Hidden in Plain Sight: Queer Leeds by Stuart Linden Rhodes

An exhibition of archive photographs documenting queer nightlife in Leeds by Stuart Linden Rhodes is being shown on New Briggate, for Pride month.

Whilst working for various queer publications, photographer and archivist Stuart Linden Rhodes documented the Leeds queer nightlife scenes of the late-1980s and 1990s, building up an extensive archive. As part of our Hidden Histories of New Briggate project, Hidden in Plain Sight: Queer Leeds invites visitors to the iconic street to discover 12 of Stuart’s photographs outdoors, in North Bar, and online, throughout August.

Hidden Histories of New Briggate – supported by Leeds City Council and Historic England – is all about bringing people together, through art, to explore the culture and heritage of our historic high streets. Despite there being a rich history of queer lives lived on New Briggate, these stories have largely gone undocumented with no photographic trace. Via Stuart’s photographs taken across Leeds, the exhibition is a visual celebration of the queer joy and freedom of expression that existed on the street.

Discover the exhibition at:

Warehouse, Leeds 1994

Vague, Leeds 1993

TWA at Vague, Leeds, 1994 *
Let’s Dance at Vague, Leeds 1994

Cage Dancing at Vague, Leeds 1993
Leeds Gay Scene 1994

All of the above
Leeds Vague at the Warehouse, 1994
Bridge Inn, Leeds 1993
Leather Scene, Bridge Inn, 1994

Stuart Linden Rhodes said “In 1990, a friend based in Leeds established a free gay magazine called All Points North. ‘Out & About with Linden’ was born and became my regular monthly feature. Over the years, I learnt to wait in the corners of bars and clubs with my camera, awaiting the perfect shot. Then, click. Photographs of everyday people dating, dancing and drinking. Hidden in Plain Sight: Queer Leeds is a celebration of the gay scene in Leeds at a moment in time. I hope people enjoy discovering this collection of photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them.”

Alice Boulton-Breeze, programme producer at East Street Arts, said: “We’ve loved working with Stuart and exploring his substantial archive. His photographs capture joyous moments between friends and lovers but, more importantly, they’re a vital record of queer lives lived in our city. The exhibition will take place throughout Pride month to ensure that, although the history of queer people in Leeds is still often overlooked or hidden from traditional archives and institutions, we can bring some queer celebration to New Briggate alongside the rest of the city.”

Stuart will be joining Harry Clayton-Wright – one of our Hidden Histories of New Briggate commissioned artists – later in the year for an in-conversation podcast, which will explore the themes of queer history, queer safety, and the future of the city centre for queer people.

Stuart’s book ‘Out & About with Linden: A Queer Archive of the North’ is available from pariahpress.com

Hidden Histories of New Briggate is part of the country-wide High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) initiative.

* TWA at Vague, Leeds, 1994 depicts the DJ duo Trannies With Attitude who regularly played at Vague club in Leeds. As the name includes an outdated term that is now considered a slur and to be offensive, we have made the decision not to use it in exhibition material.

Other things!