caville Place to Kurdistan. The scheme of work will encourage the local community to engage with art and also provide an opportunity for existing artists to display work that is appropriate to a friendly community environment.

  • 2.5 years
  • 12 exhibitions
  • 8 individual artists
  • 4 groups
  •  4 progressions
  •  Artist helps Artist: the next artist to exhibit helps the previous artist take down their work.  Then in turn, the previous artist helps the next artist put their work up. Simple.

Artist In Residence


Our Artists in Residence programme sees commissioned artists working alongside residents and the community of Thornton Estate.

How it all began…

Back in 2010, The Goodwin Development Trust felt that the residents of Thornton Estate should be given the opportunity to see the determination and commitment of their community captured and portrayed on canvas – and so began the Artists in Residence initiative, which sought out local gifted art students and partnered them with local people.

Goodwin had developed a close working partnership with the Hull College Group and Lizzi Hayes, a student at Hull College of Art & Design was brought to our attention by her course tutors who viewed her talent as ‘exceptional’. Her focus was on portraiture – seeking inspiration from the ‘Old Masters’. She needed models and Goodwin had no shortage of willing candidates. She was also looking for experience of working within a community that might be classed as ‘hard to reach’.

Goodwin’s Darley’s Youth and Arts Centre was packed out for the preview of E.J. Hayes’ portraits of the residents of Thornton Estate. As our Chairman Stuart Spandler succinctly put it: “This exhibition is what Goodwin is all about – showing the world that the Thornton Estate is a proud and thriving community of good people.”
We continue to work closely with the Hull College of Art & Design and involve the students in the creative practice of our commissioned artists in residence.

Artists in Residence // 2016-17

This year sees two commissioned artists, Carla Moss and Andy Pea, working alongside residents and the community of Thornton Estate until 2017.

Artists in Residence // 2014-15

This was our first year as a fully funded arts programme delivered under the banner of ‘Estate of the Nation’, and also the 20th anniversary of the Goodwin Trust.

Our artists in residence were Silvio Palladino, Andy Pea and Middle Child Theatre.