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Hungary for art in Armley!

By Paul Abraham,

A unique and thought-provoking exhibition by an artist originally from Hungary has opened at the welcoming and wonderful Christ Church in Upper Armley and will run until Sunday, 2 October 2022.

The opening night was well attended and enjoyed by people of all ages and of all faiths.

Leon Varga is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Hungary in 1976. Leon is a graduate of Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest and has lived and worked in the UK for almost two decades now, predominantly in Leeds.

The exhibition, The Way Up Is Down, consists of three full-size working seesaws. Each one is fitted with seats repurposed from old ecclesiastical furniture and placed in relationship with three pairs of reclaimed long case clocks.

Check out Paul Abraham’s slideshow of photos from the launch below:

Leon explained that the artwork is made for interaction and immersion, and in engaging with it we are invited to think about the social hierarchies of space and to reflect upon the ways that the past two years have re-shaped our understanding of time.  

Also present in the work are themes of absence and loss and the ways in which family can both connect us to the past and launch us into our futures while also allowing us to remember those who are no longer here with us.

The Way Up Is Down asks us to sit with these contradictions, and to think about where we find balance.

The work is constructed using both fabricated and reclaimed materials. The wooden seats were recovered from a disused church in Dewsbury, and the six long case timepieces – grandfather, grandmother, and grand-daughter clocks – all come from the homes of people who died during the pandemic.  

Meanwhile the rigid steel of the seesaw beams, enforce a strict fixed distance between their users.

The exhibition supported by the dynamic and forward-thinking LCI (Leeds Church Institute) who provided a small bursary to help Leon with his project will be open to the public on the following times:

  • Tuesday 27 September from 5pm to 7pm
  • Thursday 29 September from 12pm to 2pm
  • Friday 30 September from 12pm to 2pm
  • Saturday 1 October from 12pm to 2pm
  • Sunday 2 October 12pm to 2pm

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