In 1999 East Street Arts and the Dortmunder Gruppe initiated a series of exchanges to celebrate 30 years of twinning.
During the summer of 1999 East Street Arts initiated the event ArtXKunst which presented contemporary art work by the Dortmunder Gruppe across several venues in Leeds including:
- East Street Mills: East Street Arts’ home for 10 years up to June 2003
- Yazen-I-Kylo: A studio based contemporary art venue that was based in Midlands Mill in Holbeck
- Axis, the national database for artists now on the Calls in Leeds. At the time of the event they were based at 8 Queen Square and managed a small exhibition space
- Brahm Gallery in Headingley
- Yorkshire Dance Centre on Quarry Hill
The following September, 2000, East Street Arts made a journey on the ferry to Holland and then on to Dortmund with a van full of art by Leeds based artists. The work was shown across several sites in Dortmund:
- Rathaus Dortmund (Town Hall)
- Theater Fletch Bizzel (theatre where Leeds based performance company Leikin Loppu were also performing. Jason Hird is now Director of The Institute of Crazy dancing.)
- Torhaus Rombergpark.
View a selection of images HERE
This event was so successful, raising the profile for both organisations and offering the artists involved exposure to new audiences East Street Arts organised a second exchange programme in 2001. ESA toured a project that was devised through collaboration entitled Supa-sheds.
‘In this day and age of cash strapped local authority funded art institutions, the Supa-shed offers a very real and cost effective option. It is a self construct artwork and gallery system in one.’
- East Street Arts Project Space, East Street Mills.
- The Trafo, Budapest
- Torhause, Dortmund.
View a selection of images HERE
Also in 2001 Leeds hosted a group exhibition in Leeds Central Library’s Art Space by the Dortmunder Gruppe.
East Street Arts and The Dortmunder Gruppe remained in contact and continued to develop projects.
In 2009 we began a new series of events.
Salon Doppleganger 09
In February 2009 East Street Arts exhibited Salon Doppleganger 09 at the Torhause, Dortmund and visited several artists studios including Silvia Liebig and Gudrun Kattke. In return the Dortmunder Gruppe exhibited a selection of their members work in the Leeds Art Fair in May 2009 based in The Light.
View a selection of images of Salon 09 HERE
In the autumn 2009 as part of East Street Arts programme, Thunder in the Potty, the Dortmunder Grupe exhibited a selection of all their members work in St. John’s church in partnership with Something Visual. At the same time a new commission by East Street Arts in 42 New Briggate witnessed artists Silvia Liebig and Gudrun Kattke turn the venue into a Shopel, an installation paying homage to shopping and religion.
The Lord Mayor of Germany, Counillor Brett, other dignatories and Leeds City Council joined East Street Arts on a art walk from Patrick Studios to St Johns and 42 New Briggate to meet the artists involved. They were accompanied by a musician and a specially brewed beer as part of Light Night.
2009 marked the 40th anniversary of Leeds’ partnership with Dortmund.