Munro House in Leeds describes itself as being the gateway to Leeds Art Quarter and you can see why. An imposing building built in Leeds industrial heyday it now houses creative studios and regularly puts on shows and exhibitions.
Our interest though is a little more basic and we were drawn to the area after learning that some friends of Inspiring City had left their mark on the building following the successful ‘Human Nature‘ show held at the venue earlier this year.
That show was the second iteration which followed an initial launch of the Human Nature franchise at the Hoxton Gallery last year. It focused on showcasing the work of environmental artists and it’s planned that the exhibition will tour locations around the country with the next stop being Bristol in July. In particular, Human Nature features work from the likes of ATM, Jonesy, Jane Laurie and the chewing gum man, Ben Wilson. All those artists are keen to draw attention to environmental issues close to their heart.
The curator of the show, Charlotte Webster, told us that although the exhibition in Leeds had now finished, there were still some little gems to be found dotted around the nearby streets. Works from all the aforementioned artists and one from herself had remained, it’s just a case of knowing where to look.
“We face huge challenges in how we interact with nature and who better to explore our relationship with the world than artists.” explained Charlotte as she talked about concept behind the show. “Our artists question the very essence of our humanity, explore what drives us to connect to our environment and how we’re responding to nature’s call to adapt to a world of finite resources.”
At Munro House itself a pair of Spix Macaw’s from Jane Laurie (also known as Mutiny ) can be seen. Whilst on the pavement in front of the building, Ben Wilson’s famous chewing gum art, is dotted around. Allegedly one of Jonesy’s bronze sculptures can also be found nearby towards the river but we weren’t able to spot it, he has plenty of paste ups dotted around though. Walk over the canal towards Tetley Brewery Wharf and a 12ft mural of a Linnet drawn by ATM can be seen on Sheaf Street, 10 minutes walk away. Set against an industrial backdrop it’s a particularly striking piece.
Leeds isn’t a city necessarily known for its street art but the pieces remaining from the Human Nature show are certainly worth a view if you’ve got a bit of time to kill and your in the area. The next show from Human Nature will be at the centrespace gallery in Bristol. It will launch on Friday 17 July 2015 and run until Thursday 30 July 2015.
Human Nature ran at ‘The Gallery’ at Munro House from 23 April 2015 to 2 May 2015. The show was curated by Charlotte Webster and featured environmentally inspired artists. Inspiring City visited Munro House on Saturday 27 June 2015.
Jane Laurie – Spix Macaws
Jonesy – Paste ups in various locations
Ben Wilson – Chewing Gum art around Munro House
ATM – Giant Linnet on Sheaf Street