Grains of Scandalous Blue - CODAworx

Grains of Scandalous Blue

Client: Hull 2017 UK City of Culture

Location: Hull, United Kingdom

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $15,000

Project Team


Humber Street Gallery

Humber Street Gallery


Hull UK City of Culture


Grains of Scandalous Blue, is a data visualisation of 2,500 individuals who made up the Volunteers of the Hull 2017 UK City of Culture events. 56 coloured rectangles are proportional to data about the volunteers from 1% vegan to 71% identify as female to 90% interested in outdoor events and festivals. Additionally is a wall of soft data, impressions about the experience from FUN, CHALLENGING, JOY to LIFE CHANGING. The room seeks to be a phenomenological expression of the volunteers time and impact on the city.


The collaboration between Humber Street Gallery and Hull 2017 UK city of Culture as commissioning agencies meant that the art was supported with volunteers and a specific site to create the work. The Gallery initially started for City of Culture events, was familiar to many in the community, and part of the aim of the project was to transform that space into something unrecognisable. The paint was all donated by Crown Paints, and that allowed the work to grow and cover all 312 Square meters of the gallery.


I was commissioned to make a work celebrating the volunteers and their impact on the community and the impact on volunteering on the individuals who did it. As an artist in residence I got to know them and with the volunteering team scour data that had been collected on them all year. I vetted data from gender, their interests to favourite colour. I asked the team to find out facts for me like what the average size uniform trousers were, or how many volunteers worked a shift every week. While I designed the framework, volunteers came to paint and make the final work along side me. The volunteers invigilate in the gallery and are part of explaining the work to visitors, and sharing their own experience as a volunteer. The final component is that visitors are invited to put on the uniform jacket and literally step into the experience of being a volunteer.

Additional Information

This work was part 1 of a two part exhibition. The second part was on the floor above and included 678 jars of coloured sand each made by a volunteer through workshops I did with them in researching the project above. For more info: