Shift @ Leeds Community Project

Fine Art students involved in this year’s degree show, ‘Shift’, took their first opportunity to show work at 6 Grosvenor Mount, Woodhouse, on March 22nd.

The choice of venue was important – Leeds Community Project are currently occupying an ex-University of Leeds Agriculture facility at 6 Grosvenor Mount, which the University are trying to sell to private housing developers for the sum of £600,000.

The space consists of a network of some seven purpose-built glasshouses, beautiful, functional structures that have been allowed to fall into disrepair by the University. A large garden sprawls out from the main buildings, host to several rare plant species, and now host to Leeds Community Project, an association of passionate locals and students keen to retain this unique property for use by the community. In a city that recorded 4,747 long-term empty homes in 2014, more private housing is not what Leeds needs. Continue reading “Shift @ Leeds Community Project”

Is the future bleak for art education and funding?

Why is it generally considered that higher art education lies outside of vocational aspirations when we still feel a huge amount of pride for our creative industries? Why is it that when I state that I am studying ‘fine art’ it is met with a sea of sighs, rolling eyes and a collective ‘what are you going to do with that then?’ I do not believe that I am studying a valueless degree and neither do thousands of students choosing to study arts degrees throughout the country.

The arts are suffering from not only a lack of funding but also an increasing lack of confidence. There are those who see art as an added extra, the sprinkles on a cake, and not as a fundamental value of society. Without art and culture to shape the world what do we really have? We know that people have been making and appreciating art for 40,000 years dating back to the earliest cave paintings. In the United Kingdom we are very fortunate to have a wealth of art and artefacts on display in our museums and galleries but this should not allow the government to take a backseat in terms of funding new artists and creativity. Continue reading “Is the future bleak for art education and funding?”