Unexpected Angles – Belle Vue Road and Great George Street
Places of importance, the broad outlines of the streets and alleyways, green spaces, waterways and railway lines. Those are the kinds of things that we generally feel a map should record – but what about the other things; the things that the map doesn’t show?
Whenever one walks anywhere, there are always things to see and hear, to smell, to feel and perhaps even to taste. Little details lurking in the cracks in the pavement; signs we have seen a thousand times before, but never really read; sounds that hover on the edges of our consciousness, but which fail to make it past the bass and treble of the iPod; bright colours on faded hoardings; familiar faces belonging to unknown people.
It is easy to filter out these little details. Very often there are other things to think about when we walk from place to place; deadlines, relationships, what to have for dinner – the essential trivialities of everyday life. As we walk, the contours of the world without are overwritten by those of the internal world – the mountains and molehills, chasms and gulfs that exist between us and the people around us.
None of these appear on the maps either – but they will always be there, and perhaps they deserve to be shown as well.
In Winter 2014 we worked with Artlink West Yorkshire, an arts and health charity that believes in the power of the arts to promote and nurture mental wellbeing. We also worked with Inspire Arts Group which is open to adults experiencing some form of mental distress in the Leeds area. We looked closely at two specific parts of the city – Belle Vue Road and Great George Street. The two roads almost run into each other. Belle Vue Road starts at Hyde Park and runs down towards the city centre ending near the back of Park Lane College. Great George Street begins not far away, on the other side of Hanover Square. It runs behind the Town Hall and the Central Library and finishes at Merrion Street in the heart of the city.
As part of this work, we’ve been looking closely at two specific parts of the city – Belle Vue Road and Great George Street. The two roads almost run into each other. Belle View Road starts at Hyde Park and runs down towards the city centre, ending near the back of Park Lane College. Great George Street begins not far away, on the other side of Hanover Square. It runs behind the Town Hall and the Central Library and finishes at Merrion Street in the heart of the city.
Together with the members of each of the groups, we mapped our journeys up and down these streets – journeys both internal and external – logging the details, hidden and otherwise in poetry, prose and pictures. Some of the work produced is featured below.
Arts and Minds on Belle Vue Road
Inspire Arts Group on Great George Street
28) 28th January
There is a pair of underpants in the tree beside the park. They flutter in the breeze – all clean and white and full of promises.