Questions questions

On 20th July we’ll be hosting a symposium at Studio 24 to discuss the issues and barriers that exist for artists with learning disabilities, and what we might be able to do together to overcome those barriers.  The questions we’ll be asking are:

Question1: What are the barriers holding back learning disabled artists from being out in the mainstream more?

Question 2: How can we use our influence to create more opportunities in venues, and what are the problems that are stopping the venues?

Question 3: Are learning disabled artists and organisations really included in the debates around diversity or are we just clumped together when people talk about about disability but not as valued as much as physically disabled artists are?

Question 4: How can we create change more quickly?

You can contribute to the discussion in advance of the symposium by chatting to us on facebook or twitter and book your free symposium tickets by clicking here.  (These links will all open in a new window.)

Artist Profile: Howard Haigh

Howard Haigh

Tell us about the work you’ve done for BEYOND
My work is making a model out of pottery, out of clay. I tried to make a church, I done one church out of clay. I did a big one, it’s too big. I do a tiny little bit, do church again, small church, then do the rest of it, and then join it together.

What is the church part of?
Leeds, Leeds ‘round here. A model of Leeds. Made a model of my house out of matchsticks, then another house out of matchsticks. I tried to do it with matchsticks to see if that works, it doesn’t.

Do you think of yourself as an artist?
Yes, I’m getting better and I’ve been getting good at it.

Anything else you want to say about your work?
It’s good! I have to try, but it’s good. I keep working on it and get better and better. Keep building more models, keep it going.

You can see Howard’s exhibition, Model City, in Room 700 at Leeds Central Library from 5th-21st July.  Click here for details.

Artist Profile: Adam Cox

Adam Cox

Tell us about your art
I drawed a whale, another whale. And another whale. And dolphin, and lion, and octopus, and tortoise. That’s a spider. That’s a lizard. Dolphin. And a whale. And a dog. And a bird. And a dog. Elephant. And kangaroo, and octopus. And antelope. And erm, and a kangaroo. A giraffe. And another giraffe. And crab. And leopard. And another leopard, and a lizard. I use pen, I use a pencil, make the lines thicker. Started doing shading. Like the animals to look mean, sharp teeth, sharp claws, making spikes.

Do you always draw animals?

Do you ever make up monsters or imaginary animals?
Yes, yes. And different ones. Made up people.

How do you feel when you’re doing your art?
Happy. I’d say happy. I am an artist and I like to draw.

Adam’s exhibition, Creatures, is on at Studio 24 from 16th – 20th July.  Click here for details.

Artist Profile: Andrew Towse

Andrew Towse

What kind of artwork do you like to do?
Pyramid of Arts. Pictures of people. Work. Picture, photo.

How do you make your photo-collages?
Put the picture onto the paper, cut, and glue it on. And shadow.

What kinds of things have you made collages about?
Animals; Skegness Zoo; planes, airport; Pyramid of Arts all together; more planes, army planes; Skegness people; race car; more animal; live [music]; Leeds Rhinos; food; trains.

What is the big project you have been working on for BEYOND?
Sausage. Picture, sausage. Red, yellow, blue. A map of cafés. A box. Sausage. Box, square, inside picture on it, sausage.

Is this your favourite project?
Yes, I like sausage.

When did you first start doing art and photography?
School. Painting. I did a picture of a camera and a hand, shadow. Black and white.

Do you think your art has developed since then?
Yes. Laptop. Photoshop.

You’ve given talks about your work in Hull and Manchester, how did you find that?

Andrew’s project, The Sausage Atlas, will be exhibited in Leeds Kirkgate Market event space from 5th-22nd July.  Click here for details.

Call out for learning disabled artists / inclusive arts organisations

On Saturday 14th July we will host a day of performance at Leeds Kirkgate Market.

We’re really excited to already be bringing you performances from Mind the Gap, Practically Theatre, Coactive Arts and Northern Ballet (and would like to thank all those organisations for donating their time and talent to the day!)  We’re now looking for more films, dance, performance and installations to join our fantastic programme. So if you’re an artist with learning disabilities or an inclusive arts organisation from Leeds or further afield and want an opportunity to showcase your work, then get in touch!

Kirkgate Market is a loud, busy public space and we want to fill it with lots of different kinds of work that celebrate you and your work and BEYOND!  (Please note: this does also mean that it is not suitable for performances with lots of spoken text.)

This is an opportunity to be part of a growing network and community of artists and organisations that are working together to bring performances by/for people with learning disabilities into a public space.

Tech requirements
As it is in a public space, we are looking for low-tech pieces but we do have access to sound, power and a screen.

Artists/Organisations must be available 14th July 2018.
Must also be available to travel to Leeds beforehand (ideally 13th June) to meet us and see the space.

There are no fees attached to any of the performances or installations taking place at this event.  We can cover travel costs though – please email us ( for more information.

Leeds is a city which cares passionately for arts and creative activity and for many years there has been a wonderful range of organisations that support people in getting involved, trying out, exploring and developing their creativity.  This includes organisations which work exclusively with people with learning disability, as well as major international arts organisations that run projects and activities.  Within the organisations, the arts can be used for education, skills development, health, sociability and fun.

BEYOND 2016 saw these organisations all working together for the first time to celebrate and promote this great work.  It was also an opportunity for people with learning disabilities and their friends and family to find out more about the huge range of arts activity available to them.  To find out more about the organisations involved please view the partners page.

Please complete this online form:

or alternatively click here to download the form and email it to