Produced in collaboration with members of Leeds communities, our past exhibition Shifting Perspectives exploring the representations of people of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage within the collection of Leeds Art Gallery.
We have been so moved by our visitors’ responses to the exhibition that we wanted to share some of their comments. Thank you to everyone that has contributed so far by filling out comment cards or through discussions at our conversation table in the gallery.
- Such an important, inspiring, informative exhibition… Long overdue in the public realm.
- I like how the history of black people is shown. This has given me an insight to what my people went through, to make my life easier today as a black man. We still face challenges today but nothing like what they went through.
- For the beauty, for the refuge, for the healing, for the representation. Thank you. This exhibition has been deeply healing for me. (…) The art here in the exhibition, the questioning of the Western/white male gaze, the representation of diverse voices is emblematic of REAL British values: inclusion, diversity, opportunity, possibility, respect.
- Amazing- we need so much more of this art. It is relevant – on point and guides one to think of their own historical perspectives. This is the first time my son has identified in a real way with art. He said: ‘He looks like me, same hair. This is what my ancestors looked like’. He’s 9 years old. Thank you for this installation.
- This is a wonderful exhibition. The best I’ve seen here. (…) This self-aware take on art curation is a breath of fresh air.
- I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. It was lovely to see Black culture, faces and bodies displayed. I loved the mix of old and new art and the different media.
- Insightful and frank exhibition. Love the community voices and not just the gallery’s perspective. Feels like it could be a permanent fixture of the gallery.
- This is liberating. It shines a big bright spotlight on those who were shared into the shadows. Bring them back to life, let us celebrate them and not ignore but acknowledge the past. Our past. Everyone’s past.
- At a time when racism in the UK has become more covert, and therefore easier to avoid blame for, seeing a gallery actively analyse its works, point out their issues and allow people to discuss them is transformative. So is the depth of experience and personhood achieved by going so much further than this and opening the space to joy too.
- I am grateful to the opportunity the exhibition provided me with to pause and reflect on the reality I carry with me every day. It felt challenging but also validating. I am glad for the experience and will be remembering it for a long time!
- I’ve just moved to Leeds and when I walked into the exhibition I was stunned. I saw images which looked remarkably like old photos of my grandparents. My heart started pounding. I would have never expected to stumble onto a representation of my own culture, especially considering how underrepresented Armenian culture is in Britain. This has been a deeply emotional experience. Thank you for making me feel accepted, Leeds.
Shifting Perspectives explores issues around [mis]representation and identity. It also examines how people were stereotyped, othered, and unequal power relations normalised. It aims to connect the past and the present, looking back at history to better understand today.
In addition, it celebrates the contributions of a wide range of communities in Leeds and beyond.
The exhibition brings together nearly a hundred works of art ranging from the 17th century to the present day. Artworks created by artists of the Global Majority are shown alongside those by white artists, exploring both parallels and divergences. Artists include Karen Babayan, Frank Brangwyn, Jacob Epstein, William Hogarth, Yinka Ilori, Jade Montserrat, Ronald Moody, Rembrandt van Rijn, Bob and Roberta Smith and Barbara Walker.
It’s open until Sunday 30 October 2022, and is free to visit.
Visit our What’s On page for creative workshops and events relating to the exhibition.
As part of our new exhibition, we have set-up a conversation table in the heart of the gallery. Once a week between 11am-3pm we will be joined by invited guests to animate conversations around the themes of the exhibition.
There’s no need to book ahead, just drop-in to the exhibition on Wednesdays in July, Tuesdays in August, Saturdays in September and then in October:
Sat 15 Oct
Fri 28 Oct
Sat 29 Oct
By Laura Claveria, Curator of the Shifting Perspectives exhibition