For most families with the luxury of a basement, the extra space is simply used for storage.
But for one young family in Burton Terrace, Beeston, it has become a public art gallery, which houses a handful of short exhibitions supporting Leeds’s burgeoning art scene every year.
Bruce Davies, an artist and receptionist at the Henry Moore Institute, in Leeds, first fulfilled his dream of giving a platform to the region’s creatives back in April 2011 and the Basement Arts Project was born.
The 40-year-old’s basement, which has been closed as a gallery for the winter, has been a blank canvas for 34 upcoming artists including Phillip Gurrey, Kimbal Quist Bumstead and Holly Mulveen.
He told the YEP: “It’s about keeping a little bit of that next generation of artists in Leeds.
“It generates that interest, I think art should be seen as something that is part and parcel of the community we live in.”
He said he hopes within five years the basement can be locked off from the house and become a regularly open gallery run by artists on residencies.
The gallery has now hosted around 10 weird and wonderful events, many of which were funded by Bruce and his wife Deborah themselves, featuring everything from sound and film to paint and print art.
Bruce said: “You can be careful but quite wide-ranging with the people that come round.
“We don’t want the only people to be here to be people who go to all the art openings in the county.”
The events are often advertised through flyers, so only those who reply are told of the venue’s exact location.
This year the gallery is taking part in its biggest project yet, with Bruce partly behind the Divided We Fall festival in March, funded by Leeds Inspired, which is all about art themed on cooperation and collaboration.
Around 15 events featuring works from over 100 people have so far been confirmed at galleries, coffee shops and houses across the city.
Visit: www.basementartsproject.wordpress.com for details.