KIOSK is our mobile makerspace designed and built by artist Emma Hardaker, with help from our friends at Duke Makes. KIOSK will take opportunities for hands-on making direct to the people through artist-led creative workshops delivered in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings from community centres to parks, libraries, schools and anywhere else across East Leeds and further afield.
Now, due to funding from Leeds Inspired and Leeds Community Foundation, we’re looking for Leeds-based artists and makers with experience of delivering workshops in public settings with a range of groups, including people with additional access requirements. We’re planning to tour KIOSK to large-scale public events such as local fairs and galas (when restrictions allow) as well as smaller-scale workshops for specific groups, tailored to their needs and interests and planned with them in advance. Workshops can take any form and be in any media – from printmaking to textiles, drawing to digital media – provided you can use KIOSK as a base for the activity.
PANIC! Promoting an Artists’ Network in the Crisis
Our Artistic Director, Kerry Harker, is a member of the Steering Group for this initiative instigated by art historian and cultural analyst Professor Griselda Pollock, in partnership with The Tetley centre for contemporary art.
Led by artists, curators, organisations and individuals in Leeds City Region, PANIC! aims to create an artists’ network in Leeds. Collectively, the network will offer benefits through: platforming activities, sharing information, offering mentoring support, and bursaries for practising artists. The PANIC! Steering Group is made up of seven artist members, three artist advisors and the Tetley team. They will distribute the bursaries and advise, assist and promote the PANIC! Network and its activities.
To find out more about PANIC! and apply for the second round of artist bursaries, visit the Tetley website.
The deadline for second round applications is 9am on Monday 12July.
Thanks to Leeds 2023 for featuring the East Leeds Project and talking about the area from a cultural perspective on their website. The ELP mission is to put our area on the map and we are delighted with the support from our friends at Leeds 2023.
Read the article below, or click on the link to read on the Leeds 2023 website:
Did you know that there are no road signs in the whole of Leeds pointing to Gipton? Built in the 1930s as a ‘garden suburb’ to offer residents a better place to live, this part of Leeds is little known or understood by people outside the area, even Loiners.
The East Leeds Project, supported by Leeds 2023, wants to change that, to offer an opportunity for the communities based in the suburbs of Gipton and Harehills, Killingbeck and Seacroft, Cross Gates and Whinmoor, to come together in artistic exploration. The project plans to put East Leeds firmly on the map, as experienced through the lens of its resident cultural community which includes producers Kerry Harker and Claire Irving.
Over the past 18 months, Kerry and Claire have been building and strengthening local connections through a programme of research and development projects, the outcome of which will be disseminated in the autumn. An extensive, far-reaching joint research project has been carried out with Leeds’ architecture practice Bauman Lyons and the local community. Taking many forms, the project included holding events at Gipton Gala and East Leeds Makers social; community-led mapping; an online survey of ‘East Leeds Makers’ and site visits, e.g. to Knowle West in Bristol.
They have discovered that there is a rich seam of creativity in the local community and a desire to help shape its future. Many local people are producing and making fantastic work, but currently there is no dedicated creative ‘maker’ space where they can share and collaborate.
The East Leeds Project is building towards creating a physical hub, a Pavilion, designed and built by local people, using the pioneering MassBespokeTM system created by Bauman Lyons.
By 2023, the East Leeds Project wants the temporary Pavilion to be located next to Fearnville Leisure Centre in Gipton. This community space will be a social place; somewhere to learn and work together, to share skills and to learn new ones. A physical space in which to help build a sustainable future for creative practitioners in the area, currently working away in their sheds or around kitchen tables.
Academic research uncovered by the East Leeds team suggests that eastern sides of cities worldwide share characteristics as a result of the fact that pollution blows to the east, and many have been neglected or ignored. Each part of Leeds has its own distinctive sense of identity, with its own history and challenges, and it’s through supporting projects like this that we will help shine a light on the amazing creativity and talent in all our communities in the city.
East Leeds Project Team visit to Sunny Bank Mills on Saturday 8th February 2020 Joanna Jowett
The Sunny Bank Mills Estate is owned by the Gaunt family, who have been converting the old cloth mill buildings into workplace units suitable for a range of businesses, from offices to artist studios, maker spaces, a play gym and an acting school, since the mill ceased creating cloth in 2008. There is a busy onsite café, Art Gallery and shop and creative enterprises such as SCRAP, a Centre for Creative Reuse, that we visited on the East Leeds project team research trip on 8th February.
The repurposing of old mill buildings and within them creating spaces for creative businesses and artists, is something seen across our region and the visit reminded many of us of the vast Salts Mill in Saltaire, but on a smaller scale. The buildings themselves are full of wonderful historic features, worn down stone steps and old Yorkshire stone. The Art Gallery had beautiful daylight streaming in through huge windows, creating a very different ambience to most white walled galleries. The gallery shop stocks a range of work from local designer makes and has a small tearoom serving hot drinks and cake. On site there are a small number of artist’s studios and a project space with textile printing available to hire for a half or full day. The mill also hosts small performances and concerts and can be hired as an event space.
Sunny Bank Mills sits at the very heart of Farsley. Founded in 1829 by a group of local weavers, the Mills developed into one of the world’s most important fine worsted mills. As it has always been such a central and iconic site for local people, it was wonderful to hear that some of the employees from when it was an operating mill are still employed there today. The mill felt incredibly grounded in its sense of place as part of a village community. The site is open and welcoming and the mix of different buildings, businesses and the position of the site, results in it simply feeling like part of the town itself and easy to dip in and out of. Having said that, making such historic buildings fully accessible is undoubtedly no small task. Modern toilet facilities and lifts have been installed but creating full access to all will be certainly an area with lots of challenges for the management. There does seem to be a real and genuine commitment to make sure these buildings will continue to be occupied and an important asset to Farsley for years to come by the Gaunt family.
There is also an onsite Archive, which houses an historic collection of mill items, including textiles and weaving looms. Open for the public to visit and to be used for research, the archive really acknowledges and celebrates the mills history and its legacy.
On our way to visit SCRAP, I noticed School of Sew, who offer tailored sewing lessons and courses. Seeing a space dedicated to one craft was brilliant and the possibility of having multiple studios and dedicated spaces for a range of creative practices seemed very natural and at home in the mill buildings. They are really making the most of the opportunity that such a large estate offers, with a range different buildings and sizes of space to play with and configure.
SCRAP itself is full of possibility for any creative, continuously stocked with discarded materials originally destined for landfill, sold on at very low prices. This a wonderful resource for individual artists as well as community groups, schools and students. As well as the ScrapStore SCRAP also has an eco-friendly refill station and hosts a community craft café. They create ScrapSheds for schools and educational settings and also run creative workshops and training. It is a brilliant example of a social enterprise that really engages with the local community in several ways.
Some proposed further research for the Project Team would be to speak to some of the studio holders to find out more about the creative community that exists around the site and if any activity or collaboration takes place that is artist lead or managed in any ongoing way by the estate. There is clearly huge potential for collaboration across art forms and to grow the creative output and engagement of the mills, but as a private business this might not be something considered or prioritised by the management. It would also be useful to get a sense as to how tied into the wider creative community across Leeds the mill is and what, if any conversations are happening with other creative organisations in the area. With local businesses, including HR, engineering and digital marketing companies all within the same complex, there is something quite refreshing and exciting about just how easily these different industries occupy the same space and how embedded the arts are throughout these buildings, providing an asset and helping to make Sunny Bank Mills in to a real destination, rather than simply a place of work, or office block, but part of the community and somewhere people want to be, live and work.
Makers of all kinds across east Leeds are invited to our first East Leeds Makers Social on 27 June. We’ve commissioned Bradford-based artist Andy Abbott to create a new participatory project about ‘making’ for this year’s Gipton Gala, funded by Leeds Inspired. Andy’s project builds on our ‘East Leeds Makers’ research project and survey, and we’d love to get people based in east Leeds involved.
Artist Andy Abbott talks about the East Leeds Makers Social.
Whether you’re an artist, designer, craftsperson, gardener, baker, or a maker of anything else, come along to our Social where you’ll be able to:
Meet and find out more about other makers based in east Leeds
Showcase and share skills
Have your handiwork 3D scanned and added to our makers archive – bring something you’ve made with you!
Find out more about the ‘What Makes Gipton?’ showcase at Gipton Gala and our plans for the East Leeds Pavilion maker space
Everyone’s welcome – drop in any time between 4 and 7pm. The event is free to attend and refreshments will be served. We’d love to meet you!
Andy Abbott is an artist, musician, writer and arts organiser living and working in West Yorkshire. He has exhibited and performed internationally as an individual artist and in various collaborations including the art collective Black Dogs. Recent projects include a participatory map looking at Bradford Common Spaces for the National Science and Media Museum, and a Virtual Reality video game set in Luton for the town’s Pilot Year of Culture. www.andyabbott.co.uk
* We are sorry that there is no lift access to the first floor of the Church. Please contact us to discuss any access requirements.