Friday, 27 April 2012

Leeds will be a canvas as part of the Cultural Olympiad

(As published in the Guardian Northerner on 20th April 2012)
Ahead of the event, in May, the Quay Brothers will be at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, next week
The Quay Brothers will be at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds next week Photograph: Betty Longbottom
The critically acclaimed artists and filmmakers, the Quay Brothers, will be at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds next week ahead of a major event in the city that is part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
In May, the Overworlds and Underworlds event, will transform parts of Leeds for a weekend.
On Tuesday 24 April, the Quay Brothers will be at the iconic venue for a collaboration with Leeds Canvas and the Culture Vulture that features Maska, Street of Crocodiles, In Absentia and Stille Nacht I: Dramolet.
The Quay Brothers normally work on small scale projects creating stop motion animation films. But in contrast, on the weekend of 18 to 20 May, they will use the city of Leeds as a kind of canvas as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad Artists Taking The Lead project.
Collaborating with seven other artists, they will 're-imagine' the city through a series of public performances and installations involving light, live music, dance and film.
The free event will begin in Briggate and also involves other landmarks including the subterranean Dark Arches tunnels extending beneath Leeds railway station and bridging the River Aire.
The Quay brothers, Stephen and Timothy, said: "This is the first time we have been invited to work on such an enormous scale, and we're delighted to be working with such a renowned and talented group of artists and designers.
"Leeds is a city full of unusual spaces that resonate with our ideas and those of the creative team. Overworlds and Underworlds is going to take all of us into new territory, through familiar spaces, perceived in unfamiliar ways."
It is the first project by Leeds Canvas, chosen three years ago as the Yorkshire region winner of a commission for Artists Taking the Lead. The commission is one of 12 across the UK, each inspired by their location and celebrating the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.
The Quay brothers are keeping the specific details under wraps until next month, when they will reveal more. They will work in collaboration with eight of the city's key arts organisations; Northern Ballet, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Opera North, Yorkshire Dance, Phoenix Dance, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Leeds Met Gallery and Studio Theatre and Leeds Art Gallery.
Ron Magliozzi, associate curator at the New York Museum of Modern Art said: "The Quay Brothers bring a unique poetry of gesture and alienation to a remarkable range of media from graphic design and cinema, to music videos, ballet and the settings for live performance on stage. Their approach to each new project is intensely personal and multi-layered. In all its forms, their work presents audiences with the luminous gifts of wonder and delicious uncertainty."

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