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2001 art school alumni reunite for special 170 year celebration exhibition

Curated by alumni Kerstin Doble and Mick Welbourn

Leeds College of Art has announced an alumni group exhibition, 2001, opening on Thursday 22 September as part of its year-long programme in celebration of its 170th anniversary. 2001 explores the acclaimed practices of nine alumni artists, curators and lecturers who studied on the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course at Leeds College of Art during 2001. 

The College is renowned for the development of the Basic Design course under Harry Thubron (appointed Head of Fine Art in 1955).  The philosophy underlying the teaching has influenced Foundation Diploma courses throughout the country and is still of paramount importance today. 

The multi-disciplinary group show features moving-image work by London-based Jerwood/Film & Video Umbrella Award-winner Lucy Clout, and Rehana Zaman, who recently completed solo commissions for The Tetley and Studio Voltaire. Artist Giles Bailey has previously shown at CCA Glasgow and The Hepworth Wakefield and will be showcasing a new collaborative work with musician and artist Shakeeb Abu Hamdan. Kate Morrell, whose work is held in Tate’s Artists’ Book Collection, will be showcasing a sculptural installation, and DIY publishing imprint NotForSale Press, led by writer and lecturer Nick Thurston, is producing unlimited edition posters, to be given away free at the exhibition.

Curator Louise Shelley in association with Cinenova, Feminist Film and Video Distributor, is contributing to the show with a special online commission which can be accessed at Leeds College of Art’s website. A short essay by Joe Hill, director of Focal Point Gallery will also accompany this exhibition.

“We’re delighted to bring this dynamic group together, now all influential figures in their field, fifteen years on from studying at Leeds College of Art. 2001 recognises their work both as individuals and en masse as a critical network,” said Kerstin Doble, curator, also a 2001 alumna.

The programme is complemented by a free screening, Deep Clean, at Hyde Park Picture House on Tuesday 11 October at 6.30pm, shown in association with arts organisation Pavilion. Films have been selected by alumna Dr Amy Charlesworth and Gill Park, Director of Pavilion. The event explores the representation of cleaning and caring, from the attentive gestures of an Aboriginal daughter nursing her mother, to the online moderators scrubbing photos of Osama bin Laden from search engines.

Founded in 1846 as the Leeds Government School of Art and Design, Leeds College of Art has contributed significantly to the development of art education in Britain and across the world. Today, Leeds College of Art remains one of only a few remaining independent art schools in the UK, leading the way as a centre for art and design education. The College has an impressive history of notable past students, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth were students in the post war era, enrolling in 1919 and 1920. In later years Damien Hirst, Marcus Harvey, Eric Bainbridge, Clio Barnard and Georgina Starr all studied at the College, known then as the Jacob Kramer College. The College’s recent graduates continue to win prestigious international awards year on year and enjoy successful careers in the creative industries.

  • Date published: 21st September 2016

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