The man who paints Hull
Andrew Reid Wildman paints urban scenes from photographic images, mostly Hull buildings and the surrounding area. The town he left at the age of six and now, 32 years later the painter has rediscovered Hull and is on a mission to capture it on canvas. We have conducted an interview with him.
Tell us about your background
I am a Beverley-born artist. Painting and art was my first love but I stopped when I was a teenager and returned to it when I was in my early 40s. I live in Essex now.
What impressed you in Hull so much that after 32 years you turned back capturing on canvas all the buildings of the town?
Hull is the place where I feel I come from. Beverley and Hull almost touch, and my earliest and happiest memories are of the city. The last time I recall feeling a sense of normality and belonging anywhere, really belonging, was in the childhood years before I left the city. I was just 6. It was in Hull that I first met Father Christmas and went to the cinema or pantomime. It was in Hull that I drank orangeade in the department store Hammonds and stared in horror at the thick mud in the river. Since leaving my childhood I have never quite belonged anywhere. It is incredibly important to me that I renew my connection to Hull. I want to live there one day, once more. Till then, painting the city, building by building, cements my belonging.
What feedback you received from the local community about your work?
I think people like it. My work reflects our city. It is simple. It is relatable. People tell me they like it because of that, that the paintings depict the city. They tell me my work is very ‘Hull.’ When I grew up abroad, I was starved of images of Hull. It was, and to a degree, still is ignored. My mission is redress that. It is really exciting to interact with people from the city. I have appeared on the radio twice, on local TV once, and in the local press several times. Writer Brian Lavery has named me Hull’s Mazaroli with a paintbrush. Another resident called me Hull’s Hopper. Both are very, very flattering.
What do you think makes paintings special that even nowadays people are buying them?
Painting is eternal, it is emotional. It is unique. It is a little piece of history. You can treasure paintings. They make you glow inside, draw you into a drama, charm you.
Do you use any special technics and style for your paintings?
I use photographs to inform my paintings as I like the realism. I often add parts of photos or collage to my works.
Who are your favourite painters in art history who inspired you?
Edward Hopper. I love his shadows and light and heat, and his depictions of lonely urban scenes.
Where people can see and purchase your paintings?
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