Woodland painting by Mark Parkin. Courtesy of Leeds City Council.
A month-long display of work by local artists opened at Leeds Central Library on December 1. The Creative Leeds midwinter show features a wide scope of styles and materials, with pieces drawn from community groups as well as established artists.
The diverse show incorporates sculpture, wood carving, prints, painting and collage, as well as pen and ink drawings, which indicate the high quality of art work currently being produced in Leeds.
Wooden forms by Philip Spellacy. Courtesy of Leeds City Council.
Organiser and local artist Phil Spellacy said: “We’re not selfish artists working in our garrets, we have a commitment to our communities. That’s why we wanted to do something with a socially aware background – I think the correct term is to take a holistic approach – and we’ve pulled it all together in just two weeks!”
The cross-section of artists involved includes Clifford House in Leeds, South Leeds Sisters (a young Asian women’s group) and Positive Choices (also a women’s group). Leeds after-school clubs were also invited to take part.
Dan Lyons, a recently trained photographer, has produced a series of images entitled Requiem for a Dream, while another contributor is a graffiti artist. Known as cage1, he puts his spray paints on canvas as well as city walls.
Work by cage1. Courtesy of Leeds City Council.
“There’s a randomness to it, and why not? Let’s give everyone a chance,” said Phil, describing the exhibition. “It shows that it doesn’t matter if you are a professional artist or a child from an after-school group. It also shows how we can all get together and do something positive.”
The unusual show, which also takes in poetry and a large dreamweaver, is in the library’s exhibition space and closes on New Year’s Eve.
“One guy found a piece of wood on a beach, wrapped in barbed wire,” Phil continued. “He took it home and carved it and that’s in the show too.”