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East Leeds Project

The East Leeds Project is a creative conversation about what life is like in the east of the city, and how it might develop into the future, questioning ideas around artistic research, social value,  green spaces, community, identity, sustainability, and participation.

The project focuses on the corridor of green and blue space following the Wyke Beck route between Roundhay and Rothwell, linking these as one space for artistic exploration.

The East Leeds Project intends to respond to deep-seated social challenges and the disconnect between communities on the fringes and the burgeoning city centre. The Wyke Beck route is a wonderful asset that could enhance the lives of residents in some of the most deprived areas of the city. There’s an opportunity for the project to make links across areas such as Gipton, Harehills, Seacroft, Cross Gates, Killingbeck and Halton Moor among others, engaging people more with the green space on their doorstep and contributing to improved health and wellbeing.

With conservation at the heart of the project, this ‘green lung’ is essential for future sustainability, both locally – in terms of breaking down the problem of a ‘two-tier city’ that the Leeds2023 bid sought to address – and in helping the wider city find creative responses to urgent challenges such as flood alleviation and pollution. If you’re interested in these issues and east Leeds, please get in touch!

More information coming soon. To stay connected as the project develops, please sign up to the mailing list mailing list here.

East Leeds Project CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.

Main image: What Makes Gipton? By Andy Abbott, at Gipton Gala July 2019.
Photo: Jules Lister

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Making at Home Survey

How do you make at home?

Your invitation to take part in the East Leeds Project Making at Home Survey.

Since 2018 we’ve been working on the East Leeds Pavilion, our ambition to co-create the first ever Maker Space in this part of the city, with our partners and local residents. For us, a ‘maker’ is anyone who makes things with their hands, everything from growing and baking to any art, craft and design practices.

As a starter, our Directors and artist in residence Matt Green have produced creative responses to their own making spaces, as illustrated below.

Kerry Harker. A journey around my desk.

Our research has included a project for last summer’s Gipton Gala called What Makes Gipton? as well as a social event, community-led asset mapping, and an online survey which is still live and can be accessed here. We’ve talked to over 200 people so far, but we still want to hear more about what artists and makers in East Leeds do – and just to be clear, we don’t have a strict geographic definition of East Leeds, so if you feel like you identify with the east of the city, that’s good enough for us.

Matt Green. Whale Sounds.

The Coronavirus crisis is presenting all sorts of challenges for artists and makers, and we’re keen to hear more about how people are making at home right now.

If you’re happy to share your thoughts on your own space for making, we’d love to hear from you as this research will contribute to the design of the Pavilion. 

Could you take us on a short video tour of your space, or send us some photographs, or just write your thoughts down? 

We’re inviting all of the above and any other creative ways you might want to use, to tell us something about the maker space that you call home right now.

As a guide you might think about the following:

  • What do you make and how do you make it?
  • What equipment do you use? 
  • Do you have a dedicated space for making, like a home studio, or do you work at the kitchen table, or in a converted shed, garage or back bedroom? 
  • Are the things in your making space collected and arranged in a particular way? How does this support your making?
  • How does your environment inspire you? 
  • When do you find time to make? 
  • Do you make alone or with others? How do you stay connected with other makers? 
  • What are the challenges you face in making at home? 
  • Is the crisis changing how you might think about making in the longer term?
Claire Irving. In My Garden.

Submissions can be made via uploading here

We won’t share them with anyone else right now, but we might contact you later on to see if we could use your material when we share our research more widely.

Thank you and we’re looking forward to finding out more about making in East Leeds during lockdown.

East Leeds Pavilion partners:

The Pavilion

The East Leeds Pavilion

Design-Construct-Explore-Together. Repeat?

Announcing a partnership between the East Leeds Project, MassBespokeTM and the communities of east Leeds.

East-Leeds-Project-Site-150px
The potential site of the East Leeds Pavilion, close to Fearnville Leisure Centre.

Design

It is our ambition to create a temporary ‘Pavilion’ on green space in east Leeds. Our preferred site is adjacent to Fearnville Leisure Centre in Gipton. The Pavilion will be a shared space, managed locally, where people come together for conversation, creativity and exchange. The process will be entered into collaboratively by local people alongside artists, architects, students and professionals from a range of disciplines, coming together to form an intergenerational project team. The project aims to reconnect with histories of innovation in sustainable social housing central to the founding vision for the Gipton estate in the 1930s, as we approach its centenary.

Construct

The Pavilion will utilise the MassBespokeTM system developed in Leeds by Bauman Lyons architects. This pioneering technology democratises the construction process by enabling a community-led approach responding to local need. MassBespokeTM employs a computer-controlled (CNC) cutting machine set up on site in a ‘Flying Factory’ to fabricate components from digital design files sent from anywhere in the world. From these, agile, high-performance timber cassettes are fabricated and rapidly assembled onsite by a local workforce comprising skilled and semi-skilled workers. Training is built into the project programme at every stage, and outputs will include enhanced digital literacy and skills development for those seeking employment. The project facilitates exchange between workers, residents and professionals sharing their respective skills, specialisms and enthusiasms with each other. MassBespokeTM is designed to achieve high standards of environmental performance, optimise use of materials, eliminate waste, and remove the need for heavy transport and lifting equipment at all stages of construction.

Explore

The Pavilion will provide a maker space for activity led by stakeholders. As a creative hub it will enable responsiveness to key dates in the cultural calendar such as Light Night and the Gipton Gala, and provide a base for exploring the Wyke Beck Valley on foot and by bicycle. Although imagined as a temporary structure, the Pavilion will be robust and could remain in situ for a number of years. Over time, a ribbon of pavilions could be constructed throughout east Leeds, growing cultural infrastructure where little currently exists and specifically addressing the complete absence of creative workspaces in the east of the city. Structures constructed through the MassBespokeTM system are potentially mobile, and once disassembled the land can be returned to its original state.

Repeat?

Once established, the Factory could enable many communities to build homes and other facilities. It could generate a new social enterprise of community makers supplying garden sheds, workshops, garages, house extensions and so on through a local supply chain adding social value to place making. The Pavilion will form an R&D phase as we test the technology, build community trust and enhance our understanding of local infrastructure needs, and gather our workforce and creative team. We are actively seeking potential partners and collaborators for the project including local residents, businesses and organisations, citywide training and service providers, and creative makers of all kinds, particularly those based in east Leeds.

If you’d like to get involved, please contact us for more information.

Photography credit: Andy Irving

News

Matt Green appointed as lead artist for the East Leeds Pavilion research and development

The East Leeds Project and Bauman Lyons Architects advance their ambition to co-create the East Leeds Pavilion, the first ever Maker Space in east Leeds, with the help of artist Matt Green, local residents and makers, and funding from Arts Council England. Visual arts organisation the East Leeds Project [ELP] is delighted to announce that …

Contact

To get in touch and/or join our mailing list, complete the form below.

East Leeds Project C.I.C. is a limited company registered in England and Wales

Company Number 11746322.

East Leeds Project, Gipton Methodist Church, Oak Tree Place, Leeds, LS9 6SX