A year of young people’s creativity is being celebrated at the two-week learning festival LIMITLESS. The celebration has taken over the former Argos building on Lowgate, exhibiting the work of children from across the city, who have taken part in hundreds of activities during Hull’s year in the spotlight.
Our ground-breaking No Limits learning and participation programme has run alongside the artistic programme this year with the goal of motivating and mobilising the next generation of innovators and radical thinkers in Hull.
Starting with the city’s youngest residents and journeying right through the education system, their individual creative expression has been cultivated. Students have become artists, poets and performers with the guidance of creative directors local and national. No Limits has unleashed a new level of artistic ambition in classrooms and communities across Hull and teachers have fully immersed themselves in creative projects.
LIMITLESS explores what creative learning could look like after the UK City of Culture designation. The festival asks us to reflect on the opportunity for the city to use the years that follow to match the aspirations and expectations of the generation who grew up in 2017.
Ian Read, Head of Learning and Participation at Hull 2017, said: “Along with being a great opportunity to see some of the projects that children, young people and teachers have taken part in over the year, LIMITLESS will also explore bigger questions about using learning and creativity as a driver in transforming a city. Through culture, creativity and disrupting some of the existing models of education, we can realise the collective potential of a generation.”
No Limits has found success with acclaimed projects like Made in Oakfield, a project that has since been replicated at a primary school in London’s Tower Hamlets, and Pipe Dreams. Both projects have a place at LIMITLESS.
Pipe Dreams saw pupils at three of the city’s schools working with artist Dom Heffer to reimagine the pipes and cables that make up the fabric of their buildings as channels for their hopes and dreams. They then made their own sections of pipe, containing visual representations of their aspirations. Head down to the festival to see this ambitious creation.
“LIMITLESS will also explore bigger questions about using learning and creativity as a driver in transforming a city. Through culture, creativity and disrupting some of the existing models of education, we can realise the collective potential of a generation.”
How can Hull build on the No Limits programme in future years to champion the creative skills of young people? From wellbeing, to our role in society; how do we create, experiment and collaborate, understanding our place in a rapidly changing global world? All of this, and more, is up for discussion at LIMITLESS.
As part of the festival, ideas of what a learning environment should look like will be challenged too. It will look at whether learning spaces can be designed to bring together industry expertise, equipment, classes and ‘experiential’ learning. This idea is explored at the festival with five ‘institutes’, each with a different focus: Earth, Making, Social Relation, Body, and Mind.
These institutes will host a range of activities and workshops for visitors to learn and explore about each theme. Organisations will inhabit these spaces and carry out their creative day to day businesses, proving learning can be ‘everyday’ and not a specially created product.
The Institute of Earth will feature a café; the Institute of Making will be used as a creative workshop space; the Institute of Social Relation will have a cinema screen showing films about the No Limits programme, along with hosting speakers; the Institute of Body will be home to a studio for use by dance and theatre companies; and the Institute of Mind will have a library.
Ian continued: “We’ll ask whether learning in a city should still be based solely on age, or whether there are potential benefits in utilising shared spaces where young children and older people come together, potentially with community groups or businesses.”
Explore with LIMITLESS whether if by utilising the city’s ‘hidden’ abundances – spaces, time, knowledge and other resources we can transform Hull into a de facto ‘school without walls’.
LIMITLESS is free to attend and will be open at the former Argos building in Lowgate from 12pm until 9pm, every day until Wednesday 13 December.