Leeds Art Walk is keeping to the streets and taking a fresh look at public art in the city centre.
Guided by Rebecca Wade*, the tour will take in permanent and temporary art works located in the recently redeveloped areas of the City Centre and Holbeck. Featuring talks from Artists Amelia Crouch and Conway and Young, the walk will be an opportunity to take a closer look, share knowledge and make new connections between your own percptions, everyday experiences and the historical development of the city.
Join us for a Public Art Walk of discovery, beginning at 5.30 at the Corn exchange for ‘Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained’ by Amelia Crouch and reaching Leeds Train station and the exhibition ‘Ground For Discussion’ by Conway and Young by 7.15.
The route chosen has disabled access throughout.
Meet at 5.30 at the foot of the staircase on the ground floor of Leeds Corn Exchange.
For more information contact Gill at Pavilion
T > 0113 242 5100
E > email@example.com
* Rebecca Wade is a doctoral student at the University of Leeds and the subject of her research is the formation, circulation and exhibition of teaching collections in mid-nineteenth century art and design education. Rebecca completed a Masters in Art Gallery and Museum Studies in 2009 after graduating in Fine Art in 2007. Rebecca was an artist in residence at Hovingham Hall during 2008 and completed and internship at the Henry Moore Institute in 2009, during which she carried out research for the exhibition ‘The Developing Process: the sculptor’s education in drawings and photography.’ Rebecca has been a research assistant to the Leeds Public Art Officer and delivered and interactive map of sculpture and other works in Leeds, which was launched online in March this year.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Leeds is a city built upon industry and trade, with many of its fine buildings the result of nineteenth century industrial or mercantile wealth. The Corn Exchange (1864) was part of a phase of rapid development, often associated with the textile industry, the growth of engineering and a narrative of ‘civic pride.’ Yet, to get the full story, one must pay attention not only to factories and production but also to the role of market-places; to the development of commercial associations and the availability of finance.
Amelia Crouch’s artwork – a series of posters displayed on the balcony level of the Corn Exchange – uses this history to invite parallels with our contemporary situation in the wake of the recent banking crisis. Particularly the work considers the repeal of the Corn Laws (1846) – which levied tariffs on imported produce – as being symbolic of a general political trend towards free trade throughout the 1800’s. Though the course of free trade has not run smoothly (protectionism and government intervention were re-introduced in the depression of 1929-31), it is a narrative that resonates with us today. The Anti-Corn Law movement was in part an attempt to wrest wealth and political control from the hands of upper class landowners. The drive to free trade involved the benevolent belief that capitalism was good for everyone. Now that free trade has been globalised it is possible to argue that control has again been taken away from individuals and sits in the hands of global corporations. In such a situation venues including the Corn Exchange still provide an important home to independent traders.
Ground for Discussion
The first of Leeds Met Gallery’s Billboard projects, ‘Ground For Discussion’ documents a series of undeveloped and alternative spaces found within a half-mile radius of Leeds Railway Station – places that stand still in a constantly moving urban environment, that remain in the shadow of a regenerated modern city – blank areas, open areas, pauses in between buildings where overgrown wastelands sit between city centre apartments and ancient footpaths. This work presents passers by with an opportunity to think about the way in which city centre space has been used and about the empty and historically rich spaces that remain.
‘Ground For Discussion’ will be presented on a billboard situated in Leeds Railway Station (lower concourse, opposite Subway) The project is accompanied by both a limited edition publication and set of postcards, which will be available from the Leeds Tourist Information Centre in the train station.
‘Ground For Discussion’ is the first of four as part of Leeds Met Gallery’s Billboard Project using billboard 7075 at Leeds Railway Station over the coming year.