Leeds is rapidly becoming one of the pinnacles of Northern art scene, with the city thriving and growing, due to the various events beginning to pop up. All of these are contributing to the emergence of numerous, new, and exciting venues which have begun to spring up, bringing us to Lower Briggate. Nestled between the various bars and restaurants situated on the street is Lamberts Yard, an independent clothing shop selling high end brands and accessories. The top floor of the building holds an exhibition space, normally used for events by labels such as Burberry and Dior, but for the next month will host the popular online group Humans of Leeds, and their new project, Truth/Speak.
Inspired by the ever popular Humans of New York, Humans of Leeds is a self-described social documentation of the multiculturalism and effervescence of our diverse city. For their current exhibition, their photographer ‘Z’, has been working closely with the local charity ‘Angel of Youths’. From various interviews and photographs, around 20 individuals have been chosen to represent the truth/speak theme. All from different backgrounds, genders, and walks of life.
The space holding the project, is a large, bare room, with plain white walls and many windows, allowing natural light to fall in. The framed images are each set out in careful order and pattern, in a clean formation which covers the side and back walls of the space. The simplistic space links with the purity and honesty of the project, with all of these ordinary people relaying memories which have affected their lives.
Two of my favourite images were of two young friends (Joel & Seth in ‘Racism’) and a young woman (Faye in ‘Health Angel’). The latter discusses her health issues caused by dilated cardiomyopathy. She speaks of the implications the condition has had on various members of her family and herself, but how she doesn’t allow it to affect her day to day life with her son and social life. This zeal and tenacity lies at the heart of each message of the project. Perseverance and encouragement. The former, Joel and Seth, two young adolescents, discuss the racial abuse aimed at them because of a football match. All smiles in the picture, the two young boy’s story carries a sadness, from the exposure to racism at such a young age. Their image provides a voice of youth in the current climate of brutality and racially motivated violence which plagues many.
The free exhibition runs until September 30th, and is a brilliant extension of the Humans of Leeds online platform. Providing a commentary of positivity and the differences between people, whilst also portraying the common problems which all can encounter at one time or another. The exhibition is open until six everyday, except Monday, with the friendly staff of the clothes shop allowing you entry to the project. They leave you to peruse at your own leisure and time, linking with the carefree nature of the project itself. A must see event for the last days of summer.
Visit Humans of Leeds on Facebook to find out more!