Pyramid is 30!

Pyramid is 30!

This Autumn Pyramid will be celebrating its 30th Birthday with an exciting programme of exhibitions, performances, events and parties by fantastic artists with learning disabilities.

For thirty years Pyramid has supported people with learning difficulties from all backgrounds to discover the arts, develop their own creative practice as an artist and campaigned tirelessly to disrupt the institutional barriers that prevent its artists from enjoying the same access to work spaces, studios, galleries and audiences that are afforded to other artists.

Pyramid is also celebrating this major milestone by looking to the futre, recognising that we can always do more to raise the profile of brilliant work with artists with learning disabilities in Leeds, so we are marking our 30th by announcing the intention to build a new HQ in 2024. This will be the most exciting contemporary arts centre in the north and will be run by artists with learning disabilities. We need your help to reach these ambitions. You can find out how to support our fundraising effots and to be part of this change, by clicking here.

Birthday Party! Archive Leeds, Kirkstall Road, LS3 1HD, Thursday 17th October 5.30pm – late.

Your chance to support Pyramid’s ambitions by attending this fund-raising party. Pay as you feel for a ticket, and take part in an art auction as well as enjoying food, drinks, music, performance, art auctions, meet the artists. All ticket sales and donations will go to our HQ Fund.

Solo exhibition by Ria at Swarthmore Education Centre Café, September 9th – 19th.

To mark the 110th anniversary of Swarthmore and the 30th anniversary of Pyramid Ria (who attends both) has been commissioned to produce a postcard, poster and exhibition.

Light Night, at Leeds Art Gallery, October 11th.

The first ever piece of artwork produced by the Arts Club at Meanwood Park Hospital and shown outside the walls of the hospital, was the ‘Pyramid of Light’ which was shown at the City Art Gallery. On Light Night we will be projecting the Pyramid of Light, morphing into the new logo, on to the exterior of the Art Gallery.

#Pyramid30 Exhibition, Archive Leeds, Kirkstall Road, LS3 1HD, October 13th – 18th.

Pyramid will take over this huge and high quality new cultural space in Leeds for a week, showing past work as well as amazing new work created by all of our groups and individuals artists in response to our history, and to the 30th birthday.

Publication launch – BEYOND – Artists with Learning Disabilities Taking the Lead, Archive Leeds, Tuesday 15th October, 3 – 5pm.

A ground-breaking new boxed set of books and publications which ask the question – what is it like to be an artists with learning disabilities? What are the challenges and frustrations? What does a city need to do to better support and celebrate the resource that is artists with learning disabilities?

‘Housewarming II’ exhibition at Swarthmore Education Centre, November.

The first ever exhibition created by Pyramid after the closure of Meanwood Park Hospital was called ‘Housewarming’ – where patients shared information with each other about the places where they had been rehoused, across the city. This exhibition will revisit and respond to that early work.

‘Hidden Art / Hidden Artists’ at the Tetley, 25th November – 30th March 2020.

Some of our leading individual artists (Ria, Stephen Harvey, Liam Hirst) will respond to three works which were created within the walls of Meanwood Park Hospital and never shown to the public, until now. Documentation of this work will be shown to the general public for the first time in 30 years, as well as a response to that work by our best young artists.

Armley Mills ‘Leeds to Innovation’ exhibition, November 2019 – October 2021.

Liam Hirst will contribute a piece to this two year exhibition which features Leeds innovators past and present, portraying Pyramid as one of the great innovators in the city, and presenting a new piece of work created using resources at Armley Mills, by Liam, to celebrate Pyramid’s future.
Lumen & Ultimate Thunder at the Tetley, January 2020.

Pyramid was set up in 1989 within the walls of Meanwood Park Hospital as a weekly, volunteer run arts club for the patients who spent their lives there. When the hospital closed in 1996 the Arts Club became ‘Pyramid of Arts’, a project to keep the patients in touch with each other through arts activity. Since then the charity has supported over 1,000 people with learning disabilities to discover and explore the arts, and to make great, high quality art work for a wide public, exhibited work at every major cultural venue in the city, creating large-scale works for events like Light Night, the Tour de Yorkshire and the Cultural Olympiad, and creating three permanent sculptures at Thwaite Mills, Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, and Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills.

James Hill, Director of Pyramid adds: “We are hugely proud of our artists and have supported them to apply for funding, win commissions and create high profile work which has been exhibited across the UK and Europe. Our artists are some of the brightest talents in the UK right now but are often overlooked for gallery shows, new commissions and other opportunities as they require additional support to undertake these projects.

As we look back on thirty years of fantastic art from artists with learning disabilities we’re really excited to reveal plans for our future starting with a programme of events, exhibitions, talks and tours to celebrate our milestone birthday in style and invite new audiences to discover the work of our artists.”

Tickets are available for the charity’s Big Birthday Party on Thursday 18th October in support of the new HQ, which will be an opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of artists past and present, to see performances and to find out about, and support, the Charity’s ambitions for the future.

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