Bricks from The Sixteen Thousand to be retained as part of Fruit Market regeneration

Bricks from The Sixteen Thousand, the hugely popular art installation currently on show at C4Di in Hull, are to be retained as part of the regeneration of Hull’s Fruit Market.

Devised as a project to get youngsters in Hull working with clay and contributing to a collaborative artwork, The Sixteen Thousand saw under 5s from around 150 nursery schools, early years’ settings and children’s centres in Hull decorating one brick each. After being fired in a kiln, the bricks became part of the impressive installation, which has been on display overlooking Stage@TheDock since 2 Oct.

Originally, the installation was intended to be temporary, but following discussions between Hull 2017 and Wykeland Beal, the company working in partnership with Hull City Council to redevelop the Fruit Market, a selection of bricks will now be incorporated into a new development.

Dominic Gibbons, managing director at Wykeland Group, speaking on behalf of Wykeland Beal, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Hull 2017 to incorporate some of the bricks into our plans for the Fruit Market.

“The Sixteen Thousand is a wonderful project and it’s been inspiring to see so many of the city’s youngsters involved. Even though it’s a temporary project it feels very apt to be able to create a legacy from it within Hull’s creative and cultural quarter.

We’re now considering how best we can use the bricks and ensure the creativity of so many young people is preserved as part of the exciting rejuvenation of the Fruit Market. Watch this space for further news.”

In addition to Wykeland Beal’s plans, some of the nurseries and other organisations involved in the project are taking an allocation of bricks after this installation closes on 5 Nov. Several parents have also said they would like to have a brick for their child as a memento for taking part.

Martin Green, director of Hull 2017, said: “The Sixteen Thousand has been a resounding success at every stage of the way, from the creative sessions across the city’s nurseries, children’s centres and early years’ settings, which saw children getting the opportunity to play with clay and make their own unique mark on a brick, to the hugely popular installation that so many have enjoyed over the last month. We are therefore thrilled that Wykeland Beal wants to use some of the bricks as a permanent reminder of this great project.”

The 16 tonnes of clay used for the project were quarried locally and supplied by Broomfleet-based roof tile factory Wienerberger.

Ian Martinson, Heritage Services & Factory 3 team leader at Wienerberger, said: “Clay is the oldest artistic material and has been used for centuries to create both practical and aesthetic pieces, from making containers to store and transport food in pre-historic times, to the decorative vases of the Ming Dynasty.

This has been an inspiring project to be involved with during Hull’s City of Culture year and it is brilliant to know that the bricks will have a life after the installation is over, not just as part of the nature reserve we will be creating, but also as part of the Fruit Market.”

The Sixteen Thousand will be on display in Block C of C4Di in the Fruit Market until 4 Nov. On 5 Nov, parents are able to attend the space to collect a brick as a memento of the project – please see our FAQs for more information.