LEEDS’ VIBRANT ART SCENE CELEBRATED WITH FESTIVAL, UNFOLD
ORGANISED BY LEEDS CITY COUNCIL
8 OCTOBER 2015 – 10 JANUARY 2016
Celebrating the return of the British Art Show to Leeds after more than 25 years, Leeds City Council is delighted to announce Unfold, an exclusive guide to three months of cultural celebrations. The programme includes a diverse festival of events, talks, community activities, exhibitions, new public art commissions, debates and performances, spotlighting the visual arts scene in Leeds. With more than 75 venues, studio spaces, arts organisations, collectives and pop-ups involved, from nationally renowned venues such as Henry Moore Institute and The Hepworth Wakefield to local stalwarts such as East Street Arts, &Model, The Tetley and Harewood House Contemporary, Unfold is presenting the best of Leeds’ visual arts scene. As well as opening the doors of the city’s most valued historical galleries and museums, a host of new public art commissions will bring contemporary art onto the streets of Leeds, showcasing the diversity of the city’s arts scene, in light of the upcoming bid for the upcoming European Capital of Culture 2023.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“It’s an absolute privilege for Leeds to be hosting an event as prestigious as the British Art Show and an ambitious statement about our credentials as a city that celebrates and promotes art and culture.
It’s been 25 years since we last hosted this event and in that time our city’s art scene has grown and flourished in so many new and exciting ways. This will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase this to the world, as well as being a massive boost to our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023. We are also excited that, alongside BAS8, the Unfold programme will celebrate the quality and diversity of the sector taking in galleries, studios, pop-ups, and artist collectives.”
• Immersive public art commissions taking art out of the gallery and onto the street. Superleeds by Supermundane, a 14-meter artwork installed on a pedestrian footbridge, is a playful bubblegum-hued work that shifts and changes as pedestrians walk by, revealing an assortment of different patterns and colours. Dreams of Milkwood at Leeds Central Library is a multi-sensory installation inspired by Dylan Thomas’ famous poem which draws on themes of memory, dreams and community. Two commissions have also been created with the support of Leeds BID, one will be located in the train station welcoming visitors to the city, while the other, a mural, will be located at the historic Kirkgate Market. These new pieces of public art join the other highlights the city offers such as the Dark Arches in the Neville Street Tunnel by German arts Hans Peter Kuhn; Graeme Wilson’s Cornucopia near the Corn Exchange and ATM’s giant wall mural of a bird, entitled Linnet, on Sheaf Street.
• Martino Gamper’s Post Forma, commissioned by Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, will see the Italian designer collaborate with local Yorkshire weavers, bookbinders, cobblers and chair caners. Exploring shared craft techniques as social activities which bring people together, Post Forma invites members of the public to bring in broken objects to be fixed and transformed into unique craft items, with artisan-led workshops and craft demonstrations. A large working loom in the gallery will reference Yorkshire’s history as an international hub for the textile industry.
• Art walks and studio visits across Leeds’ vibrant arts scene, including Leeds Art Crawl, a walk around the city’s most distinctive public artworks, with the opportunity to experience the city in a completely new way; or visiting the many artist studios that operate across Leeds. Participating studios include East Street Arts, Roundhay Open Studios, and Leeds Sculpture Workshop. Offering a glimpse into the working practices, methods and current works in progress are just some of the details artists are willing to share with visitors as they temporarily throw open their doors.
• A host of new exhibitions alongside British Art Show 8 including The Feast Wagon at The Tetley and Project Radio at &Model, East Parade, as well as a host of projects across the city as part of About Time, exploring the relationship between art and globalization. There are also a series of exhibitions and events highlighting the link between creativity and mental wellbeing, with Leeds harnessing creativity to safeguard the mental health of its population. Key venues which are staging a diverse range of projects across the city include Inkwell, an arts space run by Leeds Mind, and the Arts and Minds Network, an organisation funded by the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.