St Mark’s gas holder in Hull is a 106ft tall steel construction built in 1898. A familiar sight for many locals, when in use it could store up to two million cubic feet of gas – enough to supply 2,400 homes for a full day.
And now it needs to come down.
Advances in technology mean that St Mark’s, along with the 47 other Northern Gas Networks owned gas holders in the region, are now surplus to requirements.
I’ve been working with local people to create a visual and written record about St Mark’s, so that the memories live on long after the site is cleared.
I visited St Mark’s holder throughout the demolition to make sketches of the structure. Working with black and white acrylic paint on card I used my sketches, and photographs, as reference tools back in my studio where I worked up more ‘finished’ paintings.
When I’m out on site sketching a holder such as St Mark’s I feel a real sense of the 150 year history, intensified when I’m working alone. You can’t help but think of the generations of workers, relatives and friends who have worked with or grown up with the holder.
There is something quite eerie about being stood so close to such a large structure. The way it typifies the industrial age and indeed the Victorians attention to detail and craftsmanship is quite fabulous. I’m honoured to be able to capture its beauty in art.