Art and Environmental Change season

Friday 20 October 2023 – Sunday 28 January 2024

This season we explore how art can evidence environmental change over the centuries, with a focus on our flooded histories and underwater futures.  


This exhibition shows two works by the world-renowned Italian artist Canaletto.

From the Royal Collection and the Ferens’ own collection, these works show Venice’s Grand Canal in all its splendour. Created 10 years apart, when seen together they show the development of an artist’s technique and reveal much about Venetian life in the 1700s.

Drawing on the Ferens’ important maritime art collection, this exhibition explores the effects of environmental change over the centuries.

This exhibition explores Hull and East Riding's relationship with the sea and highlights 800 years of flooding in a region that exists below sea level at high tide. Themes will explore maritime work and leisure, the move from sailing to steam, exploration and Empire, wrecks, and whaling. The Ferens’ collection will be reimagined as if underwater, raising issues around Hull’s risky future and hopes of defence against the rising tides.

The Flood experience, through the eyes of regional artists

Inspired by Hull’s maritime legacy and its history of flooding, this exhibition is made up of newly commissioned artworks, from Future Ferens members, and works by local artists. The exhibition reflects on the power of art in demonstrating personal reactions to local environmental disaster, and the role that art can play in shaping our vision for the future. The exhibition will create a space for visitors to reflect, explore and respond to such impactful environmental events.

The Ferens’ latest Artist in Residence, Anna Brass, has created an exciting new body of work in response to this seasons Art and Environmental Change programme.

Hinterland is a response to two Canaletto paintings of the Grand Canal; one in the Ferens collection, and one on loan from the Royal Collection Trust.



Every Thursday, 12.30pm-3.30pm

Get in touch with the amazing maritime art collection at Ferens this Winter.

Monday 30 October, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Join textile artist Rachel Anderson and learn how to weave with recycled textiles.

Tuesday 7 November, 2pm-3pm

Join us for an afternoon lecture with Dr Amy Parrish, Assistant Curator at the Royal Collection Trust.

Saturday 18 November, 2pm

Gain a greater insight into Hull on the Rise, as Future Ferens hosts an informal tours. 

Thursday 23 November, 6pm-8pm

Join local artists and be inspired by the latest exhibitions for an evening of environmentally focused creativity.

Thursday 30 November 2pm-3pm

Ferens artist in residence Anna Brass and Dr Stewart Mottram, University of Hull will discuss parallels between flood risks in Venice and Hull.


Saturday 13 January, 2pm.

Gain a greater insight into Hull on the Rise, as Future Ferens hosts an informal tours. 

Thursday 14 December, 2pm-3pm

Ferens artist in residence Anna Brass will talk about her practice and her recent project Haukebodde Hacoud Hacwod Aukud, a quasi-science fiction film set in the 14th century.

Thursday 18 January 2024, 2pm

Join Claire Longrigg, Exhibitions Officer who will give an introduction to the current Canaletto exhibition.

Saturday 24 February 1pm-4pm

Led by specialist printmaker Dawn Brooks, this engaging workshop is designed for adults and children to both have a go at printmaking.