Voyage, Hull

Polly Checkland Harding
Image by Steven Gillis hd9 imaging / Alam/Alamy

Voyage, a 6ft tall bronze and basalt stone figure standing on top of a towering plinth, looks out across the Humber Estuary from Hull’s Victoria Pier – gazing, beyond this, in the direction that thousands of the city’s trawlermen once travelled in order to fish the waters around Iceland. Created by Icelandic artist Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir, Voyage has a transatlantic twin: a sister sculpture gazes back in Hull’s direction from Vik, a tiny village on Iceland’s south coast, its name the Icelandic word for voyage, ‘För’.

The two sculptures commemorate decades of trade and shared seafaring heritage; each leaning towards the other, they represent a partnership in which Hull’s landfaring residents sought anxiously after their seagoing community, while Vik and other Icelandic ports regularly helped to rescue or shelter Hull vessels caught in dangerous storms. It was a bond that came under strain during what became known as the Cod Wars between the 1950s to 1970s, when disagreement arose over fishing zones, ultimately leading to the decline of Hull’s maritime industry; under strain, but never fully broken, as subsequent investment partnerships and trading links helped to rebuild frayed links.

At the 2006 unveiling of Voyage in Hull, Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir said: ‘Of all the art projects I have been involved with, this has been by far the most special and meaningful […] I hope the monuments in Hull and Vik are a lasting tribute to the close relationship between our two communities.’ It was in recognition of this connection that Iceland first gifted the statue to the city, and that the city then funded a replacement after the sculpture was stolen in 2011, believed to have been lifted for the value of the metal. The replica, cast by the artist in Iceland, still stands – a quiet presence on Victoria Pier, but deeply freighted with history and common purpose.

Looking for more outdoor art? Take a look at our dedicated guide to Outdoor Art in the North.

Nelson StreetHullHU1 1XE View map

What's on near Voyage, Hull

Look After Your Knees at Leeds Playhouse
TheatreLeeds
Look After Your Knees at Leeds Playhouse

Natalie Bellingham’s new show, tackling the pain and beauty of growing older, will preview at Leeds Playhouse ahead of its month-long run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

from £1.00

Where to go near Voyage, Hull

Hull
Event venue
Fruit Market Hull

Fruit Market Hull is the name of Hull’s vibrant cultural quarter and the revitalisation of a historic area – featuring places to visit, shop and eat it’s a must visit.

Humber Street Gallery, Hull
Hull
Gallery
Humber Street Gallery

Home to year-round events, performances and activities, Humber Street Gallery is a contemporary art space in the heart of Hull’s Fruit Market cultural quarter, open to everyone to experience free world-class exhibitions and events.

Hull
Shop
Form Shop & Studio

Part of Hull’s vibrant Fruit Market cultural quarter, Form Shop & Studio is an independent shop selling affordable art prints, cards and stationery.

Hull
Restaurant
Thieving Harry’s

Thieving Harry’s is a community café serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, booze and coffee in a converted warehouse with a down-to-earth vibe, overlooking the marina.

Hull
Restaurant
Butler Whites

This casual bistro restaurant occupies the carefully transformed warehouse of local fruit merchants Butler & Whites, the functional interior given a sophisticated update.

Studio Eleven Gallery in Hull
Hull
Gallery
Studio Eleven Gallery in Hull

Studio Eleven is an established studio and gallery in Hull led by director and artist, Adele Howitt, with a team of artist volunteers.

Hull
Ambiente Tapas Hull

Situated in Hull’s popular Fruit Market area, Ambiente has repurposed an industrial warehouse location into an atmospheric space

Hull
Place of worship
Hull Minster

The UK’s largest medieval ‘town church’, Hull Minster was awarded £3.9 million by Highways England in 2019 for restoration and the addition of a heritage centre.

Hull
Bankside Gallery Hull

Bankside Gallery Hull isn’t a single building, but a sprawling, outdoor exhibition space for Hull’s street artists

Hull
Hotel
Hideout Apartment Hotel

Independent and run by a small family team, Hideout Apartment Hotel offers 15 contemporary and stylish self-contained self-catering apartments in the heart of Hull Old Town.

Hull
Hotel
Hull Trinity Backpackers

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation right in the heart of Hull Old Town, the highly rated, independent hostel Hull Trinity Backpackers is hard to beat.

The Old House
Hull
Bar or Pub
The Old House

The Old House is offering collection and delivery from its home in the oldest domestic building in Hull.

Culture Guides