East Leeds Project | Our Team



Kerry Harker

Founder and Director

Kerry founded the East Leeds Project in 2017 in response to conversations about culture beyond the city centre during Leeds’ bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Kerry has worked within the visual arts in Leeds and the wider region for the last 23 years since graduating from a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree and MA in Feminism and the Visual Arts at the University of Leeds in the mid-1990s. As an artist she exhibited widely across the UK, including in New Contemporaries 1994-5, until turning her attention to curating and forms of self-organisation.

Kerry is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, where her research focuses on questions of place, value and the institution in relation to artist-led initiatives across the UK. In 2006 she co-founded Project Space Leeds (with Pippa Hale and Diane Howse), which led to the opening of The Tetley in 2013, where she was Co-founder and inaugural Artistic Director until September 2015. Kerry has lived in Gipton in east Leeds for 20 years.


Claire Irving

Communities Director

Claire travelled around Britain and Europe for 20 years as a performer, director and designer within the performance art scene, before settling in Leeds.

Claire now lives in the People’s Republic of Harehills, where she was Director of Shine from 2008-10. She has also been influential within the city’s visual arts scene, as co-founder, in 1999, and inaugural Chair of Leeds Visual Arts Forum, and as a Board member of East Street Arts from 1997-2009, including as Chair from 1999-2009.

Claire is passionate about working with communities, and has worked with various groups, through theatre, visual art, food or music, for over 25 years. Throughout this time she has encountered a plethora of talents, nuances, passions and wonderful shared stories which have allowed her to co-create community situations that are by the people, for the people, with the people. Along the journey one thing always stands out for Claire: conversation. She believes it is the key to unlocking community. That, and a good cup of tea.


Paul Harker

Communications Director

Paul is a creative marketing professional with over 25 year’s experience, and a professional screenwriter. He was behind the original branding and marketing for The Tetley centre for contemporary art and learning on its opening in November 2013.

Paul has worked for a range of corporate and cultural clients and was formerly the Creative Director for McCann Erickson Leeds.

Paul is a visiting lecturer at Leeds University, teaching screenwriting on the BA (Hons) Film, Photography and Media course and is also the screenwriting mentor at the Oakwood Film Academy.


Georgina Feller

Student Placement 2019-20

Georgie is in her third year at the University of Leeds studying Human Geography. As part of her dissertation she is conducting research on the role of community initiatives in Leeds, and will observe and participate in the development of the East Leeds Pavilion. Academically, she enjoys learning about the reclamation of public space, urban contestation and neoliberalism.

Yunxuan Li

Student Placement 2019-20

Yunxuan is currently studying MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies in the Scholl of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on contemporary art studies in the context of curation and cultural organisations. Yunxuan’s undergraduate course was in advertising and while she has been in Leeds she has worked as a graphic designer for Enjoy art space. Yunxuan previously worked at M Woods, a not-for-profit art museum in Beijing founded by collectors Lin Han and Wanwan Lei, as an assistant based in the audience participation and artwork interpretation team. 

Nicole Beardsley

Student Placement 2019-20

Nicole is a postgraduate student in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, studying MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies. She is interested in witnessing first hand how initiatives such as the East Leeds Project work collaboratively with communities to produce something everyone can be proud of. Nicole is also interested in how communities and cultural projects can work together to physically improve an area and to boost mental health in the community. Nicole is excited to be involved with the East Leeds Pavilion, and get involved with the Gipton community. 

Past team

Katie Raw

Student Placement 2018-19

Katie is currently in her final year at the University of Leeds studying Human Geography, after spending last year studying at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Katie is thrilled by the opportunity to help in the development of the East Leeds Project, through a Workplace Cooperative Project Module as part of her undergraduate degree, and is excited about meeting new communities in the city.

Academically, Katie’s interests centre around cultural and social geography, and she enjoys learning about the socio-cultural elements of interactions and space. She is also a creative practitioner and has been heavily involved in dance throughout her life.

Voluntary Advisory Group

Kelly Culver

Kelly Culver is an artist living in East Leeds and studio/committee member of artist-led space Serf. She has been involved with numerous art projects working within the Leeds community and in various galleries across the UK.

Aidan Moesby

As an artist, curator and writer, Aidan Moesby’s work is at the intersection of the visual arts, wellbeing and increasingly, technology. He uses the locations he occupies as a ‘Live Laboratory’ to research, develop, test and make work. Site or context-specific interventions serve as a catalyst for a socially-engaged conversation and personal or communal exploration.

Zoë Sawyer

Zoë is a curator and creative practitioner based between Leeds and Birmingham, where she currently works as Offsite Curator for Eastside Projects, developing public realm programmes and projects such as Susan Philipsz’ Station Clock. She previously worked at Project Space Leeds and The Tetley from 2007-17, and in recent years has worked on commissions and solo exhibitions with artists including Joseph Buckley, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Dora Garcia, Lubaina Himid, Simeon Barclay and Rehana Zaman, alongside a number of large-scale group and solo exhibitions and events. Independently, she initiated theartmarket + Kunstfreund Gallery in Leeds from 2006-12, and from 2011 has been a Co-founder and Director of practitioner-led collective Mexico.

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Judith Tucker

Judith is an artist and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Design at the University of Leeds. Her work explores the meeting of social history, personal memory and geography; it investigates their relationship through drawing, painting and writing. She has a long-term collaboration with the radical landscape poet Harriet Tarlo, and has exhibited widely. She co-convenes the networks Land2 and Mapping Spectral Traces and is represented by Contemporary British Painting.