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During its summer break, Hull School of Art and Design will become a Freedom of Expression Centre, hosting talks, workshops and a new exhibition created by Bob and Roberta Smith, exploring the differing degrees of freedom experienced by artists around the world.

It features a significant new work by Bob and Roberta Smith, following his most recent investigations into the nature of modern protest.

“It’s a huge honour to show this new work. This is a Freedom of Expression Centre has been inspired by two key experiences of mine: firstly, the past five years as an advocate for the arts, exploring why democratic societies generally support and defend the arts, while repressive regimes curb them. The second experience was an interview I conducted with a Black Lives Matter activist, Blair Imani, while making a BBC 4 programme on protest. You can see Blair’s inspiring interview in the exhibition. Blair’s interview took us on a journey from New York to Louisiana and into the heart of a story that is rarely revealed in the news media.”

“I have painted a 14.40 meter long  painting which is a transcription of two important passages of the interview. Reading is about trying to understand another’s experience. I hope the viewers of this work will read and walk the 14 meters and partake in a unique insight into contemporary protest.”

“Art isn’t about opposing people or telling them what to think. I want people to reflect on what art can do, and what latent potential there is in all of us.”

Please note, this exhibition is open from 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm Saturdays and closed on Sunday.

On Sunday 3 Sept, the exhibition will be open from 10-5pm.

To book your place for the BSL interpreted tour of the exhibition on 15 August at 2pm, please email access@hull2017.co.uk. 

There will also be a talk on the 3 September from 2.30pm – 3.30pm, In conversation – Blair Imani and Bob and Roberta Smith at Hull School of Art and Design, featuring Blair Imani and Bob and Roberta Smith.


Queens Gardens
01482 329943


If you have purchased a ticket for an event/activity at this venue through hull2017.co.uk, please do not contact the venue direct with enquiries for that purchase as they will be unable to help.

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