Artists poised to take over Leeds during two-week festival

Artist Andrew Towse with part of 'The Dark Light' which will be on display at Left Bank Leeds.
Artist Andrew Towse with part of 'The Dark Light' which will be on display at Left Bank Leeds.
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Venues across Leeds are to be taken over by work from local artists as an arts festival heads to the city.

‘Beyond’ is a free arts festival that celebrates work made by artists with learning disabilities in Leeds, and the range of organisations that support them.

This year’s event runs from Thursday, June 9 until Friday, June 24.

Venues across the city will be showcasing the wealth of visual art, dance, music and film created by the many brilliant Leeds artists with learning disabilities.

The festival will also highlight the diverse range of organisations – from small charities to major international arts organisations - who support artists with learning disabilities in their ambitions.

More than 20 events in 14 different venues will take place across the two-week festival.

Liam Hirst, a 21-year-old artist with learning disabilities, said: “I’ve been involved with Purple Patch, Buzz and Pyramid of Arts since I was 13.

“Despite struggling at college I have now exhibited art in a foreign country.

“This kind of work has turned my life around, and could do for so many others.”

James Hill is director of Pyramid of Arts, which will see some of its members’ work exhibited during the fortnight of the festival.

He said: “Many people know that Leeds is a national leader in dance, opera and in visual art.

“What they might not know is that Leeds is one of the best cities in Europe at supporting people with learning disabilities who want to explore and develop their creativity.

“This kind of investment from outside of the city proves how much people value the remarkable work being produced.

“‘Beyond’ is your opportunity to learn about and enjoy this wealth of art.”

For event details, times and locations, visit www.beyondarts.co.uk.

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