Drawings on a postcard please - The Tetley gallery in Leeds is searching for your 'Superhero'

One of the city's most prominent arts and cultural venues has launched a project that will see work from budding artists from all over Leeds exhibited on its historic walls.

By Emma Ryan
Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:45 am

The Tetley is on a mission to celebrate the heroic acts that make our city the wonderful place it is - especially over the last months.

The gallery and event space is asking people who have been inspired or helped by their very own "hero" to depict and share the story in any way they choose.

It could be a photo, painting, video, or piece of writing and they will be celebrated as part of The Tetley's upcoming 'Superheroes of Leeds' exhibition, which, will be on display when the gallery has re-opened following lifting of government restrictions.

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The Tetley.

The 'superhero' could be anyone and everyone from an NHS surgeon to a parent who has nailed the home-schooling, to the local corner shop that stayed open to make sure local people were stocked up on food and essentials.

The exhibition is open to absolutely everyone to enter. The Tetley has stressed that you don't have to be a professional artist and can literally send your piece on the back of a postcard.

Toby Kilby-Pollard is a Programme Coordinator at The Tetley.

He said: "We have not had much chance to interact with members of the public, everything has been digital or doing the best with what you can, so the idea of the project is so start with the communities and recognise the achievements of people and a lot of that is everyday stuff."

James with two of the cards he created that were sold at The Tetley over Christmas and will feature in the Superheroes project.

Some of the nominations so far have included a digital image of Leeds United manager Marco Bielsa and other nominations have come from an eight year old boy whose 'Superhero' is his five year-old friend Henry. James Tortice has drawn cards that were sold via The Tetley and all proceeds went to a fundraising campaign that is trying to make £160,000 to help Henry.

Henry has high-risk neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer that has a 40-50 per cent chance of long-term survival at diagnosis and his parents are trying to raise the money so that he can receive a clinical trial in New York that aims to stop his neuroblastoma from coming back.

The Tetley wants submissions - put forward by email or instagram or in person - from all walks of city life and is also on a separate mission to take art and culture to communities and dispel the myth that "art is only for certain people".

The Yorkshire Evening Post has also teamed up Leeds 2023 to showcase culture and creativity across the city. The idea is that from dance to design, art to architecture, poetry to pop, sculpture to sport, grassroots community theatre to performances on our world class stages, Leeds 2023 will unlock talent and creative opportunities for people from every district in the city.

Budding young artist, eight year old James Tortice with another piece of his work.

This feature on The Tetley comes as part of that Hello Leeds campaign.

Mr Kilby-Pollard added: "Hopefully it can be as broad as the communities that are taking part. The nominations already are really reflective of what makes Leeds great. For the people that have never been to The Tetley, it is a way to introduce them to what we do, in a way that is really accessible.

"We are in the process of planning an outreach programme with schools and communities to develop pieces of work. It is growing over spring and summer and we really don't know where it will end up. It started with 'let's see how people take to it' and they have used it as a tool to reflect on feats and achievements and it feels like a really appropriate way to remember the acts of people and the way that people have lived their lives.

"There is a mis-conception that galleries and art are for a certain sort of person. Like all galleries, we are keen when we re-open to see people in person and want to develop relationships in communities that is not people coming to us, but us coming to them. Art is not only in a gallery, it is in kids bedrooms it is everywhere."

How to submit?

Instagram - #superheroesofleeds @the_tetley

In person - The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ