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‘Put put your arms around Armley’ and contribute to new community gallery

Love Arts – a Leeds arts and mental well-being organisation – is creating a community gallery for Armley all about caring arms and is looking for contributions from local people.

The project is open to people of all ages who live or work in Armley and all forms of artwork and creations around the theme of caring arms are welcome – painting, poetry, photography, textiles and more.

They are also looking for a ‘caring arms’ picture as a design for a number of small mosaics, which will then be created by local people with the support of Seagulls Paint.

Clancy Walker – a writer from Armley – is the ‘creative community connector’ working with Love Arts to co-ordinate the project. She said:

“We’re a caring, diverse and open community here in Armley, so we’re putting together a collection of creative work, all with the theme of ‘arms’. We want this to represent our connections and the importance of contact with others for our mental wellbeing – even if it’s virtual or distanced for a little while longer. 

“We also know lots of people have missed hugs and hugging, so we thought artwork all about arms would be a great way to remind us that there is always someone there to help or support – you only have to look at the many supportive groups we have here to see that in action.”

The closing date for contributions is 27 October and the community gallery will then come to life in locations around Armley, including shop windows, lampposts and in the parks and green spaces of LS12.

Arms Around Armley is one of three new Love Arts Local projects funded by Leeds Community Foundation.

The others are being led by Sharon Burke, head of the James Burke Foundation, in Middleton, and by artist Sandy Holden in Cross Gates & Garforth. The aim is to encourage creative people with experience of mental health issues to make work in their local area. Love Arts has run an arts and well-being festival for many years and is now a year-round project.

Tom Bailey from Love Arts Leeds added:

“Bringing communities together is more important than ever for our mental well-being and we’re very pleased to be running three exciting and creative projects in Leeds this Autumn, and then bringing them together as part of our new online festival Love Arts: Bursting our Bubbles.

“We’re looking forward to receiving the entries for Arms Around Armley as we know people can be creative in many different ways.  It could be a painting or a poem, some knitting or macramé knots, a short story or a sketching, a photograph or a frieze. There are no limits, your creation just has to be based on our theme of caring arms and the only limit from there is your imagination.”

To be part of the project, e-mail a photograph of your creation or mosaic design to Clancy Walker by 27 October 2020 or join the ‘Love Arts Armley’ Facebook group to find out more.

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