PERFORMANCE TIME: SAA-uk will put on a unique outdoor performance in response to a famous sculpture at the University of Leeds
PERFORMANCE TIME: SAA-uk will put on a unique outdoor performance in response to a famous sculpture at the University of Leeds

South Asian Arts weave into the fabric of Yorkshire’s textile history

A local arts charity, SAA-uk, has joined forces with the University of Leeds to raise awareness of public art by producing a theatrical music and song performance, all in celebration of ‘Yorkshire Year of the Textile’.

Yorkshire Year of the Textile, which kicked off in June is a year-long initiative that reflects on the University’s history and has been awarded £98,500 of Arts Council England funding.

For the first time, SAA-uk has had the unique opportunity to create a musical response to a piece of art. The ‘Dreamer’ a Sculpture by Quentin Bell has provided the focus point for the ‘enlightening’ show, which will be performed on the 7th October at the University of Leeds.

Keranjeet Kaur, SAA-uk’s artistic director, explains: “In response to a beautiful sculpture of a woman levitating, we have created a contemporary expression of music, dance and light.

“Working closely with our sound expert, we have recorded the rhythmic patterns in one of the last working Mills, A.W Hainsworth & Sons in New Pudsey and evolved this sound by adding melody and creating a moving performance.

“Five talented artists; Vijay Venkat, Keertan Rehal, Liz Hanks, Jyoti Uniyal and Alex Delittle will perform on the evening and have combined, music, song and dance to highlight the delicacy, fluidity, strength and texture which explores our innate relationship with textiles.”

The show is free to attend and audience members will be treated to the captivating sound of the violin, bansuri (Indian Flute), cello and vocals as well as being dazzled by Kathak dancing, similar to western clog dancing.

The piece will explore the different rhythmic patterns heard in working mills and the monotonous work women and children, both Western and Asian were subjected to.

Professor Ann Sumner, Head of Cultural Engagement from the University of Leeds, comments: “We are delighted to be working with SAA-uk on this innovative and exciting artistic response to one of our most popular sculptures on campus.

“In order to create a sense of weightlessness, Bell worked with Dr Gurdev Singh in the Department of Civil Engineering at Leeds to produce a revolutionary fiberglass cast with a steel armature, that has the appearance of bronze.”

Quentin Bell, nephew of famous author Virginia Wolf, came to the University of Leeds in 1959 when he was appointed Head of School of Fine Art and was later made Professor of Fine Art.

The sculpture was unveiled 34 years ago this month and will provide the backdrop for the 20 minute performances which will take place in the Clothworkers’ yard in the University of Leeds campus at 8pm, 8.50pm and 9.30pm on Friday 7th October.