As a volunteer with the Love Arts Festival, I took part in the walk around some of the exhibitions on Tuesday 8th October.
We were guided on our walk by Linda Boyles of Arts and Minds, and started with the Highlights exhibit of Arts and Minds members’ work, based in The Light.
If you didn’t get to see the exhibit (it comes down on Monday 14th October), there was a varied mix of styles and media, and it was great to hear from Linda, who was familiar with the artists and the sort of work they do.
From The Light we journeyed past a window next to the Nation of Shopkeepers, where students from Leeds College of Art were in the middle of putting up a display for the festival.
Another pop-up exhibition surprised us as we rounded the corner of Leeds Central Library. In a little window on the corner of the building, near the chessboards, was a collection of toys and tags. The idea is that the large-headed figure is the psychiatrist and all the toys are patients with labels. It made us think, and laugh (wryly)!
We trekked upstairs to the library’s art space to visit the Unheard Voices of High Royds display. Having never visited the actual hospital, we were moved by photos and accounts of visitors, and especially by pictures taken of Victorian patients and records of operations. The end of the exhibition features details of the posh apartments you can now reserve in the renovated building, which caused a discussion about how it would feel to live on a site with such an emotional history.
After this we wandered down to White Cloth Gallery to see the Beauty of Nothing exhibition of photographs taken in Ghana by Jessica Barlow. We also watched a short film by the Elastic Theatre Company called Julius, which focussed on obsessive and intrusive thoughts. Personally, I found it quite disturbing, but in a makes-you-think way. It’s certainly something I wouldn’t have chosen to see, but I’m glad I did.
After all this, we were glad to arrive at the Arch Cafe, to have a sit down, a cuppa, a discussion, and see Jane Mullins’ Love Blossoms Over Time exhibition. And there was cake. Good cake!
I hope the pictures give you an idea of what we visited. I went back the next day to the first pop-up, and took some pics of beautifully folded bird-like shapes escaping from cages.
I wouldn’t have visited some of these exhibitions if I hadn’t been on this walk. Next year when Love Arts comes around, I can certainly recommend signing up for a walk.