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Call for creative proposals for Shop at Leeds Market Week

April 6, 2011

The Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market are hosting a Shop at Leeds Market Week from the 3rd-6th May, culminating on Saturday 7thMay. This event has been thought up by a group of passionate, committed people who want to help develop and revive Leeds Market – using its beautiful buildings, its wonderful people, and fantastic produce to best effect in restoring its place as the jewel in Leeds’ crown.

Shop at Leeds Market Day is an opportunity to promote Leeds Market as a cost-effective, ethical, environmentally friendly and fantastic, diverse public space to shop for quality food, household and other products. We want people who’ve never set foot in the market to come in, join in, and experience the market itself! We want to show that you could effectively do all your shopping in Leeds Kirkgate Market while re-establishing human links and supporting the local economy.

We’re looking for creative projects and ideas for activities to go on during the week and on the Saturday itself. They need to address the market in an exciting and creative way – but what you do is up to you! We want to restore dialogue about the market, encourage people to take part in its survival and revival, and establish a new group of people who shop there alongside its existing customers. As we are a voluntary group, and everyone’s strapped for cash anyway, there’s no money in this: but since when has it been about that anyway?

Ideally your projects should be:

  • Interesting and encourage conversations about the market space and concept
  • Work within the space of the market (indoors and/or outdoors)
  • Respond, react, and listen to the market experience
  • Achievable (at least the starting points) within a week or shorter period

This isn’t just a project for visual artists, but anyone – poet, writer, blogger, photographer, performing artist, dancer, sculptor, baker, singer, designer, textile artist, social media lover, dreamer, wishful thinker…anyone! Some ideas we’ve had, and would like people to fulfil, are:

  • Mini pop up photography exhibition
  • Moving street theatre around the market
  • On site scene painters – think the new Hogarth
  • Musicians and dancers reinventing the space
  • Creative writing on dreams and visions of the market
  • Cartographers mapping personal histories of the market
  • Video and audio blogging through the week and day itself

If you would like to be involved and have an idea for a project, please email, making the subject line of your email ‘Creative Proposal for FOLKM’.

Or, you can comment on our blog at: or follow us on Twitter and drop us a line!  We can only accept a limited number of projects for this event (due to physical and material constraints) so the sooner you get the proposal in, the better! Our nominal final deadline is the 22nd April.

UPDATE Forgot to mention that we will be having physical space within the market: most likely a small unit that will be used as a base hub, and also exhibition area. So there’s somewhere to park yourself if you have a sited work!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 12:08 pm

    I am a visual artist living, studying (and used to be working in Kirkgate Market (as a fish monger)). I received am email via LVAF and want to know if my work could be incorporated into your project? Coincidentally I am working on a conceptual sculpture in Leeds College of Art to do with the market trade. I have a image on my website of the piece in a development (first click into ‘left brain’ then it is the piece titled Death of the Tradesmen) so if it does have relevance then please get back to me.

    Kind Regards Maxwell

    • April 6, 2011 12:29 pm

      Hi Maxwell

      Thank you so much for responding so quickly to our call out! As we run as a group/on a committee basis, it would be great if you could send us a short email (including pictures if you’d like) of what you would like to do during Shop at Leeds Market Week: whether this be reinstalling your sculpture in the market, developing a new piece of work to react to the life of the market in that week, or whatever you would like. This email can then be circulated to all our members and discussed. Email is (Did try to email you so may have gone through to your email address – not sure!)

      We will aim to get back to you with our ideas and response as soon as possible – personally (I had a quick browse around your site) I think your work could be a great conversation area and maybe spark some good debates from the academic parts of our creative endeavour.

      Best regards
      Eleanor Snare
      On behalf of Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market


  1. Shop at Leeds Market Week blog and updates « Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market

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