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PLAYGROUND: A new and unusual exhibition space for Leeds’ Communities.

As part of their MA Curation Practice course at Leeds Arts University, James, Director here at Graft, has been looking into ways of opening up curated exhibitions through community engagement.

Playground is a travelling interdisciplinary exhibition space, aimed at tackling important social issues by connecting emerging artists, performers, writers and creatives of all backgrounds with each other, business, organisations and communities in Leeds, breaking down barriers in accessing arts and culture.

Playground is a museum, gallery and stage, it can be anything, anytime and anywhere. Mixing art, photography, music, performance, dance, spoken word and all other creative disciplines together, Playground will always give something new and unusual no matter where it is, what it’s exploring or who comes to visit and play.

Based on anti-curatorial practices, Playground is a step away from white-cube exhibition spaces that are inaccessible and imposing. Instead, Playground encourages playfulness, interaction and self-led discoveries, improving access to arts and culture for all.

Funding has been secured from Leeds Community Fund to run a launch event surrounding Mental Health awareness, working with creative practitioners from around Leeds to share their stories. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic and lockdown, this event has been postponed.

Instead, James has responded to the Corvid-19 crisis by creating a small-scale Playground, which will give residents in Armley the chance to explore the history of its community, as well as the incredible work being done within it. Planning is under way for the installation, and details on getting involved will be posted in the near future.

“This Playground will be a simple addition to people’s walks and exercise during the lockdown and future months of social distancing ahead, but will help make them feel connected to their community, introduce them to new possibilities and provide some much needed entertainment.”

James Gray, Director/Secretary 2020/21

The future possibilities for Playground are endless, providing much needed opportunities to connect us all together, tackling important social issues in unusual and exciting ways.

If you have an idea for Playground or would like to get involved, be sure to follow Graft on Facebook and Twitter, and follow @playgroundleeds on Instagram. Alternatively, drop us an email or visit the contact page from the menu above.


Published by graftcollaborativecic

Graft Collaborative is a non-profit Community Interest Company established to support emerging creative practitioners from a range of artistic and performative disciplines through the development of engaging projects involving Leeds-based communities to highlight and engage residents with important social issues. This will be achieved by creating and developing opportunities for communities to engage and participate in artistic projects from emerging artistic and performative practitioners.

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