Leeds is one of my has always been one of my favourite cities, I always wanted to live there since I was a child so I was understandably excited when I found out the August Exposure Leeds gathering was an outing in the city and this was one I was surely not going to miss!
Although I knew there would be some sort of challenge and that the subject was Home Tourism I wasn’t sure what or where we would be going for the next three hours but I like a challenge so I was up for whatever Jon had up his sleeve and after the Midsummer Madness I knew it would be interesting.
After the usual announcements Jon gave us a brief on the evening and set the challenges. We were split into teams with a team leader – whoever was the bravest! The challenges were to visit a number of designated areas in the city with two themes, any medium could be used written, sketched or photography maybe even a bit of poetry if you felt like it, but all images etc must be taken before 9pm that evening, not looking for the best work but treating the City like you’re a tourist stepping foot in it for the first time, I was already thinking that Home Tourism is going to be fun!
Our areas were Bridgewater Place, St Pauls House, Kirkgate Market, City Varieties, the Victoria Quarter and the Henri Moore Institute and themes Street Furniture and Doorways. So off we went in our little teams to the first of our destinations and after a short deliberation within our five-strong group we decided on a route we would follow to get to our final resting place, the pub.
Deciding to visit St Pauls House first we immediately started to notice things we never had before, interesting architecture and curious looking gargoyles looking down on us that many of us had overlooked in the past going about our busy lives. Rather than just following the themes we had been given we all opted to take snaps of other interesting things we found on the way just like, well, tourists!
Arriving at our first port of call we scattered around the building all of us looking for different angles and seeing different things, as if seeing old things through fresh eyes and finding new inspiration working our way around the city taking the time to take it all in. Our next stop was Bridgewater Place and then Kirkgate Market both of which have become iconic buildings in Leeds and certainly well known for their interesting architecture.
For me the places we were given where some of my favourite places in the city especially the Victoria Quarter with its beautiful glass roof, marble floors and calming water features and we were in for a nice surprise when the security guard put the lights on for is in the adjacent Thornton Arcade. Unfortunately at this point it started to rain but that didn’t deter us as we where near the end of our journey and continued on to the City Varieties and finally Henri Moore Institute.
As the evening drew to a close I came to the realisation that there is so much more in this and any City you live in, for no matter how long always has something to offer which you haven’t seen or noticed before and for me my Home Tourism experience in my City has certainly only just begun. its interesting to see what you can find if you take a little time to take in the sights right on your doorstep! Hopefully we can encourage more people to take become Home Tourists.
Along with the other participants in August’s ‘Shoot&Social’, Clare’s work will be appearing in the ‘Unguide to the City Centre of Leeds‘. But, for now, you can visit her website for more.
All images © Clare Bell. All rights reserved.