Thursday, 24 February 2011

For the Benefit of Mr Kite

Photo: Simon Warner

A Dedication

I went to a workshop at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery on Saturday February 19th. We made landscapes on a dinner plate, following a walk around the cemetery of St Georges Field at the University of Leeds. The above is my contribution and I would like to dedicate it to Pablo Fanque, and Christine Bairstow and her twin sister.

Christine Bairstow wrote to the Yorkshire Evening Post in 2008 to protest about the fact she cannot locate her twin sister who died in 1946. The gravestones were separated from the bodies in the ground during the landscaping of the space in the 1960s. Pablo Fanque, the first black circus owner in Britain, is buried in the cemetery along with his wife. The Beatles sang about Pablo Fanque on their Sergeant Peppers album in the song Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite (he is apparently also mentioned in a Cockney Rebel song - interesting).

Photo: CC Phill Harding

The above image shows the cemetery as it appears in 'real' space, as opposed to artistic/ideological/political space, which my plate represents. Below is a timeline of the cemetery that I put together from a number of sources, which are included in the bibliography below.

Cemetery Timeline

Formation of Leeds General Cemetery Company (purchased the site for £11,000) (BBC 2006).

On July 23rd the new cemetery was officially opened by architect John Clark (BBC 2006).

Suggested acquisition of cemetery (Beresford 1975:144).

Graveyard nearly full, some graves neglected (Beresford 1975:144).

University bursor re-opens question of cemetery acquisition (Beresford 1975:172).

Date unsure (1958-1963)
Cemetery closed and landscaped and original name was reverted: St George's Field (Beresford 1975:172).

Local opposition to University of Leeds Bill, re: cemetery development (Beresford 1975:145).

St Georges Field completed (Leodis 2010).

Founding date of friends of the cemetery group (Dunk and Rugg 1994:80).

On 24th April Dr Julie Rugg, of the Cemetery Research Group, unveiled the new blue plaque at the gatehouse. (Leeds Civic Trust 2006)


Dunk, Julie and Julie Rugg. 1994. The Management of Old Cemetery Land: Now and the Future (London: Shaw and Sons).

Beresford, M. W. 1975. ''Red brick and Portland Stone: A Building History', Studies in the History of a University 1987-1974, ed. by P.H.J.H Gosden and A.J. Taylor (Leeds: E.J. Arnold). pp. 133-180.

BBC, ‘Leeds’, Life and Death in Leeds, (2006), [accessed 30 March 2010]

Leeds Civic Trust, ‘Annual Report 2005/06’, Heritage and Conservation – Blue Plaques 1, (2006), [accessed 30 March 2010]

Leodis, ‘Woodhouse Cemetery’, (2010), [accessed 30 March 2010]

Related Links

St George's Field (BBC)
Simon Warner (artist)
Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery
University of Leeds

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Site of Deconstruction

Here is an image I took on a mischievous psychogeographical trip around my school last night: The School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Walking the Board: University of Leeds Monopoly

This is Hyde and Ford playing University of Leeds monopoly over the Christmas period. Apparently the original game goes back to around 1903. It has lots of the campus buildings - Roger Stevens Lecture Theatre, The Great Hall - with many of the traditional monopoly features. I had hoped the counters would relate to the university, e.g. a book, a mortar board, a pint glass, but they are the traditional ones. The profits go to the alumni fund.

Relates websites:
Monopoly on Wikipedia
University of Leeds Monopoly