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Culture really is around every corner in Leeds

Revealed: Culture really is around every corner in Leeds

5 April 2022: Leeds’s cultural venues are uncovering culture like never before as they come together to celebrate the diverse offering of the city and encourage residents and visitors alike to join in with the cultural fun.

Named as the UK’s most vibrant city and placed in the top 100 places to visit in the world, Leeds will see its cultural institutions come together this spring as part of its Culture Around Every Corner campaign.

Home to over 40 cultural institutions representing the very best of culture in the UK, this campaign is led by Visit Leeds in collaboration with Culture Consortium Leeds (CCL) and other organisations such as Art Hostel, East Street Arts, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Chapel FM Arts Centre which together create the unique landscape of Leeds’ cultural scene.

An experience like no other, Leeds is a leading centre for culture, boasting a scene of international food & drink, street art, country house estates, ground-breaking new performances, legendary music festivals and shows and renowned global sport.

Revealing that culture is around every corner in Leeds, the destination management organisation for the city, Visit Leeds and all cultural partners have uncovered that visitors are never further than a 10 minute walk away from a cultural attraction in Leeds.

Highlighting the Leeds experience with the message that culture in Leeds is open, Culture Around Every Corner is challenging residents to explore and rekindle a love for the great culture that is on their doorstep, whilst visitors have an immense opportunity to try something new and uniquely ‘Leeds’.

Edward Appleyard, Director of Engagement at Harewood House Trust and Co-Chair of CCL’s Marketing and Communications group, commented:  “As a city that’s in demand, Culture Around Every Corner has been designed to bring the cultural venues of our city together and show visitors the breadth of cultural experiences there are to enjoy. We’re extremely excited for the launch and our venues working more closely than ever before to celebrate this incredible, culture-rich city.”

Hannah Hughes, Marketing and Communications Director at Leeds Playhouse and Co-Chair of CCL’s Marketing and Communications group also commented: “We’re delighted to be working with a variety of our cultural venues in the city and we can’t wait to reveal what Leeds has to offer as part of this campaign. There’s a real appetite for venues to work in collaboration with one another and support each other and this demonstrates how fantastic the Leeds cultural community is.”

 

This campaign comes on the back of two years of lockdowns, and the message is loud and clear – culture in Leeds is back for good.

Some of the cultural highlights for this season (April to June) include: The riotous Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Leeds Playhouse, directed by Jamie Fletcher and starring drag queen Davina De Campo in April; a solo exhibition of new work by Nigerian artist Bubu Ogisi at The Tetley; the Henry Moore Institute celebrates the UN Year of Glass with an exhibition of contemporary glass sculpture; Leeds Museums and Galleries host workshops, trails and activities alongside exhibitions including ‘Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy’; Opera North’s version of Wagner’s most mysterious drama Parsifal opens in June; Howard Assembly Rooms present the best in eclectic and international music every weekend and host musicians and singers from the asylum community for Refugee Week in June; Leeds Grand Theatre’s stellar line-up sees Broadway hit School of Rock, the National Theatre’s award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, plus a bit of razzle dazzle in Chicago

Outside the city centre Harewood House Biennial this year is Radical Acts: Why Craft Matters, an exhibition showcasing how small radical acts can have a massive impact on the world and Yorkshire Sculpture Park present David Nash: Full Circle until June.

And if you are looking for activities to entertain the family you can try: Family favourite The Gruffalo at Leeds Playhouse in April; Royal Armouries’ jousting tournaments and Medieval Easter with the chance to try some sword skills; Leeds Young Film Festival 2022 at the Carriageworks combining games with film screenings; explore dark and murky disease ridden streets, and ask ‘Can Robots Care?’ at the sometimes gruesome but always fascinating Thackray Museum of Medicine; and at the first direct Arena, The Masked Singer comes to the live stage plus a host of full-pelt live music and more.

Culture Around Every Corner precedes Leeds’ Year of Culture: Leeds 2023. Designed to ‘let culture loose’, Leeds 2023 will see 12 signature events alongside a multitude of creative experiences take place across the city in a celebration of all things culture. Made for everyone, local, national, and international artists and communities will be coming together to create a year-long celebration unique to Leeds. Gearing up to the Year of Culture, the Culture Around Every Corner campaign is just the start of what’s to come.

To find more about Culture Around Every Corner and to plan your next trip, visit www.visitleeds.co.uk/culture-around-every-corner

 

ENDS

For more information, please contact VisitLeeds@ilkagency.com

Notes to Editors:

Visit Leeds is the official Destination Management Organisation for the city of Leeds, which aims to showcase the breadth of cultural attractions, innovative food & drink destinations and extensive shopping facilities on offer in Leeds and its surrounding areas. Its vision is for the city to be known as a world-class, modern and historic European destination with a reputation for a vibrant and creative cultural scene set against the backdrop of rich heritage and outstanding architecture.

As the second largest metropolitan area and one of the fastest growing cities in the UK outside of London, Leeds attracted over 30 million visitors in 2019 from both the UK and abroad. Its location and exceptional national and international transport links make it the ideal getaway for a variety of visitors to the Yorkshire region and beyond.

Not only is Leeds one of the greenest cities in Europe, it also ranks as the third best shopping destination in the UK outside of London as breath-taking Victorian arcades sit alongside iconic luxury brands and well-known high street retailers.

Leeds is brimming with a wealth of culture, history and diversity, having been home to the UK’s first West Indian Carnival back in 1967. The city’s rich culture is also reflected in the plethora of live events. From world-class organisations; Opera North, Northern Ballet, to unrivalled live music experiences and hilarious comedy, Leeds truly is a treasure trove of live entertainment.

Leeds is also notably known as a world-class sporting destination, having hosted the World Triathlon Series, The Cricket World Cup and The Ashes, while this year will see the city host the World Triathlon Series, Rugby League World Cup 2021 and the British Transplant Games. Leeds is also home to Leeds United Football Club, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and Rugby League’s Leeds Rhinos.

Over the past 15 years, regeneration has modernised the city centre, while complementing its incredible architecture and heritage. The city is now synonymous with the very best England has to offer; bursting with life and cultural energy.

 

For more information, visit: www.visitleeds.co.uk     

 

Culture Consortium Leeds 

Established to network Leeds’ greatest cultural offerings together with a shared ambition and a passion for the city, Culture Consortium Leeds includes 17 venues, theatres, visitor attractions, museums, galleries, performance arts organisations and others who harness the power of great culture in Leeds to entertain and engage over 4 million people every year and generate £135 million for the local economy. 

Members included in Culture Around Every Corner are: Harewood House Trust, Royal Armouries, Leeds Playhouse, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Leeds Museums & Galleries, Temple Newsham, Lotherton Hall, Leeds Heritage Theatres, The Tetley, The Carriageworks, Millennium Square, Leeds Town Hall, University of Leeds Galleries, Opera North, Northern Ballet, Henry Moore Institute and Thackray Museum of Medicine.

 

Getting Hands-On During National Volunteer Week

Volunteering at Harewood

There are over 200 active volunteers working in the Harewood House Trust, giving around 20,000 hours of free support each year to maintain and promote the House, the Gardens and the Bird Garden.

During National Volunteer Week at the beginning of June, members of the Harewood House Senior Management team turned their backs on their paperwork to get hands-on with the volunteers, and spent a half day working side by side in an area very different to their own.

Over ten members of staff took part, which included Trust Director Jane Marriott picking up a spade in the Walled Garden and putting in some of the groundwork ahead of the soon-to-open Seeds of Hope exhibition. Damian Clements, Head of Finance, cast aside his numbers to lead a new charge – that of the Shuttle bus that transports visitors around the Estate. And Trevor Nicholson, Head Gardener, buried his head in the Spanish Library, researching plants from 1918 together with weather conditions recorded in journals during that time, ahead of the new exhibition.

Many volunteers have been with the Trust for over ten years, with new volunteers joining all the time. They possess such a wealth of knowledge of the Collections, of stories relating to people and places and in addition to that, a real passion, dedication and commitment to their work.

The experience across National Volunteer Week was a huge success and the plan is to roll the opportunity out to further staff members across the Trust.

Volunteering at Harewood

Damian Clements, Head of Finance; “This was a great initiative. I had a fantastic experience with Skipper Tim. It was lovely to spend a couple of hours seeing what he gets up to on his rounds and there’s even more to it than I realised.”

Comment from Jules Caton, Interim Marketing Advisor; “I found it a real privilege to spend the time feeding chickens, meeting goats and collecting eggs and I very much enjoyed meeting the team who were working in the Walled Garden. This was a great experience.”

To keep up to date with news and behind the scenes from the Harewood House Trust, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2018

A big thank you to all of our visitors and members who supported us in 2017!

We are very much looking forward to 2018 and this year, we will be doing things a little bit differently, with a changing theme for every season.

In the Spring, we will be celebrating the 300th anniversary of Chippendale’s birth. Through a series of exhibitions, events and activities, Designer, Maker, Decorator offers a new way of looking at Chippendale’s work and a story unique to Harewood. Chippendale was born just 7 miles down the road from Harewood in the town of Otley and in 1767, he received the largest commission of his career, to furnish the newly built Harewood House. The season will also include a contemporary response to Chippendale from artist Geraldine Pilgrim, with both internal and external installations.

Throughout the Summer, we will be working in creative partnership with Lord Whitney, looking at life at Harewood at the end of the First World War. Seeds of Hope will explore the life and experiences of the local community and the people who lived and worked at Harewood during this period. Featuring crops, livestock and exhibits that will take visitors back in time, we will create a picture of the Walled Garden as it was in 1918.

Towards the end of the year, our thoughts will turn to artisans, designers and the contemporary with exhibitions, installations and events that celebrate craft.

Throughout the year, we will also have an exciting range of external events taking place, from our ever-popular annual Great British Food Festival and Rolls Royce Rally, to Classic Ibiza – a new, family friendly addition to our events programme.
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Look out for more details and a full programme coming shortly. We look forward to welcoming our visitors and members for this exciting year ahead when we re-open on Friday 23rd March.

Harewood Launches New Frank Walter Exhibition

Visit Harewood House in Yorkshire to see Frank Walter exhibition

Harewood House Trust is delighted to exhibit 63 paintings by the Caribbean artist Frank Walter (1926-2009). These works have never been seen together in England before.  The majority are landscapes, including many of trees purposely selected to resonate with Harewood’s Capability Brown landscape. Apparently simple, they beautifully depict real and imaginary vistas which speak with an unmistakable visionary voice.

Frank Walter (Francis Archibald Wentworth Walter), self-styled 7th Prince of the West Indies, Lord of Follies and the Ding-a-Ding Nook, was born in Antigua in 1926. Walter was hugely talented as an artist and writer, although somewhat flawed by an obsession with his ancestral lineage which he believed linked him with the aristocratic families of Europe including Charles II (through his mistress Lucy Walter), Franz Joseph of Austria and the Dukes of Buccleuch.

His fragile mental state became more apparent and for the last 25 years of his life, Walter removed himself from society, living in an isolated shack on an Antiguan hillside, painting on all sorts of material including discarded Polaroid boxes and LP covers.

His rich legacy includes several hundred paintings and carvings, as well as 25,000 pages of his thoughts on every conceivable subject including history, philosophy, religion and science.

In 1958, he travelled to Leeds (probably Chapeltown from the description) working in poorly paid part-time jobs – feather packer, a lamp manufacturer, boot factory, floor sweeper. He was pretty much starving, which may account for some of his almost hallucinatory writing. He was researching his real and imaginary genealogy in Leeds central Library.

In 1960, he went to Scotland which had a great effect on him as he felt so strongly connected to the country through his family legacy.

Flamboyant Trees has been made possible with support from the Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh who have championed the artist’s work in the UK and internationally. Richard Ingleby, Director of the Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh said:

“It is terrific to see this exhibition of Frank Walter’s paintings at Harewood House and I suspect that the delusions of grandeur from which he suffered would have encouraged him to see it as an appropriate setting. The view out across fields from the Terrace at Harewood seems especially fitting for an exhibition that includes so many of Walter’s paintings of trees, some of which were inspired by the time that he spent in Yorkshire and Scotland in the 1950s, before returning to the Caribbean and a life of self imposed isolation. These gloriously fresh and directly painted landscapes have an anthropomorphic quality – as if he were painting his friends, or recording a kind of companionship still offered by trees when people had long since let him down.”

Nicola Stephenson, Exhibitions and Projects Producer at Harewood House Trust said:

“Harewood is particularly delighted to exhibit a selection of paintings by Frank Walter this summer when Leeds is also celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Leeds Carnival and the contribution of the Caribbean community to our wider cultural life. Walter was a complex man – an artist, a writer and philosopher; since his death in 2009 there has been a growing recognition of his work.”

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Frank Walter’s work is now highly sought after by collectors and this year, marks Antigua and Barbuda’s inaugural representation at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia with an exhibition of Walter’s paintings, sculpture, audio recordings and writing.

Read more about the exhibition here.

The Chinese State Circus – “DYNASTY”

The internationally acclaimed Chinese State Circus returns to the UK in 2016 by returning to its cultural roots in an innovatively spectacular new production – “DYNASTY”. The Big Top is coming to Harewood House, Leeds from 27th – 30th Oct.

Circus at Harewood House, Leeds

Breathtaking in its simplicity, “DYNASTY” projects into a contemporary setting an art form that has thrilled audiences for more than 2,000 years, where low-tech everyday objects are transformed into hi-tech acrobatic equipment.  Hurtling porcelain jars… dynamically spinning plates… balancing upon gigantic pyramids of tables and chairs framed by the delicate strands of silk supporting cascading aerialists.

Stunning world class Chinese acrobats, aerial artistes and jugglers interact with the super-human physical skills and dexterity of the masters of martial arts – the legendary Shaolin Warriors.

Circus at Harewood House Leeds

The nonstop action from start to awesome finale as thrill follows thrill is set to a soaring musical score accompanied by the rhythmic beats of Chinese percussion.  Incredible acrobatics, that until now could only be created through special digital video effects, are performed live in front of an audience. What seems impossible becomes a reality, earning the Chinese State Circus the accolade “incomparable”.

After a break of five years, this lavishly costumed ground-breaking Big Top production of the Chinese State Circus is set to raise to astounding new levels the standard by which others will be judged.  The history of the Chinese State Circus spans 25 years when it was conceived by Creative Director Phillip Gandey, who became the first Circus Director in Europe to obtain permission from the Chinese Cultural authorities to tour a Big Top production of his own creation performed entirely by Chinese acrobats.

Circus at Harewood House

Phillip has traveled extensively throughout China to watch and select the very best circus artistes who will not only be worthy of continuing the proud and unequaled tradition of acrobatic excellence in the Chinese State Circus, but also be capable of raising  the “incomparable” standards to even higher contemporary heights .

“In our latest production we have returned to the pure and honest perfection in acrobatics upon which our reputation is based,” said Phillip. “We have the world class artistes capable of performing the excellence required. In “DYNASTY” we have created a show with:
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no gimmicks… no fakes… no retakes… quite simply…

the incomparable Chinese State Circus.”