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Kirkstall Art Trail: What does culture mean to you?

Created by Zoe Parker, Lucy Meredith and Jason Hird, Tea & Tolerance is a roaming tea caddy, travelling festivals and events in search of what makes a 21st Century Human. They added questions about culture in Leeds to their teapots at this year’s Kirkstall Art Trail and shared the results here.

What does culture mean to you?
‘It can be a hard question to ask. It’s quite a middle class question. Is there a barrier to answering it? For some people it would be hard to answer.

‘Culture is about expressing yourself, finding ways to express the world as you see it. And of course, it means: entertainment.’

‘It’s your way of looking at the world and what you think of it’

‘I think it takes time to settle into a place and find things out. Then you can feel at home.’

David Starley at Kirkstall Abbey for Kirkstall Art Trail
David Starley at Kirkstall Abbey for Kirkstall Art Trail

What makes you proud about Leeds?
‘The mix of green space, industrial space and suburbs.’ Everytime anyone comes to Leeds I take them to Roundhay Park. It’s on my doorstep. I feel a sense of ownership. Come and see this, look, it’s right on my doorstep!’

‘I feel at home here. It’s so multi-cultured and that in part down to the university students.’

‘Leeds is so DIY. They don’t wait for funding, they just do it!’

‘People come together and make things happen. They create spaces for each other and do things. LS14 for example and also my friend Sarah Statham. also the green spaces are great!’

What would you change about Leeds?
‘Less traffic and better parking!’

‘Wild swimming in the canal.’

‘We need to make more of a fuss about our architecture. It’s so varied!’

‘I’m worried about losing the market. Are we pricing people out of that area? Out of the city centre? That whole are is neglected but it is affordable.’

What would you do to make Leeds better?
‘Make it more accessible for disabled people.’

What makes you feel good?
‘Being creative. Using my hands seeing what I’ve made.’

How would you describe Leeds to someone else?
‘Lots of art in the city, lots of culture. It’s very diverse due to the university and who studies here.’

‘You can be out in the dales so easily. And to London on a great trainline.’

‘I feel safe on the streets here.’

Woodcraft Folk at Krikstall Art Trail
Woodcraft Folk at Krikstall Art Trail

What are you grateful for?
‘For this art trail, allowing me to come to Leeds. I’m really thinking of moving here. it’s helped me to meet some lovely people. There’s no pretentiousness here.’ (This person got in touch after to say this helped her to make a decision to move to Leeds.)


You can read the full write up on the Tea and Tolerance blog.

Kirkstall Art Trail is a two day event which takes place every summer shining a light on local artists and creative organisations.

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