Owing to having contacts on the Leeds handicraft scene, my next Culture Vulture assignment was a preview feature on the first Headingley Arts Trail. Read the article here on Culture Vulture or see the full text below.
Explore Local Handmade Art and Design in Headingley!
Some of you may be familiar with the Saltaire Arts Trail, which has been pretty successful in showcasing design and art talent from the Bradford end of the county, in a friendly accessible way. Inspired by the Saltaire event, Headingley based gallery The Bowery, in conjunction with local businesses and even some local arty homeowners, have decided to run their own, smaller version in North Leeds from 12th-14th November. I spoke to Hana Gilbert from The Bowery to find out more.
What can people expect at the Arts Trail?
We’ve got over 80 local artists and designers, who handmake everything from paintings, drawings and photography, to textiles, jewellery, ceramics, and other decorative items. We’ve teamed up with local businesses in Headingley and we also have about 6 open houses – all of the venues will have exhibitions of the designers’ work that people can wander round and look at. The houses that are participating belong mostly to some of the artists involved, so it should be a really creative atmosphere. Most of the artists will have exhibits and other items of work available to buy over the weekend, so it’s a great opportunity to pick up something individual for Christmas, and a great way to support the local independent arts scene.
Adam Booth – Burnley to Todmorden
So is this along similar lines to the Saltaire Arts Trail?
We’ve been inspired by Saltaire yes, but we’re a separate event and starting smaller. We’re concentrating on just the exhibitions as it’s out first year this year, but we’re hoping we’ll be able to expand next time. We’re excited to have places like the Hyde Park Picture House involved, as well as bars and boutiques in Headingley – lots of places have wanted to take part!
Phillippa Dyrlaga – Woodland Squirrel
How will people find where the exhibition venues are?
The best place to go is our Arts Trail website, and we’ll have Arts Trail maps available from all the participating venues and places in the city centre, showing what’s on where. The Grassington Festival organisers have also given us the bunting they made which broke the Guinness World Record for the longest piece of bunting in the world. We’ll have it hanging outside all the venues, businesses and open houses that are participating so it’ll be really easy to spot where to go.
Leigh Shepherd – Scrabble tile pendant and tin in Autumn Maple
Sounds like this is going to be an event with all sorts of things to investigate! What exactly can we look forward to?
Well all our exhibitors are local independent designers and artists – some have been established in their own right for a while and others have discovered a real talent recently through doing a course or getting involved in creating things on their own. Pam Pauling for example is self taught and works in mixed media, especially vintage papers, to make jewellery, cards and display pieces. She’s been getting noticed and won the ArtsMix Emerging Talent award earlier this year. We’ll have 3D work too in textiles from Laura Slater, and fabulous resin jewellery and gift ideas from Leigh Shepherd.
Laura Slater – Architextiles Lampshade
Phillipa Dyrlaga, an art and graphic design graduate, will have her gorgeous framed woodland animal designs on show, and Adam Booth is showing his photography, which contrasts landscapes and urban images. First time exhibitor Sara Teresa will have some of her dreamy, lo-fi and thoughtful photography on show too.
Sara Teresa – Self Portrait
There’s so much more to see as well, we hope there will be something for everyone, from the useful to the decorative. We even have Rachael Taylor who designs quirky wrapping paper amongst other things! We’re keen to show what creative talent we have in Leeds and hopefully people will discover at least one new designer they love they didn’t know about before. We really like the idea that people will be able to buy most of the items too, so if they like something they can take it home to keep or give to a friend.
Brilliant! So when can people come and have a look?
The launch night is on Friday 12th November at The Bowery – it’s open to all, and starts at 6pm with free mulled wine, mince pies and live music. The exhibition spaces will then be open from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th November. You don’t need to book or have tickets for the launch night or any part of the Trail, so just grab a map or look for the bunting and get stuck in!