East Street Arts have set up an exciting new project in the Garnet area of Beeston in Leeds. The Artist House 45 residency was negotiated as a pilot scheme by East Street Arts through Leeds City Council and the project which aims to create opportunities, encourage sustainable projects and house artists is set to last for 5 years. It is a unique project aiming to transform residential areas through bringing together artists both living and working in the community. By embedding artists in the community, it is hoped that local residents will be encouraged to become co-producers of the artists’ projects with an opportunity to unlock and share experiences, learning, resources and relationships.
Lloyd-Wilson are the first artists-in-residence at Artist House 45, with Toby Lloyd and Andrew Wilson both moving down from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to take up the year-long residency.
Artist House 45 is a back to back terraced property with the kitchen in the cellar, living room on ground floor, bedroom on the first floor and a final bedroom in the attic. It has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that envelops me, making me feel at home as Toby and Andrew tell me about the life they are living in the house. Amongst other things, they have joined Beeston Green Patch: a group who are committed to cleaning up the Garnet’s Green patch area. They have made their presence felt in the local community, joining the local campaign to retain green space when the council build new houses on the open space facing the house. The artists have gone door to door, introducing themselves and encouraging neighbours to get involved in the clean-up of the green space. In the long term, the community hope to get the council to review their building plans with a hope of retaining some green space when they build the new houses.
Lloyd-Wilson have already got themselves into the local newspaper. In the past they have produced their own newspapers – but as the local newspaper South Leeds Life is a community newspaper with good circulation, they have a freely available voice piece available to them.
Lloyd-Wilson have a friendly demeanor and I would have happily spent the whole day chatting with them about their plans for the future. Lloyd-Wilson have kicked off Artist House 45 well, and this is clearly an innovative project which is beginning to deliver East Street Arts’ aim to have an artist on every street!