An unoccupied house in the residential district of Beeston, Leeds has been renovated into a new art space and home for artists. This pilot live/work space, the first of its kind in Leeds, is the result of a partnership between East Street Arts and Leeds City Council.

Artist House 45 will be the focus for socially engaged works by one artist or collaborative duo who have already established a coherent body of work in this arena. The selected artist(s) will receive a bursary of £14,100, supporting them to work three days a week in response to the local area and community. They will also receive a one-year rental contract of £284 per month for the traditional two-bedroom home.

East Street Arts, who have been providing studio spaces and artists’ professional development opportunities since 1993, see Artist House 45 as a chance to create sustainable projects and encourage the local community to become co-producers in works created over the course of the live/work residency.

“Artist House 45 is a new kind of space for the residents, workers and visitors of this area of the city,” said Karen Watson, artistic director of East Street Arts.

“The project is unique; we have researched and visited spaces in Belgium and Holland, but have not found anything similar in the UK. We want Leeds to be the first place in the country to transform residential areas through the combination of artists’ living and work spaces.”

New space for artists

Partnering with Leeds Empties and supported by grant providers including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, East Street Arts have an agreement with Leeds City Council to rent the property for a five-year period.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the city council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “By working closely with East Street Arts, not only are we able to bring a vacant property back into use, we’re also helping to create a new space where local artists can work, learn and engage with each other.

“By putting art at the heart of local communities like this, we hope we can encourage more people in Leeds to get involved and express themselves.”

Find out more about Artist House 45 (deadline: 28 August 2014). 

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