Newsletter | July 2018
And so, as we pass the halfway mark of the year we can look forward to the last three exhibitions of the year and reflect on that which has gone before.
BasementArtsProject, as a concept, has been formulated over a number of years around two core ideas: firstly the idea that people can live and develop their practice as artists in the city of Leeds whilst working anywhere in the world. Secondly, that the artistic endeavors and their outcomes, be it exhibitions, events, workshops etcetera can be accessed by anyone, from any background. Broadly speaking, across the years we have achieved this in a number of ways whether it be the first solo shows of recent graduates, exhibitions by established artists, projects within the local community, our work with undergraduates from the city’s educational establishments or our collaborative projects with other organisations, venues and collectives; not just from Leeds but also other parts of the world. This year our programme has involved an equal number of projects by returning artists, with whom we have developed a long-standing relationship, alongside a number of projects by new artists with whom we have never worked before.
One of the great luxuries of running a venue with a domestic and highly personable outlook is the possibility of revisiting artists work and seeing how it has developed across the years. It is this that has also allowed us to pursue our other main objective concerning accessibility and community. Through the development of a diverse programme of activity, our opening nights and community events such as the ‘Lunchtime Conversation’ series have created a lively forum for conversation, debate and ultimately friendship between people from not just the art scene, but the local community too. This year we have purposely kept the summer months of July and August free in order to focus on another aspect of our engagement programme. For the last twelve months I have been working on a project with a number of children aged 3 - 8 in the South Leeds area through St Luke’s Church. In July we will be marking the culmination of this year long project with an exhibition, at BasementArtsProject selecting some of the work produced by the group. You are welcome to join us for this on the afternoon of Thursday 2nd August 1 - 5pm > a kiddie friendly preview time for our lower end audience age group.
Also during the summer months I will be preparing the way for a new project that I shall be working on as an artist with Paul Digby, a previous exhibitor at BasementArtsProject, and Jon Turner. The project, made possible with a grant from Leeds Inspired, will be located at three community centres in different areas of Leeds and will look at ‘What Leeds means to people’ through the lens of photography via Turner, the pencil of Digby (drawing) and text and audio –myself. More on this later in the year as the project progresses.
The BasementArtsProject exhibition programme will pick up again in September with . . .
RightNow Studios present BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY Friday 7th December
#BAProgramme2019 Advance Notice (Details tbc)
March Paul Walsh
September Rowan Eastwood, Jack Ginno, Sam Potter & Alistair Woods
December Julie Parkinson
Naomi Gilby: Pleasure
MAP Charity is a pioneering alternative provider in creative education that offers qualifications and first-hand experience to young people at risk of exclusion from mainstream education. With current threats to art education provision a widening skills gap in the creative industries MAP have, for a decade, been providing an invaluable alternative pathway to further education, employment and social mobility for young people.
BasementArtsProject has recently been awarded a grant by Leeds Inspired to realise a project that will see a collaborative sound art work emerge through our engagement with the students of MAP. During Naomi Gilby’s exhibition ‘Pleasure’ there will be a series of workshops in which the artist will be giving the students of MAP her audio work for ‘Pleasure’ as raw material for a remix project. The remixes will be made available to buy in support of MAP’s Fundraiser to buy their home at Hope Foundry, Mabgate. We will keep you informed as this project develops further.
About Hope Foundry
"Our home, Hope Foundry, is a stunning Grade II Listed building with an incredible history as part of Leeds’ proud industrial heritage. Built in 1831, the site was an epicentre of manufacturing in the city with a strong legacy of making, creating and inventing.
Hope Foundry has been our home for ten years, but our lease ends in September 2019. It is likely that the site will be redeveloped into luxury flats, signaling the end of its phenomenal impact on Leeds’ cultural life. We want to buy Hope Foundry, evolving the entirety of the site into a vital creative hub for Leeds. We need to raise £2.4 million to purchase and restore the building, opening its doors with new facilities and spaces for the whole community in 2020.
Purchasing Hope Foundry will enable us to create a kitchen, café , roof-garden, studios, co-working, event, gallery and retail spaces whilst safeguarding the charity’s central provision for young people. The plan is to create a single site with multiple uses, that directly feeds back into the common goal of advancement of future generations, particularly for those with less opportunities to pursue creative paths."
To donate to MAP's fundraiser visit https://mapcharity.org
Over the last seven years Alan Dunn & Martyn Rainford have been working on a collaborative sound art project. The original work began as a short audio piece on Dunn's CD 'A History of Background'. In the years since it has been presented as a room sized installation at BasementArtsProject, remixed by Scanner and Dr Cyclops, sent to Liverpool and the USA as a part of group projects, remixed live by Jack Wolff, and finally, featuring contributions from Laure Ferraris, was given to Joe McKechnie (Shimmer Twin) at the discs final UK broadcast as part of A Tale of Two Cities at Depot Art Studios, Manchester. The final remix, by Shimmer Twin, will now wend its way to France for playback as part of Le Jardin des Recherches Musicales, Paris . . .
Breaking the sound barrier | Everybody Look Surprised
Alan Dunn, Martyn Rainford & BasementArtsProject
"This is part 10 of an ongoing project. This is Everybody, Look Surprised by Shimmer Twin, written and recorded by Joe Mckechnie, 2018.
Shimmer Twin is left-handed. The name is derived partly from the folk tale notion that left-handed people kill their twin in the womb. The titleEverybody, Look Surprised comes from the false narrative built into Paul McCartney's recent karaoke visit to Liverpool, reported as truth in the media - people just happened to be in the Philharmonic Pub when the 'spontaneous' gig happened when in fact they had all applied via a PR Company for tickets to see “an unnamed Big Star.”
Everybody, Look Surprised: mob rule and irrational reality TV as components in our current political discourse, phoney preachers/fake news, Springtime For Hitler; taste is a habit, the repetition of something already accepted.
Only two copies of this 12” exist with one being presented at Le JRM (Le Jardin des Recherches Musicales), Paris, 2 September 2018, with thanks to Dinah Bird.
This is the final part of a seven-year project that has included iterations by Dr Cyclops, Scanner, Laure Ferraris and Reg [Jula]. This is cantaudio046. See www.alandunn67.co.uk/breakingend.html."
BasementArtsProject would like to congratulate Dominic Hopkinson on his inclusion in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition currently being held in Venice.
His work is currently on display at the European Cultural Centre, Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, Cannaregio 3659 until 25th Nov 2018
Those of you who visited BasementArtsProject in 2015 and 2016 may remember the work of Dominic Hopkinson: A Harmony of Spheres and A Study of Aperiodic Tiling with special reference to the 3rd dimension. Hopkinson has since spent a year as Artist in Residence in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, continuing his work on aperiodic tiling systems in 2 and 3 dimensions, some of which is now on display in Venice.
For further reading on A Harmony of Spheres visit https://3rd-dimensionpmsa.org.uk/interviews/2015-12-03-a-harmony-of-spheres
As we look forward to the programme for the second half of the year here is a few posts pages and articles relating to the programme for the beginning of the year.
SOHAIL KHAN | MARCH 2018. Almost two years to the day since Sohail Khan presented the first in a series of performance works entitled Unspeakable Acts. Work 1 . Beyond the Pale (things that should have been said and done) Khan returned with another instalment entitled The Way You Are is The Way You Are (The Soft Rains of England) part performance and part retrospective exhibition of twenty-five years of making objects for performance. The exhibition looked at his life as an artist and that of a second generation person of mixed race German and Asian heritage working in the UK. To read more about this exhibition / performance visit
SHARON MOSSBECK | APRIL 2018. April was a month of two projects and the beginning of a twin city project that lasted throughout May and into early June. The first of these was Forgotten Spaces by Sharon Mossbeck in which the artist produced a series of dungeon, cell and oubliette blueprints in cross-stitch form. The painstaking work on five pieces, presented in a purposely restricted Basement environment, mimicked the nature of the spaces depicted; claustrophobic and tortuous with each one representing about three months worth of work. The act of reproducing something that could be done very quickly and easily in such an arduous manner, could be seen as analogous to the religious penance which at times led to incarceration in these chambers back in Medieval Europe. As with Khan's exhibition we had an almost sold out guest list for the Lunchtime Conversation, now a regular event for exhibitions here, in which everybody who signs up gets a free cooked lunch and a tour of the exhibition with the artist. There is always something very satisfying about the freewheeling nature of the conversations as they begin with home life or politics, kitchen table chit chat, before delving into some aspect of life and art that has emerged through discussion around the exhibition. To read more about this exhibition visit
A CITY OF TWO TALES | APRIL 2018. The month of April was split between installing Sharon Mossbeck's exhibition here at BasementArtsProject, and diving back and forth to Manchester to install an exhibition of five Leeds artists work at Depot Art Studios. Formed in 2016 by artists, and graduates of Leeds Beckett University: Rowan Eastwood, Jack Ginno, Sam Potter and Alistair Woods, BasementArtsProject has fostered a deeper lasting connection with the studio resulting in a collaborative pairing over two months. April saw the work of Paul Digby, Alan Dunn & Martyn Rainford w/ Jack Wolff & Laure Ferraris, PIppa Eason, Adam Glatherine and Ryan Riddington, selected by BasementArtsProject and curated by, and presented at, Depot Art Studios.
More recently the 10th and final version of Breaking the Sound Barrier came into being thanks to the work of Shimmer Twin. (See the Record Store Day Intervention article). The piece is currently being cut to vinyl by Music and Art Production (MAP), based on Mabgate in Leeds, who, as part of what they do, offer a very reasonably priced mastering and record pressing service.To read more about this exhibition visit . . .
A TALE OF TWO CITIES | MAY 2018. After bringing the work of the Leeds artists back from Manchester it was time to jump back into the Basement and prepare the way for the five artists from Manchester selected by Depot Art Studios and curated by BasementArtsProject. May saw a preview night here featuring the work of Michael Branthwaite, Kasumi Dean, Linda Hemmersbach, Kieran Leach and Martha Lyons. The last few years has seen a significant period of development for our respective organisations and this was the next step after last years appearance at Sluice Art Fair in London which featured the work of David Cotton, Alan Dunn & Martyn Rainford, Pippa Eason, Phill Hopkins and Alistair Woods. For images of the exhibition visit
And that is it so far for this year, we hope you will join us again in August to find out more about our work with the children of South Leeds or from September onwards for new exhibitions by Naomi Gilby, Michael Borkowsky and Beyond Photography. Until then, have a good summer . . . .
Bruce Davies | July 2018