Last weekend the Leeds based artist collective known as Woolgather once again took over a vacant shop next to a Tesco Metro in the city centre and converted it into an art space. This time the theme was “Bring Your Own Art”, an invitation to the public to bring their own creative masterpieces and display them in a make shift gallery. And bring it they did, in their droves. Some of the work wouldn’t look out of place in the Saatchi Gallery, while others should probably have stayed in the heads of the people they came from. But the idea of a pop up high street gallery in which anyone can display their ideas is a great one.
As I write this there are 18 vacant shops and buildings in Leeds being put to good use by artists, theatre groups and film makers, all taking advantage of an 80% discount on rent in prime locations. And hopefully, as the number of vacant shops increases so too will these temporary art spaces, so too will the number of curious visitors, and, perhaps more significantly, so too will the number of people who want to display something in them.