Extended Diploma students open exhibition in Leeds’ historic Kirkgate Market

24 June 2020

As non-essential shops reopened in Leeds city centre last week and many of Leeds Kirkgate Market's stallholders lifted their shutters for the first time since March, fine art work by students from Leeds Arts University Extended Diploma in Art & Design went on display at the famous market.

Image: Sophie Maloney, Extended Diploma in Art & Design, 2020

An exhibition of work inspired by the market, where Marks & Spencer started as a penny bazaar, by the level 2 students had been due to launch in March but was delayed due to lockdown. It will now be open all summer.

The students made several research visits to the market and developed their work in response to its heritage and the unique atmosphere of what is one of Leeds’ most iconic spaces. They incorporated their thoughts on the role art can play in creating a more dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community, as well as the faces and features of the market.

Image: Extended Diploma in Art & Design exhibition at Leeds Kirkgate Market, 2020

Leeds Market Service said: "We were thrilled to be approached by Leeds Arts University to invite students to Leeds Kirkgate Market so they could take inspiration for their final project. It’s fantastic that the artwork is now on display at the market and we are receiving positive feedback from customers and traders. It was interesting to see the student’s perspective of the market and how they developed their works into some exciting and unique pieces of art." 

The work in the exhibition showcases the students’ proposals for site-specific work at the market, including installation, sculpture, painting, drawing, murals, performance, film and socially engaged work.

Image: Tilly Binks, Extended Diploma in Art & Design, 2020

The Leeds Arts University Extended Diploma exhibition continues at Leeds Kirkgate Market, Vicar Lane, Leeds City Centre LS2 7HY, throughout summer 2020.