A new thought-provoking programme of art, community architecture and ideas opens in May and includes: –
- TURBINE; an artist invention, a handmade mini wind turbine powering small electrical appliances
- CABANON; the construction of a sustainable 8ft x 8ft bothy-style dwelling, inviting people to stay in a cabin in the city to understand consumption and consumerism in a whole new way
- EXTREME UNCTION Vol. 2; an experimental space inspired by a hammam. An extraordinary blend of immersive sonic installation, performance, and healing space
- REGNANT; a multi-dimensional pottery project – bringing the East Leeds community together with international artists to explore the city’s forgotten industry.
More information: estrt.art/action-now
A progressive programme of radical climate change art is coming to West Yorkshire this summer. The Space Between from East Street Arts is putting artists and local communities at the heart of a new way of looking at some of the most pressing climate issues of our time. The work will explore the climate change narrative in unexpected ways, and all taking place in the Leeds communities most impacted by its outcomes. It is part of the Season for Change national programme led by Arts Admin and Julie’s Bicycle.
Taking place throughout the summer, The Space Between is bringing artists and local communities together for a series of interactive, immersive and participatory commissions that combine science, art, activism. It mostly taking place in the Leeds neighbourhoods of Burmantofts, Mabgate and Lincoln Green. These areas of East Leeds were instrumental to Leeds’ growth, manufacturing and industrial past and are now home to a vibrant and diverse community.
About the programme:
Artist Nicolas Henninger will give residents the chance to experience ‘low waste’ living and consider material changes they can make in their lives in his art, architecture and design installation CABANON. People can visit Leeds and stay within a unique bothy-style cabin in the city, and experience minimalist and eco-friendly surroundings for one or two nights. The work is a reference to Swiss-French architect, designer, artist and writer Le Corbusier’s minimal retreat home which was no larger than 8ft x 8ft and built from one material. CABANON will invite people to live for a couple of nights to explore their habits and a more sustainable way of life. Participants, particularly young people, from the local neighbourhood will be invited to workshops during its build and installation to learn about using sustainable materials and explore alternative architectural processes.
A bold and playful way to address the sustainability of art production and energy. Jake Krushell’s TURBINE is an artist invention inspired by Hugh Piggott’s book The Wind Turbine Cookbook. Jake’s TURBINE will generate energy to power Nicolas Henninger’s piece CABANON while bringing a strong and permanent aesthetic contribution to Leeds. As part of the work, Jake will also deliver workshops to the community surrounding his methods and sustainable production.
Extreme Unction Vol. 2
This immersive arts hamman is a unique blend of sonic installation, instrument, performance, and communal healing space. Created by Nwando Ebizi, the installation is multi-sensory and deeply immersive environment, inspired by neurodivergent-led design alongside lo-tech, sustainable and biophilic design. Extreme Unction Vol. 2 will include workshops on sustainable architectural practices, DIY ritual packs and special performance events. Nwando is working alongside architect and designer Bethany Wells, will design and build a portable piece of speculative architecture (a miniature hamam) that functions as an installation, instrument, performance space, and communal bathing space. Nwando will also complete a 30-minute piece of sound art that responds to the design challenges and creates a multi-sensory environment. Nwando and Bethany will also explore the creative and practical design process in a workshop, with Bethany taking participants through the design of the installation and Nwando discussing the development of the material palette that embeds both audience care and environmental awareness.
An experimental durational community pottery project – REGNANT will involve participants from local East Leeds neighbourhoods and the audience, who will explore the themes of migration, identity, belonging, adaptation and power structures and how these collide with the pressing issue of climate change. Artist Xavier de Sousa will conduct a series of workshops with the community. Residents will be recruited to participate in pottery making workshops to assist in creating the plates, bowls, and serving pots needed for Xavier’s final live event. This final event will see Xavier collaborate with two artists – Jade Montserrat and Yas Clarke – to create an Open Studio to exhibit the works and stories developed within these workshops, create visual narratives and soundscapes throughout the event. The materials created within the workshops will go on a short tour with Xavier, and then be returned to East Street Arts as a contribution towards a new archive and exhibition for the neighbourhood.
The Space Between
The Space Between is part of Season for Change, a national programme will run throughout 2021 and will showcase how the UK’s cultural sector responds to the most important issue of our time – the climate crisis – through artistic commissions and an open programme where any artist or arts organisation can submit an event related to climate action or the environment.
Helen Moore, East Street Arts Engagement Lead, said: “The Space Between is using art to connect communities to vital conversation about our climate crisis – this is so important for everyone but utterly crucial for people in inner city areas like Burmantofts, Mabgate and Lincoln Green. This bold and imaginative programme of immersive art, community creativity and making will inspire people to see climate change differently.”
Alison Tickell, Founder and CEO, Julie’s Bicycle, said: “We believe arts and culture can make the world a better place, which includes building a more environmentally sustainable future. So it is brilliant to see this extraordinary programme coming together in Leeds which highlights the innovation, imagination and commitment of artists and cultural organisations responding to climate change. This work showcases the practical action communities can take while sparking important conversations for people.”
The climate crisis and environmental degradation is one of the most significant challenges facing us all. The cultural sector has taken major steps to reduce its carbon footprint and more than ever artists and organisations are engaging with climate-related themes. Now, we are looking to support a move beyond environmental sustainability towards true environmental responsibility. This means embedding environmental thinking in everything you do, from operations and logistics, to considering how creation, programming and partnerships can help support your commitment and provoke debate.
A special season of events is taking place in Leeds between May and July.
More information is online here: estrt.art/action-now
It was lovely to get a glimpse into what our Netherlands-based residency artists have been up to during their stay with us, at their sharing event on Friday. Chiara Tammaro, Tom Dijkstra and Sijas de Groot stayed with us over the past two weeks at Convention House, and over their time discovered Leeds, studios in the city, and local communities.