Zine and heard!

As a part of a local library project, ‘Focus on Photography’, participants created an exhibition about ways of seeing their locality when about their daily routine

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they also made a ‘zine’.

The intention is to submit the zine which has the theme, ‘This is Me’ for the Love Arts Festival which starts TOMORROW. 5th October and continues until the 20th.

The annual Love Arts Festival, now in its 6th year has as its theme;

I AM

Not knowing, most of the time, quite what I am

….I produced the following zine which explained, at least on the afternoon I made it, …

‘This is Me’.

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I bought the tee shirt, because of its slogan, sometime ago, I was sure the right occasion for wearing it would present itself. Here it is on the zine during its first airing at the Zine Festival at the Left Bank arts centre.

Zine events have been trending on social media for sometime, not knowing quite what they were led me to attend the Festival to find out.

Lo and behold I discovered zines are in fact little different from pop art or rag mags of ‘old’,  or even older grass root publications.

Zines promote a d.i.y. ethic in the face of an array of corporate glossy magazine content, zines are not dissimilar to blogging in their  intent.

Zines and blogs put content publishing into the hands of amateur and professional alike.

Challenging the accepted norms or order of things has long held an appeal for me, though it’s never been an easy path to take, at times it has led to my state of mental wellbeing being in question.

….I will let the zine ‘say’ the rest of who I am….

At least that is, what I was one late summer afternoon in LS13! Keeping in mind that like the  British seasons and weather, I am susceptible to change.

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Highlights

If you haven’t already seen Highlights, the “dazzling annual showcase of artwork by members of Arts & Minds”, you now only have until Sunday, and you’ll really miss something if you don’t see it. The quote in the previous sentence is from the blurb in the Love Arts programme, but it’s really not an exaggeration. This is an extraordinary collection – very varied, in terms of the type of image on display, with photography, straight and manipulated; pencil drawings; paintings abstract and realistic, ranging from the fantastical to simple images of domestic pets and other animals; scenes of gritty urban life and idyllic scenes of nature – but all generally of a really high standard, at least as far as I could tell, as a lay person who likes to look at such things.

One of the artists, local poet Liz Helliwell, has already blogged about the opening last Wednesday – see  http://www.lizhelliwell.co.uk/2014/10/light-fantastic/ for her take.

I’ve put a few examples below to whet your appetitie, but they are really rather random – I liked so much of this collection that I’d have had to photograph most of it to give a true reflection. The Light is open from 6 a.m. to 12.30 a,m, daily, and the exhibition is staffed during the day. It’s free and the brochure says:. “Just turn up”. I would.

 

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The images above are Royal Park School, by Jill Setterington; A Daydream by the Water’s Edge, by Ian Gill; Villification by Liz Helliwell; Veiled Garden by Amanda Burton; and Divine Mystery by Patrick Hanratty.

Love Arts – The Big Conversation

Love Arts Conversation

Love Arts Conversation

The Love Arts Festival is nearly upon us again.  The festival launches on 15th October, so be prepared for exhibitions, poetry, plays and more special events, all with a mental health, creativity and arts theme.

There’s something new this year: the Love Arts Conversation is a festival-flavoured conference which will take place on 21st & 22nd October 2014 in Leeds City Centre. Continue reading

Place and Memory – help to kickstart a unique project

Place & memory

During the magnificent Love Arts Festival last October I went to a great event at the White Cloth Gallery – a series of fascinating short films by local artists, on the theme of how important place and our memories of it are to us. This was part of the Place and Memory project and there was much more to see in the artwork and installations at Trinity Church on Boar Lane. Now there’s a chance to support this project and these artists through a brilliant new way of fundraising – crowdfunding. This has been described as ‘democratic finance’, and may well be the future for many small ventures as grants get harder to come by.

Place and Memory are aiming to get £7,500 and so far £1, 538 has been pledged. there’s 9 days left, so click on the link below and, to paraphrase the immortal words of Bob Geldoff, “pledge them your f***ing money”. (I did and it’s very easy to do.)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/267877376/place-and-memory-eight-artists-one-city

Place and Memory Mentor Emma Bolland writes:

“Place and Memory is a professional development project for artists who have experienced mental health difficulties. I am incredibly proud to be one of the mentors for this project. The project started in June of last year, and was funded until October, while we worked with them in producing a wonderful book and film. The project won an award for these outcomes and for its work. Since October I, artist Tom Rodgers, curator Judit Bodor and writer and publisher Brian Lewis have continued to give our time and work with the participants on a voluntary basis, but we now need your help to complete the project, to work with the wonderful artists and writers in creating a second exhibition, and a publication – part art book, part document of their amazing journey, and part an exploration in text an image of the hidden histories and beauties of the city of Leeds. Please, click on the link below, watch our short film, make a donation and pass this appeal on to your friends and family. Thank you.”

Love Arts Festival – a walk

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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. Continue reading

Shoulder Stories

The Shoulder of Mutton pub on Potternewton Lane had a long and chequered history before it became the Inkwell Arts Centre, and an exhibition currently running there as part of the Love Arts Festival is aiming to give a flavour of those days.

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What are the origins of the Shoulder of Mutton and how did a pub named after a slab of meat become the vibrant vegetarian café and arts centre that it is today? This is the question posed by David Mackie in his history of the pub that forms part of the exhibition. The original tavern was built in the 1700s.

‘It is said to have been a pleasant journey from Leeds to Allerton 200 years ago past the small and charming hamlet of Sheepscar with it’s village green’.

Although you did have to watch out for highwaymen apparently, before you get too nostalgic.

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There’s lots more fascinating stuff.

‘By the 1770s Chapel Allerton was beginning to play the role of a resort or retreat for the members of the higher classes of Leeds’

– who would have thought that? There’s lots about the more recent history of the pub, including its eventually loss of its licence because of drug offences.

There’s some information about the project at the following blog: http://ourshoulderstories.wordpress.com/

presumably you can leave your memories there – although many people seem to have taken to writing theirs on the walls.

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Inkwell seems to have gone into overdrive at the moment. A glance at their what’s on poster shows a whole range of interesting stuff from life drawing classes, a jazz choir, a ‘secret cinema’, creative writing and lots more, so it’s a very good time to call in for a look at the history of the pub. Particularly good times would seem to be for the Craft Café on Thursday afternoons (cakes, crafts and fun), or the Saturday Café (homemade vegetarian food and delicious cakes – they seem to like their cakes).

The exhibition will run until November 9th.

www.inkwellarts.org.uk

Twitter: @ShoulderStories

Call: 0113 301 0108

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Love Arts 2013 launched!

Love Arts poster

You could hardly move for survivor artists, wandering poets, volunteers, photographers, cake makers, community reporters and the great and the good of the local mental health scene. Love Arts, the three week long festival that seeks to get people thinking and talking about mental health is back in town, after two successful years in previous Autumns. Yesterday saw the festival launch, with an art exhibition, ‘Highlights’, from the Leeds Arts & Minds Network, which will be showing at the Light until Sunday 13 October.  Even more than in previous years I was struck by the enormous variety of artwork on display, and how good some of it is – certainly worth a special trip out of your way to see.

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Time to Change Leeds has been spearheading the assault on stigma and discrimination in our wicked city, and they were busy waylaying passers by and getting pledges.

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You had to accept cookies in order to fully participate, and some  were decorated with wild abandon, throwing caution and calorie counting to the wind and laughing in the face of healthy eating programmes.

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There are literally dozens of things going on in the city over the next three weeks – you can see the full programme at the Love Arts Festival website. Some of the stand out things for me are:

The Love Music Leeds album launch on Friday 11 October at All Hallows Church, Regent Terrace, Leeds 6, 7.45 – 11 p.m. costing £7.50. This features local musicians exploring the connections between music and mental wellbeing through songs nominated because they’ve been found helpful, inspiring or comforting.

The Word Emporium at Trinity Church on Boar Lane on Wednesday 16 October, 6.30 – 9.15, will be a night of spoken word and music where you can earn the prestigious title of Love Arts Festival Word Champion for performing a couple of pieces in the open mic – or just come along and watch for £2/£3.

Unheard Voices is a free exhibition about the people who lived, visited and worked at High Royds Hospital, the old Victorian asylum. This launches on Monday 7 October , 5 – 7 p.m. in Leeds Central Library, and will be open during normal library opening hours after that.

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Whatever your taste in arts there’s probably something at the festival you can enjoy. A lot of the things are free or cheap, and they run during the day-time as well as in the evenings. Check it out.

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