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Feature I Love West Leeds Festival Lamppost Gallery

Local lampposts light the way for an unusual exhibition of photographs of Leeds suburbs

Feature: I Love West Leeds Festival Lamppost Gallery

The only time most of us take any notice of the lampposts on our streets is when we absent-mindedly walk straight into one. But, for a few weeks in July, a lucky few lampposts on the main streets in areas around Leeds will be getting a lot more attention from passers by (and not just those taking their dogs for a walk).

The Lamppost Gallery is an innovative art project that has been set up as part of the annual I Love West Leeds festival. Local lampposts in Armley, Bramley, Pudsey, Rodley and Farsley have been used to transform the main shopping streets into unusual outdoor galleries for vibrant and high-quality photographs taken by photographers from the Leeds Flickr community.

The shots have been printed onto laminated foamboard to ensure that they endure the inevitable downpours of a British summer. They will be in place for the entire festival – until 25th July 2010.

Photographers commissioned to work on the project include Stephen Griffin, Jon Mawson, Rob Randerson and Andrew Gilliver. Children from five local primary schools also got involved with the project: they contributed to the exhibition with the help of artist Kevin Hickson and produced work that is being exhibited on lampposts near each school.

Stephen Griffin’s aim was to change the way people view Bramley, where he lives: “I set out to capture Bramley in a way that would look intriguing, beautiful and somewhat at odds with how I had viewed it up to that point. I hope that by sharing these photos others may also see Bramley in a new light.”

Jon Mawson photographed the streets of Farsley and tried to show that the area possesses a distinct sense of identity. “I feel it is important that photographs of community life are shown in the community and hope that the images on display will generate discussion,” he said.

In Rodley, where Rob Randerson took his photographs, life revolves around the historic Leeds-Liverpool Canal, where west Leeds locals stroll, run and commute along its tow path. “In this series of photos shot on medium format film, I have set out to capture some of that life and its backdrop in my typically graphical style of photography,” he said.

Andrew Gilliver admitted that Pudsey was a joy to photograph. “From the bustle of the market and the town centre to the miles walked along Pudsey Beck, there was much to see, and much to photograph. I raised the camera and made pictures of buildings, colours, patterns, shapes and textures; they all appealed in many different ways.”

www.lamppostgallery.co.uk

Posted on Wednesday 21st July 2010
Sophie Haydock

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