Gallery: 2778 Nautical Miles

A new travelling exhibition by primary school pupils in Hull and our sister city Freetown in Sierra Leone is now open. 2778 Nautical Miles is named after the distance between Hull and Freetown and is a call-and-response piece including poetry, recorded sound and photography created in both cities. Drawing on the tradition of the call-and-response-song, UK and Sierra Leonean pupils’ creative writing and sound recordings – which were made on location in their homes, markets, ports and at their respective cities’ monuments to slavery and to freedom – question and answer each other.

You’ll hear bats swirl around the Cotton Tree and ducks being fed opposite the Wilberforce monument as you experience the pupils’ journey through their day in this immersive exhibition of surround-sound recordings, photography and writing. The result is a poetic and acoustic bridge, connecting pupils’ homes and illuminating cultural differences.

The project was devised and curated by Sea Swim in partnership with Global Learning Hull, the International Pupil Council and our No Limits learning programme.

John Wedgwood Clarke, poet and co-artistic director at Sea Swim, said: “We wanted the children to listen to the city, we looked for things we might have in common with Freetown, the port, markets and monuments, and explore the differences and similarities through poetry, interviews sound-recordings, editing and curating.”

Lara Goodband, also co-artistic director at Sea Swim, took the Hull children to Ferens Art Gallery in Hull to learn about how to curate an exhibition of their own, including how to display their work and how to write interpretation cards to explain their work to people viewing it.

The exhibition opened at Sirius Academy West this week and will then travel to Winifred Holtby and then The Marvell College where members of the public will be able to view the exhibition on Wednesday 19 July between 4pm-6pm. It will also be on display at the British Council building in Freetown.

2778 Nautical Miles, Freetown. Image: © Barmmy Boy