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Betty Lawless: Journey Into Space

Betty Lawless: Journey Into Space
Written by Betty Lawless  11/05/2012

This month's theme was SPACE and I began my journey at Munro House to photograph the Leeds Inspired shed that pitched up there for three days at the beginning of April.

painting the spaces 2

It was a great chance for the Leeds Inspired team to talk to loads of people about the website whilst they listened to records on the wind up gramophone. People were also asked to decorate the space of the new home with painting by numbers. It was hoped that the shed would travel to other outdoor locations in Leeds but the good old British weather foiled these plans. Fortunately the lovely folk at Munro House were easily persuaded to extend the shed’s stay in their space in exchange for a bag of penny sweets. While I was there photographing inside, outside, in front, behind and on the roof of the shed I was also able to catch Jane Earnshaw on one of her several record breaking Space Hopper attempts.

Leeds Gallery

I popped over to Leeds Gallery whilst I was at Munro House to see the current exhibition ‘Leeds Through a Lens’ (on until 16th May). The photographs in this space show a selection of works of and about the City of Leeds and its people, shot by 15 different photographers. The photography ranges from portraits to landscapes, documentary to fine art – some pieces were shot over 30 years ago, others very recently, the key that unites them all is their subject. Worth a look if you're down that end of town.

strawberries at the picnic

The Friday Picnic provided a great opportunity to visit the glorious Corn Exchange. Overseen by the inimitable Culture Vultures this event is a chance for people to get together, find out what’s happening in and around Leeds and indulge in some good food. This month it was samosas and strawberries!


I spent some time at the Aquatics Centre at John Charles Centre for Sport. (Betty spends an awful lot of time at swimming pools - for those who know me it’s an almost daily relationship) The colours are so great. These photographs were taken early in the morning as the pool was getting ready to host a gala and was a space of anticipation.

room with a view

My first visit to a Bettakultcha event meant that I could take some photos of the Shine building in Harehills. Bettakultcha is a night of presentations on people's passions, an ideas cabaret.  The rules are simple - speakers can talk on any subject and each presenter has 20 slides, each slide changes every 15 seconds. No Pitches allowed. What a fabulous evening, a space to hear ideas and talk. I’ve got my ticket for the next one already. You can get tickets for the next Bettakultcha here.

special shirts

On a particularly rainy day I met Selina Riley who works in the Performance and Cultural Industries Faculty at Leeds University. Selina manages the continually growing collection of costumes and garments which originate from West Riding Council and Bretton Hall and are still in use at Stage@Leeds. I spent a wonderful afternoon with her digging around backstage in the costume department with my camera and resisting the urge to try on numerous wigs and military jackets. I also explored the upper spaces of the lighting rig in the theatre as they were preparing for a new show. 

cafe express

Later in the week I spent the morning at Leeds Market in the company of Rebecca as she showed me around the upper spaces and balconies of the market. What a fabulous place to view a great space. I’ll be returning there again, it was fantastic!

training space

The Canadian Paralympic Rugby team were training in the Gryphon building at The University of Leeds in April. The athletes were amazing to watch so close up and the speed that they travelled round the space was inspiring.

You can see all the photos from my Leeds Inspired travels on flickr. May's theme is VIEW, if anyone has any thoughts, ideas or suggestions please get in touch with so I can come and visit with my camera.

About Leeds Inspired

About Leeds Inspired

The Leeds Inspired website lists thousands of events happening in Leeds every year. You’ll find gigs, exhibitions, dance,…

Applying for Leeds Inspired Funding

Applying for Leeds Inspired Funding

Leeds Inspired manages two grant schemes to support arts events and projects in Leeds. Since April 2012 we…

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Leeds Inspired Funded Projects

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