LEEDS theatre company Slung Low are to open a new art gallery with a difference this month.
Based in Holbeck, South Leeds, the company will be setting up the LS11 Art Gallery to showcase the best paintings, drawings and photographs created and chosen by the people of Holbeck and Beeston.
However, instead of displaying the images on gallery walls, they will be placed on lamp posts for all to see.
Slung Low have asked people from the two Leeds areas to email their image to the theatre company. Slung Low will then arrange to come around and take a copy of it and then print the images on special plastic board for display on lamp posts around Holbeck and Beeston.
Artistic director Alan Lane says: “Our instinct at Slung Low is always to be useful and kind. For the last few weeks that has primarily been about delivering food-bank parcels and helping people get their prescription.
“We know that a hungry soul will find it hard to be creative, to find joy, so the first part of our response has to be making sure that people have their basic material needs met: and we will continue that work until this is all over.
“But as theatre makers we also understand the importance of storytelling and that there are different ways to be useful.”
Alan continues: “LS11 Art Gallery is us telling the story that this area – like all parts of this nation – is full of creativity; that in every house are people who are brilliant, creative and capable of profound beauty. We need to make sure we keep telling that story in these challenging times.
“We’re going to open an art gallery on the lamp posts of LS11 and the people who live here will make what we exhibit. Let’s cheer ourselves up a bit.”
Founded in 2000, Slung Low specialises in making epic productions in non-theatre spaces, often with large community performance companies at their heart.
The company has relocated to The Holbeck in South Leeds, the oldest working men’s club in Britain.
There, they run the bar as a traditional members’ bar and the rest of the building as an open development space for artists and a place where Slung Low invite other companies to present their work that otherwise might not be seen in Leeds. All work presented at The Holbeck is Pay What You Decide.
In Autumn 2018, Slung Low launched a cultural community college based in Holbeck; a place where adults come to learn new cultural skills, from stargazing to South Indian cooking, from carpentry to singing in a choir. All workshops, supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, are provided on a Pay What You Decide basis.
Slung Low are now volunteer guardians of the city wards of Beeston and Holbeck, taking referrals from the Leeds City Council Covid-19 helpline (0113 378 1877).
In turn, with help from the staff of other arts organisations in Leeds, including Opera North, they are delivering food and medicine to the vulnerable, elderly and those in isolation.
How to take part in the LS11 Art Gallery:
IF you live in the Holbeck or Beeston areas of Leeds and want your drawing, painting or photograph to be featured, please take a picture of it.
Then send it to Slung Low by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text on 07704 582137. Slung Low will then arrange to come around to take a copy of it for you.