4 Artists explore the Humber Estuary, a forgotten part of the country

A northern punk poet, potter, painter and sound artist have joined creative forces on a powerful new installation which explores the Humber environment and history.

Hinterwater combines new drawings, sound art, poetry, and pottery to create a fresh experience in this area where the land meets the sea – in the words of poet Nick Allen “a place where buildings dwindle and meet the blank start of horizon”.

Artist Myles Lindley adds: “The upper reaches of the Humber Estuary and the surrounding area are an intriguing, somewhat forgotten part of the country. It feels much more remote than it actually is. The view from the M62 whilst crossing the Ouse Bridge gives one a sense of a dramatic landscape shaped and affected by water and the Industry built around it. “ 

The show opens with a performance on Sat 28 September which is also a chance to talk to the four artists, and then continues until 3rd November 2019 at Studio Eleven Gallery, Hull – open from Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

HinterWater has been commissioned by Studio Eleven as part of their ten-year residency on Humber Street in Hull.  The collaboration brings together four Northern artists”

  • a punk poet from West Yorkshire Nick Allen investigates the concept of ‘confluence’
  • Myles Linley from York who creates visceral charcoal drawings and paintings in the tradition of the 19th century perfected by Seurat and Redon
  • Adele Howitt, a Hull based ceramic and public realm artist, whose work is inspired by living landscape, post – industrial sites and hedgerows.
  • Wai Wan, sound artist, researcher and music producer who investigates nostalgia, geography, environment and landscape.   

Founder of Studio Eleven, Adele Howitt explains the motive behind this experience:

“The man-made confluence of the Aire & Calder Navigation linking the Don Navigation and the Ouse and Humber in Yorkshire, was the inspiration to begin our collaboration.  At the height of the south Yorkshire pottery industry from the 1700s – 1890s these manmade waterways transported the world-famous Rockingham, Kilnhurst and Mexborough Potteries all over the world.

She continues: “The divergent rivers are still difficult to navigate, and experienced sailors know their dangers. Although this landscape is a melancholy image of its past, with battered fencing and rusty cranes nature is beginning to triumph and reclaim these waterway and flatlands with plants such as buddleia, rosebay, willow herb, meadow grass and thistle.”

Hinterwater is open from Sat 28 September until 3rd November 2019 at Studio Eleven Gallery, Hull where is it open from Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

PR Contact: Jane Redfern PR, 07724 131179, pr@janeredfern.co.uk

Exhibition / Arts Listing

A punk poet, potter, painter and sound artist have joined creative forces on a powerful new art installation which explores the Humber environment and history. ‘Hinterwater’ merges poetry, performance and visual arts to offer a fresh look at the forgotten Humber post-industrial landscape where the land meets the sea.

Saturday 28th September – 3 November

Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm.

Free entry

Studio Eleven Gallery, 12 Humber Street, Fruitmarket, Hull HU1 1TG

Tel: 01482 229600


The Artists Biography

WAIWAN – Sound Artist

Wai Wan is an artist, musician, and producer who has released music for major and independent labels, internationally for over twenty years.  Wai is second-generation British-Born Chinese raised in the UK by Hong Kong Hakka Chinese parents.  Following the release of his album “Distraction” in 1998, he has held DJ residencies across Leeds, Manchester, London, performing in New York, Copenhagen, guest at the legendary Plastic People in London, Hacienda and Music Box in Manchester, and the Big Chill festival.  Portfolio productions and remixes include a range of artists; Cecilia Stalin, Jon Kennedy, Un-Cut, Alison Crockett, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Fertile Ground, Rankin’ Joe, Simply Red, Keith Mansfield, Simple Minds, to name a few.  Wai’s current practice explores new compositional approaches to creating sound using field recordings, sampling, and modular synthesis, to generate musical and abstract forms. Investigations include the exploration of familiar sentiments found within unfamiliar settings with a view to creating an imagined sense of nostalgia.  Wai has collaborated on sound art installations for Castlefield Galleries and Urbis in Manchester. During Hull City of Culture 2017, Wai collaborated with artist Jason Singh on ‘Ebb and Flow’ as part of the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial.  This 3D Ambisonic sound installation explored the spoken word of people’s memories of Hull. In 2019, Wai collaborated with Gordon Meredith on the theatre production ‘Broadside On’ as part of East Riding Council’s Stage4Beverley festival. The play celebrated Beverley’s ship building history where the echoes of the shipyard were imagined through compositions using field recordings of the Artic Corsair, and underscore. Wai is currently completing an album project for Australian artist Spikey T, for a forthcoming release on the Munich based record label, Tokyo Dawn.

ADELE HOWITT – Ceramic & Public Artist.

Adele’s ongoing research manifests as a series of large and small ceramic sculptures – intricate, seemingly delicate, focussed on microscopic pollen grains and a new understanding of the value of a wild and living landscape coupled with her re-discovery of pottery skills whilst researching the Mexborough and Dearne Valley Potteries.  A further investigation into the religious symbolism of nature found within European Gothic is beginning to take form and develop. Adele’s work has long been associated with innovation, and has a long history of experimentation with ceramic form, artwork which has been exhibited across Europe and the world including, the  Yingge Ceramics Museum Teipei (Taiwan), Steninge Slott Cultural Centre Sweden, VI Biennal de Ceramica del Vendrell Barcelona Spain, Ceramica Multiplex at Kerameikon Croatia, and various RHS Gardens including Chelsea Flower Show.  Adele has spent almost 2 years researching and over 1 year of design and production to innovate the famous Hornsea Pottery into a high street setting to create a celebration of the town’s pottery history.  Working with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hornsea Pottery Museum, and the Hornsea Area Renaissance Partnership, Adele’s town-wide design concept of public realm artwork to celebrate the classic designs and heritage of the Pottery is now installed as a trail around the town.  The public realm art includes permanent artworks on roundabouts, pavements and poetry in the park.  Adele initiated this new collaboration to celebrate the 10  – years of Studio Eleven.  Her response to HinterWater will record through drawings and clay the fight of nature in wanting to claim back the landscape.  She will investigate the wildflowers and grasses that are hanging onto the industrial heritage as if a skeletal structure to claw back and return the lands to nature.  Adele will use the traditional pottery methods of those potteries who used to transport ware along these waterways to record this new image of the wild landscape rather than the cultivated landscape captured as the idealised scenes printed and modelled onto the 18th Century pottery.  She will work in collaboration with the artists to explore new methodologies where art practices may cross over and delete the boundary.  Adele is also a voluntary Director for the Yorkshire Visual Arts Network (a branch of CVAN).


Nick Allen’s poetry will investigate the confluence of the inland ports. Allen’s poetry looks at the world afresh and hands it to us, without judgement, like we’re seeing it for the very first time. His work has a strange, dreamlike yet concise quality, curious yet knowing.  Nick’s poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies – most recently, the Poetry Salzburg Review, Verse Matters, 100 Poets for Change and Un/Forced: a collection of writing from Rhubarb. His first pamphlet, The Necessary Line, was published by Half Moon Books of Otley, in October 2018.  Nick helps to organise the open – mic evening, Rhubarb, at the Triangle in Shipley West Yorkshire, the last Wednesday of each month.  He is also the sub-editor with the on-line poetry magazine Algebra of Owls.  His work has been reviewed as;

“Familiar yet strange…Not so much a book of words but of language itself…there is a presence in these poems that was here long before us and will be here long after we’ve gone…unafraid to ask difficult questions…Allen doesn’t look at the world head on but listens in, peers round corners and catches glimpses of what isn’t always meant to be seen…at its best it is poetry on the very edge, handled with rare skill.”

Nick says; “I try to write truthfully about things as they seem to me…I saw a phrase recently, ‘landscape punk’, that I quite like…I think some of what I write fits in there…about nature & landscape without being pastoral, perhaps anti-pastoral…

MYLES LINLEY – Landscape Artist.

Myles Linley aims to capture the behemoths of industrial sculpture, flat lands, ghosts and passage of tide and horizon. He studied Art in Harrogate and at Bristol Polytechnic in the late 80’s and then returned to Yorkshire. For the last 5 years he has lived in East Yorkshire within easy reach of the Wolds and the Holderness coast.  His paintings are mostly landscapes, seascapes and street scenes. He concentrates on light, shade, movement and stillness to try and create dramatic brooding images.  In 2015 Myles was shortlisted for the John Ruskin Drawing Prize.  For many years Myles has been recording through drawing the hugely varied landscapes across Yorkshire. Areas such as the Industrial landscapes of Hull and Leeds, the Holderness Coast and the Yorkshire Wolds remain a focus. The upper reaches of the Humber Estuary and the surrounding area are an intriguing, somewhat forgotten part of the country. It feels much more remote than it actually is. The view from the M62 whilst crossing the Ouse Bridge gives one a sense of a dramatic landscape shaped and affected by water and the Industry built around it.  

Additional Information

BBC Contains Strong Language 

The UK’s biggest poetry and performance festival of new writing returns to Hull in 2019. Bringing over 40 events to the city over 3 days, leading poets and world class spoken word artists will take to the stage alongside brand new voices.

Contains Strong Language welcomes 19 poets – the Hull 19 – along with artists, local, national and international to join in this celebration of poetry and spoken word. 

The special alchemy which makes a great festival combines artistic talent, brand new commissions, world premieres and appreciative audiences.