The radical, transformed space offers beds for up to 60 guests spread across twelve remarkable rooms – affordable and truly unique accommodation for backpackers, artists and tourists alike.
- A blend of private en-suite rooms and dorms will be available for guests to book
- The Art Hostel has twelve totally unique and distinctively designed artist-led rooms
- The independent social enterprise space is opening up as Leeds becomes a hot-bed for creativetravellers. Research from tourism chiefs have pointed to increasing numbers of creative travellers heading to Leeds – and Mabgate was recently named as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods by a glossy international travel magazine
- Each room has been individually designed by exciting commissioned artists: including a room focused on 1980’s protest culture, a sensory safe space that has been designed to be accessible for people with disabilities, alongside another room inspired by West Yorkshire’s textile industry
- Why go to East Berlin when you can come to East Leeds? say tourism chiefs
Opening in February, limited press trips to Leeds are available for journalists and media:
Opening in February 2022, The Art Hostel will be a fun, affordable, comfortable and super creative place to stay. Sure to be popular with artists, musicians and creative people visiting the Yorkshire region, it is ideally placed to welcome travellers as the UK continues to see a “staycation” boom.
East Street Arts has again commissioned artists to design each space, offering insight into each artist’s mind and artistic practice. The artists have been chosen to breathe life into the new Art Hostel, making a truly original and inspiring space to stay.
Commissioned artists include
- Alison Smith, Ziggy Wingle – the artist worked with Shakespeare Primary School, in Leeds, to design a playful and interactive room based on play and primary colours, incorporating children’s games, traditions and imagination into a room that pops with vivid colours
- Matilya Njau, Green Fingers – local landscaper transformed the East Leeds urban jungle into a calm green oasis, reducing the venue’s carbon footprint
- Mary and Jiem – It’s Up To You – this creative duo used inspiration from Leeds’ long history of protest movements to create a spectacular room that pays tribute to the radical ideas that have shaped the city’s unique identity
- Mandy Barker, Ocean Galaxy – this photographer has created a room that explores marine pollution through the medium of found footballs. Laying in bed in the private double room, guests can gaze up at the 769 footballs found around the world as part of this project
- Precious Collective, The Outside Inn – a space packed with quirky personality and surprises. Imagine a room full of trompe l’oeil furniture through the lens of Dr Seuss
- Jesse Paul Wright, The Wooly Ewe – a stunning celebration of all things sheep and Yorkshire’s heritage in textile production
- Caraboo Projects, Tall Tales and Eel Scales – a room exploring mythical travellers, sea creatures and folklore, examining themes around ecology and a vanishing hidden world
- ViDa, The Rainbow Lodge – using greenery, reclaimed wood and natural materials. This pair of artists were inspired by their nomadic lifestyle, creating a blissful space to escape to
- Sayang Sound, Rooting – this private twin room has been designed for people with disabilities or those who will benefit from the use of a space like this. The unique space offers an audio, visual and multi- sensory experience that will feel different for every guest. With light and sound operated via remote control, it is a grounded, safe and nourishing space
- Nelson & Woodward, Snowstorm – this artist duo have created a room that is inspired by a remarkable collection of snowglobes from around the world. A celebration of the joy of travel and discovery, that also asks questions around mass production and commodification
Rhian Aitken, The Art Hostel manager said: “After almost two-years of uncertainty and worry during the pandemic, it’s just amazing that we can finally open up our hostel to travellers. The Art Hostel is a true one-off, there’s nowhere else quite like it. It’s a chance to sleep inside the imagination of a brilliant artist. Our mission is to make this space a really creative, comfortable, vibrant and fun place that shows off the very best of our Leeds’s art, culture and creativity to people from around the world.”
Karen Watson, East Street Arts’, director, said: “We’re so thankful for the artists who have come together in Leeds to make each room so distinctive and utterly creative, together they’ve created a brilliant atmosphere here. We couldn’t have made this happen without them – The Art Hostel is more proof that when we bring local and international artists together in Leeds we can really make something extraordinary happen.
“Our new Art Hostel will be a dynamic and inclusive place that will build financial sustainability for East Street Arts. It will help to make Leeds’ creative economy more resilient and support diverse artistic practice in the wider region by connecting people right here in Mabgate. We can’t wait to finally get it open in February!”
Belinda Eldridge, Head of Destination Marketing and International Relations at Leeds City Council, said: “We are thrilled about the opening of the Art Hostel in Mabgate in February. The vibrant city of Leeds is well known for its extensive arts scene, and is becoming increasingly popular with tourists as more people are looking to experience the creative spirit of our city. Not only will it provide affordable accommodation for visitors, but it is also located in an up-and-coming quarter of Leeds, making it an even more exciting prospect for the city. “We’re looking forward to working closely with The East Street Arts team to showcase some of the world-class arts and creativity on offer here in Leeds. From street art and contemporary galleries, to pioneering performances from our exceptional theatre scene – you don’t have to go as far as East Berlin when you can explore East Leeds?”
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.