Artisans work with art specialists to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture to celebrate LEEDS 2023



They’re the result of a collaboration no one really expected when Assembly House artists met Stricker from the Kirkstall-based group Hookers and Clickers.

It was part of a series of art projects being carried out across the city for the past few months to mark the launch of LEEDS 2023 this week – a year-long showcase of arts and culture from across Leeds to replace what would have been the endeavor the city to be crowned European Capital of Culture before Great Britain leaves the European Union (EU).

The artists at Armley-based Assembly House made the two horse sculptures out of wood, while members were asked by hookers and clickers to crochet pieces that would cover the horses.

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The crochet designs from Hookers and Clickers.

The crochet designs from Hookers and Clickers.

Alice Boulton-Breeze, creative producer at Assembly House, said when they teamed up with hookers and clickers they had no idea what they were getting in return.

She said: “When LEEDS started in 2023, we just got in touch and said we want to work with you, what can we do? We were very interested in being part of the vision and what they are doing.

“Our artists made a collage with a color scheme, motifs and symbols. Hooks and clickers were really interested in how crafting and fine arts can come together and not be viewed as two separate things.

“We had absolutely no idea what it would look like, and it exceeded anything we could have imagined. There was no pressure, but it looked totally organized. People really thought of things that were out there – people got abstract, took on scenes from the environment, made patterns, it was amazing. We had never worked with them before and never had any experience so it would be a surprise. “

Amelia Wood (artist), Rosie Vohra (artist), Alice Boulton-Breeze (creative producer at Assembly House), Joanne Brophy (Hookers and Clickers) with the new horse sculptures.

The collaboration also fits in with the direction that the meeting house as an organization also wants to take.

It was founded eight years ago by a group who graduated from Leeds Arts University and were looking for affordable space to work and display.

They managed to secure a unit in a former Victorian textile factory next to the canal and they quickly found that many like-minded people were looking for the same.

Assemble House now has the entire first floor and 45 artists.

Ms. Boulton-Breeze added: “We do a lot of projects in the local community, mentoring and external exhibitions and workshops.

“We have older members who grew up in Seacroft, people who have never been to college, people who have been in jail, people with families – it’s a nice mix of people and whatever their level.

“It’s really amazing to see the partnerships grow and the connections we have made with community groups. People have asked for murals to be painted on their home, some artists have gone to university to teach in elementary schools and universities.

“We see ourselves as a big family, as a community and are always open to welcoming more people.”



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