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Leanne Buchan

Leanne Buchan

Culture Seeker
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The Galleries

Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds, UK

From the headline grabbers like Leeds Art Gallery and The Tetley to the small and beautiful Gallery at Cafe 164, Bowery Arts In Headingley, Basement Arts In Beeston and all the exhibitions, installations and artworks squashed into corners and keeping watch over staircases. I like the tenacity that the people of Leeds have to make any space a gallery space and to curate it with the same love and care whether it’s the big budget Yorkshire Sculpture International or the bi-annual Beyond Festival profiling the city’s artists with learning disabilities.

The Gigs

Leeds Arena, Arena Way, Leeds, UK

I’m not much of a music aficionado - I like what I like, can’t hold a conversation on the finer points of percussion and certainly wasn’t blessed with rhythm- but what I like about the gigs in Leeds is the diversity, of art form, venue and stage. Everything from spoken word and improv to indie, rock, comedy and classical rubs shoulders with each other in pubs, clubs, dance halls, Victorian Town Halls, arenas and stadiums. Whether it’s Sharon van Etton in a student union, Kate Tempest in a hipster bar or Aswad in a social club, Leeds has no qualms about programming any of it.

Left Bank Leeds

Left Bank Leeds, Cardigan Road, Leeds, UK

I love this venue for the same reasons as everyone else: beautiful architecture, commitment to community, friendly welcome and a mix of different crowds all in one space. However what I really love about Left Bank Leeds is it’s ridiculous programming. I’ve experienced everything from Dr Zeuss-esque giant inflatable installations to yoga, sound baths, a thousand plaster cast feet, community feasts and Christmas Carols on hand bells under its magnificent vaulted ceilings.

Zucco

Zucco, Meanwood Road, Leeds, UK

Forever a favourite for having the ability to instantly transport you to a sun-drenched Italian hideaways, Zucco in Meanwood is where I go to celebrate life’s small wins. The food is light, flavoursome, inventive and authentic. The restaurant is a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. It is unapologetically off the beaten track and unapologetically independent and family owned from the staff serving you, to the recipes crafted with generations of love and fierce Italian attention to detail, and the two week closure every August for family time and holidays. Definitely an ethos that we could use more of in today’s demanding social media driven society.

Light Night

Leeds, UK

I remember going to my first Light Night around 8 or 9 years ago by myself, when it still felt niche, like a hidden gem you were honoured to find. Now there are thousands of light festivals and Light Night Leeds is a two-night spectacle pulling in hundreds of thousands of insta-happy crowds. But, it is no ordinary light festival. Where others provide a stage for a raft of touring performances from any artist in any town, Light Night keeps it roots. Sure it’s bigger and there’s some of the crowd pleasers doing the festival rounds, but the city’s arts organisations get behind it and you won’t find projections from Pyramid of Arts, pop-ups from Opera North and dance collaborations from Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance and Yorkshire Dance at any other light festival- it is genuinely unique.

Room 700

Leeds Central Library, Calverley Street, Leeds, UK

A librarian’s in-joke and a hidden gem, Room 700 is an underrated and often overlooked little oasis. This small but functional gallery and exhibition space in the city Library has carved out a space for the cultures of the community. From reggae nights with the Iration Steppas to a moving and poignant Eulogy to the West Indian residents of Leeds, Room 700 holds space for artists, illustrators, writers, performers and ordinary residents of Leeds to find and share their stories and what better place to share a story than a Library?

The Galleries

From the headline grabbers like Leeds Art Gallery and The Tetley to the small and beautiful Gallery at Cafe 164, Bowery Arts In Headingley, Basement Arts In Beeston and all the exhibitions, installations and artworks squashed into corners and keeping watch over staircases. I like the tenacity that the people of Leeds have to make any space a gallery space and to curate it with the same love and care whether it’s the big budget Yorkshire Sculpture International or the bi-annual Beyond Festival profiling the city’s artists with learning disabilities.

The Gigs

I’m not much of a music aficionado - I like what I like, can’t hold a conversation on the finer points of percussion and certainly wasn’t blessed with rhythm- but what I like about the gigs in Leeds is the diversity, of art form, venue and stage. Everything from spoken word and improv to indie, rock, comedy and classical rubs shoulders with each other in pubs, clubs, dance halls, Victorian Town Halls, arenas and stadiums. Whether it’s Sharon van Etton in a student union, Kate Tempest in a hipster bar or Aswad in a social club, Leeds has no qualms about programming any of it.

Left Bank Leeds

I love this venue for the same reasons as everyone else: beautiful architecture, commitment to community, friendly welcome and a mix of different crowds all in one space. However what I really love about Left Bank Leeds is it’s ridiculous programming. I’ve experienced everything from Dr Zeuss-esque giant inflatable installations to yoga, sound baths, a thousand plaster cast feet, community feasts and Christmas Carols on hand bells under its magnificent vaulted ceilings.

Address: Cardigan Rd, Leeds LS6 1LJ
Zucco

Forever a favourite for having the ability to instantly transport you to a sun-drenched Italian hideaways, Zucco in Meanwood is where I go to celebrate life’s small wins. The food is light, flavoursome, inventive and authentic. The restaurant is a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. It is unapologetically off the beaten track and unapologetically independent and family owned from the staff serving you, to the recipes crafted with generations of love and fierce Italian attention to detail, and the two week closure every August for family time and holidays. Definitely an ethos that we could use more of in today’s demanding social media driven society.

Address: 603 Meanwood Rd, Leeds LS6 4AY
Light Night

I remember going to my first Light Night around 8 or 9 years ago by myself, when it still felt niche, like a hidden gem you were honoured to find. Now there are thousands of light festivals and Light Night Leeds is a two-night spectacle pulling in hundreds of thousands of insta-happy crowds. But, it is no ordinary light festival. Where others provide a stage for a raft of touring performances from any artist in any town, Light Night keeps it roots. Sure it’s bigger and there’s some of the crowd pleasers doing the festival rounds, but the city’s arts organisations get behind it and you won’t find projections from Pyramid of Arts, pop-ups from Opera North and dance collaborations from Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance and Yorkshire Dance at any other light festival- it is genuinely unique.

Room 700

A librarian’s in-joke and a hidden gem, Room 700 is an underrated and often overlooked little oasis. This small but functional gallery and exhibition space in the city Library has carved out a space for the cultures of the community. From reggae nights with the Iration Steppas to a moving and poignant Eulogy to the West Indian residents of Leeds, Room 700 holds space for artists, illustrators, writers, performers and ordinary residents of Leeds to find and share their stories and what better place to share a story than a Library?

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