Kirkstall Arts Trail


Kirkstall Art Trail is a celebration of art in the local community, featuring local artists and creative organisations that ran on 15th&16th July 2016.  

The sun was bright and the background of Kirkstall Abbey breath-taking…

Here is what artists Rachel Fullegar, Ellie Harrison and everyone who engaged with the Tea Trolley had to say in the sunshine over this weekend. As well asking the tea and tolerance questions, they were also asking people about Leeds and ‘Culture’ – finding out what we love about where we live and what makes our lives meaningful in terms of what we experience and identify with.

What makes you proud about Leeds?

‘The mix of green space, industrial space and suburbs.’ Everytime anyone comes to Leeds I take them to Roundhay Park. It’s on my doorstep. I feel a sense of ownership. Come and see this, look, it’s right on my doorstep!’

‘I feel at home here. It’s so multi-cultured and that in part down to the university students.’

‘Leeds is so DIY. They don’t wait for funding, they just do it!’

‘People come together and make things happen. They create spaces for each other and do things. LS14 for example and also my friend Sarah Statham. also the green spaces are great!’

What would you change about Leeds?

‘Less traffic and better parking!’

‘Wild swimming in the canal.’

‘We need to make more of a fuss about our architecture. It’s so varied!’

‘I’m worried about losing the market. Are we pricing people out of that area? Out of the city centre? That whole are is neglected but it is affordable.’

What would you do to make Leeds better?

‘Make it more accessible for disabled people.’

What makes you feel good?

‘Being creative. Using my hands seeing what I’ve made.’

‘This view.’

How would you describe Leeds to someone else?

‘Lots of art in the city, lots of culture. It’s very diverse due to the university and who studies here.’

‘You can be out in the dales so easily. And to London on a great trainline.’

‘I feel safe on the streets here.’

 What does culture mean to you?

‘It can be a hard question to ask. It’s quite a middle class question. Is there a barrier to answering it? For some people it would be hard to answer.’

‘Culture is about expressing yourself, finding ways to express the world as you see it. And of course, it means: entertainment.’

‘It’s your way of looking at the world and what you think of it.’

‘I think it takes time to settle into a place and find things out. Then you can feel at home.’

What do you deserve?

‘I think it’s about whether you are liberal or conservative. One view is that that the rich deserve what they have because thy have worked hard for it. The opposing view is that the poor should be helped more by the rich, because really, being rich or poor is a game of luck.’

‘Sometimes it is hard to feel like you can say something about an issue because you aren’t from there, especially when you have a different opinion to your loved ones.’

Can you love someone even if they have different beliefs to you?

A little girl and her dad picked this one. I said, ‘Who do you love? Do you love your daddy?’ and she smiled. I said, ‘Do you disagree with daddy sometimes?’ Here dad laughed and said, ‘No sweets for breakfast!’ So I said, ‘But you still love your daddy?’ and she nodded and smiled.

What does the class system mean to you?

‘You can’t talk about class without the paitriachy. Marxism doesn’t always acknowledge these things.’

‘I must admit, I do like structure and order. It’s a sad day when you are looking at the leader of the opposition as someone who knows what they are doing!’

When would you step in?

‘Probably before I am supposed to!’

Is it fair? ‘No it isn’t. Life is never fair.’

What are you grateful for?

‘For this art trail, allowing me to come to Leeds. I’m really thinking of moving here. it’s helped me to meet some lovely people. There’s no pretentiousness here.’ ( This person got in touch after to say this helped her to make a decision to move to Leeds.)

What is it to love?

‘To love is to lose yourself in happiness.’

Who has influenced you the most?

My mum; she was a character! She was strong because she had to be. 8 kids. She had very strong opinions. By the time she brought me up, she knew ‘the line.’ There was no moving from it. She did a stellar job.’

What is normal?

‘Not me! I think it’s something over there that I don’t want to be. Normal implies safe and boring. We want to have differences, that makes things interesting.’

What do you think about your neighbour?

‘She’s a wonderful, lovely woman. Always friendly.’

What are you afraid of?

‘Oh. That’s answered a question for me actually. What am I afraid of? It’s a sign!’

When is enough, enough?

‘I think it depends on the others around you. How they feel and caring for them.