Launch: 16th November, Crowd of Favours, Leeds
For Compass Festival 2018, artists Etheridge & Persighetti are making a new participatory artwork and performance of place in the oldest part of the city, Kirkgate. In 2016 they created Personal Shopper in Kirkgate Market, working with shoppers and traders to create their own “mis-guided” tours of the market. Public House is a project that continues and develops Katie and Simon’s concern with the fragile ecologies of different kinds of ‘public’ spaces.
Through the beer glass lens of the Public House, Etheridge & Persighetti explore visions of future social landscapes by focusing on the enduring role of pubs as important places of social gathering, intergenerational exchange, entertainment, (hi)story telling, and activism.
In the same way that Personal Shopper was a witness to the daily acts of kindness, care and inclusion embedded in the culture of Kirkgate’s traders, Public House is inspired by the many pubs across the UK that provide a key point of social contact for their customers. In 2016 CAMRA commissioned research from Oxford University that found that people who regularly use a local pub “feel more engaged with their wider community”. [http://www.camra.org.uk/pubs-wellbeing ]
Etheridge & Persighetti re-visited Leeds last year to meet people who hold a key interest in the enduring social role of pubs. They visited Katie Marriott’s brewery Nomadic Beers, landlords and owners of well loved Leeds pubs old and new (The Jolly Templar, Wapentake), talked to pub customers in the city, as well as CAMRA members, beer bloggers and those active in supporting and saving pubs.
The artists are now publishing a special edition of beer glasses designed to act as conversation starters about the relationship between beer, people and place. Diagrams, maps, and invitations to explore the rich landscape of Leeds pubs, have been printed onto pint glasses. From a micro play that is designed to be read while you are drinking your pint, to a beer glass that takes you on a journey through Kirkgates pubs past and present, each design represents a collaboration with different people or groups in Leeds.
During Compass Festival, 16-25 November 2018 the glasses are being distributed to a selection of pubs in Kirkgate, and launched with a free live performance by Etheridge & Persighetti. After the show the artists will be joined by special guests including local brewers, publicans, and real ale drinkers who will initiate the first conversations inspired by the inscriptions on the pint glasses.
The project is supported by Leeds Civic Trust, Compass Live Art, and Leeds Brewery