Pictorial Project Celebrates Links between Dortmund and Leeds

Students from Leeds and Dortmund have come together through an internationally collaborative arts project, celebrating 50 years of the cities’ twinning.

The commemorative exhibition showcased dynamic student photography that explores relationships between the cities, created by students from Dortmund and the School of Creative Arts at Leeds City College which was exhibited at the college’s new £60m Quarry Hill Campus.

A landmark visit from the Mayor of Dortmund alongside local Leeds City Council ward councillors highlighted the day, as the international delegation admired images that the students had taken of their respective cities. The event came as part of a series of creative exchanges that constitute city – wide Leeds / Dortmund 50 golden celebrations.

Local Leeds City Council ward councillors covering the Quarry Hill area, Councillor Kayleigh Brooks, Councillor Gerry Harper and Councillor Javaid Akhtar, joined students and staff in welcoming the Mayor of Dortmund, Manfred Sauer.

Around 100 Leeds City College students participated in the curatorial art project, taking photographs of their home city to form part of their curriculum work. Select images were then paired and displayed alongside student photography from Dortmund. The ‘twinned’ photographs explore different relationships – whether symbolic or aesthetic – between the two cities.

Deputy CEO of Luminate Education Group Bill Jones, said:

“This is an event of historical and international importance for the city and it fills us with great pride to be part of such a landmark celebration.

As a key contributor both to the Cultural Quarter of Leeds and the wider city region, we are proud to provide our own artistic offering to the culturally significant, long-standing agreement between cities. The collaborative efforts of our students’ artwork reflect the upholding of international peace and understanding.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment said:

“The exhibition on display at Leeds City College which is celebrating the 50-year twinning between Leeds and Dortmund is truly fantastic. It was wonderful that as part of his visit to our city to mark the special anniversary, there was the opportunity to showcase the exhibition to the Mayor of Dortmund, Manfred.

“The standard of work created by both students from Dortmund and the School of Creative Arts at Leeds City College was unbelievably high, and explored in many different and fascinating ways, the close ties that exists between our cities through our twinning.”

The coming of the Mayor of Dortmund resonates with the mayoral visit of 1957, which incited a series of exchange programmes and official visits that culminated in the city twinning of 2 June 1969. The two cities partnered in an effort to promote international peace, learning and relationships. The event also saw council delegation meet with students and watch a performance by the student choir.

The new campus received £33.4million from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1billion plus package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

The exhibition will be showcased at Quarry Hill Campus until 12 October following the Leeds Light Night festival celebrations. At this time the council is set to take ownership of the artwork, showing the photography in Brodrick Exhibition Space at Leeds Town Hall throughout October and December 2019.

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