Destruction to Construction: A new exhibition by Curation Practices student

28 November 2019

MA Curation Practices student Helen Dryden has curated an exhibition of works by artist Joe Bean, documenting the renovation of Headingley Stadium.

Having met Joe through mutual links with the urban sketching community, Helen approached him to see if he would be interested in working together on a project the story of Headingley's sporting heritage. Destruction to Construction resulted in an exhibition of Joe’s prints at Coffee on the Crescent and an accompanying Sketch Walk where Helen and Joe led 12 participants on a walk through Headingley, drawing and talking on the way.

Image: Joe Bean installing his prints at coffee on the crescent. Photo by Helen Dryden 2019

We asked Helen what the project meant to her:

“This project was important to me because as well as showcasing Joe's brilliant work, I learned ways to connect people to heritage through art, which will help me in future curatorial practice.

I have really enjoyed working with everyone involved with Destruction to Construction and now I'm looking forward to planning my next project which is likely to be in the form of a zine/social media project about Kirkstall.”

Image: Helen Dryden and Joe Bean. Photo by Tim Linley of Coffee on the Crescent 2019.

Including the Sketch Walk as part of the exhibition was particularly important to Helen who also runs an artist networking and urban sketching group that meet monthly in various West Yorkshire locations. The walk with Helen and Joe encouraged people to try urban sketching as a way of engaging with the world, and gave local people the opportunity to share stories about the area. Find out more about the regular group here:

Joe Bean told us:

"When Helen first suggested the exhibition I was intrigued and excited. I wondered if an exhibition of construction sketches would have much appeal and also where would be a suitable venue. Helen re-assured me on the first point and found a great venue in Coffee on the Crescent.

Planning the exhibition, selecting the images and the hanging was a team effort and fortunately we were on the same wavelength. I designed the promotional leaflets and we both used our social media accounts to promote the exhibition. All in all the whole experience was a positive and successful one."

Image: Artwork by Joe Bean