The sun shone for Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, the music played, the food cooked, and the artists, they turned up and shared their talents.
The week long festival involved many art and community venues across Chapel Allerton in north Leeds, this year from 26 August to 1 September. During the week there are a range of activities, from a Short Film Festival to Open Mic nights, which warm visitors up for the weekend when the main stage and street festival kick off.
I popped by on Saturday and made the most of the dry day by poking about the maker’s stalls and scoffing Thai fish cakes whilst slurping on some Pimps, before heading over to the best shop in all of Leeds, Chirpy, where I spent far too much money for a student’s budget.
I am starting to recognise many of the stall holders who do the rounds at this sort of thing, like Natasha Harris who had a darling pop-up maker’s shop near The Grand Theatre, Leeds at Christmas, and the wonderful stamper Jenny Bloomfield, who was equally as patient with me as I insisted on lifting and looking at everything on her stall, as she was at the Saltaire Arts Trail not that long ago.
A new maker discovered at the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival was Lizzie Windelinckx, who makes the cutest bits of china featuring illustrations, mainly of pets. I love her dog in a cake hat card, and her Boston Terrier expresso cups and saucers.
I also came across Mother Said I Never Should. They made imaginative necklaces from illustrations and quotes from old books, but one of the ladies was unfortunately terribly grumpy when I a took a photo, which was a shame because her manner put my friend off buying a necklace she fancied, and most definitely put me off recommending their brand. It also raised many questions for me over why it would be an issue. Their jewellery idea was hardly original nor unique, you’ll have seen this type of thing everywhere from the high street to Etsy, and what’s the difference between looking at and photographing the product, the work was really simple and easy to remember, and even the illustration and quotes were taken from a long dead artists and authors. They also have a pretty comprehensive shop filled with photos and a Facebook page. I’m still confused and annoyed about it, and the arrogance the necklaces were anything so special that I was about to steal their intellectual property. What a shame that I only intended to positively blog about them, that is until they gave me a reason to lose the good vibes and moan.
But whilst in Chapel A I couldn’t feel down for too long. There was a lovely community and family feel throughout the area, and a real sense that people were pulling together to make the most of the opportunity to engage people with the area and artistic activities. I was looking forward to the Arts Trail the most; it wasn’t quite what I imagine but it was a great start to giving local artists some wall space in popular spots.