News - October 2012

‘Witajcie!’* to University Polish season


5 October 2012

Forty larger-than-life lime wood sculptures, a world-renowned sociologist and insights into the life and death of famed piano composer Frederic Chopin are all taking centre stage in a unique Polish Season at the University of Hull.

Polish statues

The season has been created to celebrate connections with the local Polish communities, while also celebrating the University’s academic links with the European country.

The eye-catching Odyssey exhibition features 40 statues carved by British artist Robert Koenig from wood originating in the Polish village his mother hailed from. Standing at two and a half metres tall and arranged en masse, they have become a striking addition to the University’s Hull campus.

Robert Koenig will be talking about this Odyssey as part of the official season launch on October 11, followed by a session with poet Ruth Padel, focusing on Migration.

Other notable highlights of the season include a seminar by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, renowned for his theories about consumer society and connecting modern society with the Holocaust.  Author Adam Zamoyski will offer insights into the life of composer Chopin, interspersed with live music from University of Hull musicians. Chopin’s death – or specifically, the ‘protein tangles’ that made him ill, is the focus of another event. And on December 5, pupils of the nearby Polish School at St Mary’s College will join a special St Nicholas Day celebration at Middleton Hall.

Professor Martin Goodman, director of the Philip Larkin Centre of Creative Writing, said: “The University is proud to have its own Polish consul and a rich tradition of academic links with Poland. With such a strong Polish community in Hull this season is a real chance to both celebrate and learn about a rich heritage that is truly important to us.

“Spinning out of the Philip Larkin Centre’s regular programme of events we are delighted to link the expertise of our own staff and students with a great host of exciting visitors, showcasing music, poetry, film, art, stories and ideas. We do hope everyone feels welcome to drop by the campus and take part.”

Professor Alison Yarrington, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said: “As an anchor institution for the region, we are pleased to be able to embrace this opportunity to connect with the Polish community in such a rich and vibrant way.

“There is a huge range of events on offer and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the campus and to share our research and cultural engagement.”

The launch event with Robert Koenig takes place at the ArtCafe in Middleton Hall on Thursday, October 11, starting at 5.30pm.

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