Issue Three Friday 26 April 2013
Vampire Slaying at the Royal Armouries
Plus: Science meets Art | Jewish Artists May Day previews | Gabby Loganâ€™s Gown
Visit us online at leedsnorthern.wordpress.com
The YV team Editor
Tom Swain Contributors
Jon Cronshaw @Jon_Cronshaw Sallie Gregson @Salliex
Kate Russell @littletinykate Tom Swain @tjoswain
@LeedsNorthern In this issue:
Page 2 May Day bank holiday previews
May Day Bank Holiday Previews
May Day bank holiday is approaching fast, thank goodness. But what are you going to do for the three days? Relax? Recover? Recuperate? The Yorkshire Voice team has made a list of what they’ll be doing over the long weekend. Food Festival up the Dale
For all those who love proper Yorkshire food and drink this bank holiday, why not try The Dales Festival of Food and Drink? The weekend has a lot to offer including beekeeping, cheese making and sheep shearing. For the first time, the festival will feature West Yorkshire’s Curry Cuisine cookery school who are hoping to get people to try some other curries India has to offer. Local ales will be available from the beer tent run by Daleside Brewery. The Wine Bar Marquee Corks and Cases from Masham. Children under 12 will be able to decorate cupcakes each day at 2.30pm which will be judged by Lady Diana Brittan of Spennithorne. May 4-6, 10am-5pm, Leyburn in Wensleydale, Adults £8 (one day ticket) Children free, tel. 01969 622317
Page 3 Gabby Logan’s Gown and history of Yorkshire textiles Pages 4-5 Vampire Slaying at the Royal Armouries
Page 6 Gory Days and Zombies Page 7 Jewish Artists in Yorkshire
Page 8 When Science meets Art Cover image © Royal Armouries www.royalarmouries.org.uk
Whack! Thwapp! Kapow!
For budding superheroes, the Royal Armouries is the place to be this bank holiday. There’ll be opportunities for heroes-in-training (and their mums and dads) to pick up crime-fighting tips from the experts and get their photographs taken with the likes of Batman, Iron Man and Wolverine. Learn all about the armour they wear, the arms they use, and their hand-to-hand combat skills – and find out how all of this connects to real-life martial arts and weaponry. For comic book fans, they will also be an art masterclass, showing you how to draw and illustrate just like in the books with help from the professional artists.
Much-Needed Gardening Leave
May 4-6, 10am-5pm, Royal Armouries, free, tel. 0113 220 1999
Every Leeds clubber worth their salt will have May 5 in their diary – it’s the date of summer 2013’s first Faversham Garden Party. The parties are fast becoming legendary among the city’s partygoers, and 2013 promises not to disappoint. Headliners include Berlin-based duo Tale of Us with their unique fusion-focused house sound, disco, house and techno-infused Bicep, DJs from renowned club night Futureboogie, and multi-platform funk-inspired scene leader Jimmy Edgar. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and be grateful for no-work-Monday – you’ll need it to recover from the 2pm – 4am dance session. May 5, doors 2pm-8pm, The Faversham, Leeds, £20 (advance), tel. 0113 243 1481
On Track for a Great Weekend
The Keighley and Worth Valley railway’s annual Railway ChildrenWeekend is back to celebrate the anniversary of the filming of the 1970’s film classic. The weekend’s activities will include actors recreating iconic scenes from the film which highlights the Yorkshire countryside. An increased service will be in operation over the bank holiday weekend, with normal fares applying. On Saturday and Monday you can enjoy a walking tour which traces the children’s steps through the film. Special beer will be on sale on board a real ale bar carriage for those who want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but best of all, children that come in Edwardian dress travel for free! May 4-6, trains run 9am-6pm, all stations along Keighley Worth Valley Railway route, tel. 01535 645214
One of the cutters at work in the Samuel Brothers factory in Leeds
Gabby Logan’s ceremonial gown is being hand crafted in Leeds. Sallie Gregson looks at the region’s textile heritage.
In the nineteenth century, textiles were the basis of the Yorkshire economy which made the region a global leader in design, manufacturing and textile production.
The county is still home to firms recognised worldwide for the quality fashion products handmade by skilled crafts men and women, using materials sourced locally. To celebrate the rich history of textiles in Yorkshire, Leeds based fashion graduate Kate Duckworth is designing the gown Gabby Logan will wear when she formally takes office as chancellor of Leeds Trinity University on June 6.
“So many of Yorkshire’s economic roots can be linked to textiles”
The ceremonial gown began its life at Armley Mill, which is now home to Leeds Industrial Museum proudly displaying the area’s manufacturing heritage but was once the world’s largest woollen mill. Behind the Seams is a permanent exhibition at Armley Mill led by Leeds Fashion Works, a non-profit organisation who support and promote Yorkshire’s textile industry. Director Suzy Shepherd said: “So many of Yorkshire’s economic roots can be linked to textiles. However, there is a common misconception that the industry has disappeared. “The reality is that the mills have shifted from mass production to high-end niche markets and are producing some of the finest cloth in the world.” In the final stages of production, the gown is being cut at bespoke tailors and military uniform specialist Samuel Brothers in Leeds, where Kate has been working with head cutter Ken Baker, who has been cutting cloth for 48 years.
He is recognized as one of the best in the UK, having worked for high-end designers including some on the exclusive Saville Row. Samuel Brothers Managing Director Lee Dawson, 45, believes the Yorkshire textile industry needs to be kept alive. He said: “We are a British company and proud of it, why would you want to go anywhere else to get first-class garments such as these?” One in three of all UK textile weaving jobs are based in Leeds, as well as 60 per cent of all textile preparation and spinning. Yorkshire mills have become synonymous with luxury fabrics, supplying materials to leading fashion houses such as Burberry, Prada and Paul Smith. However, finding people who want to take on this highly skilled job has proved difficult for the company. Head cutter Mr Baker, 63, said: “It takes a certain person to do this job, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love this job, every day is different and you are never doing the same thing.” Ms Shepherd said: “In Italy, learning a fashion trade such as cutting is desirable, whereas over here it has a more negative image. What fashion students need is a platform that will fill the gap between leaving a course and going into work where they can appreciate the whole garment making process.” The quality of work that goes into making a garment such as Gabby’s gown is evident. Mr Baker, who came straight into this job after leaving school at 15, is in the process of training someone to take over his work. But it will be another 18 months before they are fully trained. Lee Dawson explained that Samuel Brothers would be able to make a bespoke suit for £800. That might sound a lot, but on Saville Row the same suit would cost a minimum of £5,000. The prestige of owning a Saville Row Suit increases the price dramatically, yet
here in Yorkshire you can find exactly the same high quality custom-made suit for less.
“Yorkshire materials are the best in the world” Local textile company Hainsworth, which has been manufacturing ceremonial fabrics in Leeds since 1783, is providing the doeskin which is the material being used for the majority of the gown. Mr Barker said: “Yorkshire materials are the best in the world, they are used all around the world.” The gown has been designed, cut and produced in Yorkshire using materials made in Yorkshire. Why indeed would you need to go anywhere else when the fashion industry is still indebted to Yorkshire.
Not the finished article: A glimpse of Gabby’s gown
Vamped Up at
By Tom Swain @tjoswain
What makes an antique box of tricks a kit for the slaying of vampires? Tom Swain spoke to Jonathan Ferguson, curator of firearms at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, to find out.
Vampires aren’t real, are they? Hopefully not, but then what is so curious about a box that purports to be a vampire slaying kit? And why did the Royal Armouries decide to spend £7,500 on acquiring one of the kits? Jonathan Ferguson, 34, curator of firearms for the Royal Armouries, explained some of the reasoning behind the occult purchase. He explained: “We love vampires as a culture, and have done for at least 100 years. It’s just cool, and why shouldn’t we display things that are cool?” The Royal Armouries bought the vampire slaying kit in the summer of 2012 at auction, with a winning bid of £7,500. But before appearing in auction, the kit had been owned by a collector of the occult, and a resident of Leeds. Though his identity remains unknown, he was 93 when he died, and left three vampire kits to a daughter-in-law – just
Vampire slaying kit on display in the Hunting Gallery at the Royal Armouries. © Royal Armouries www.royalarmouries.org.uk
one was put up for auction. Another was sold privately, and the third was kept by the family. The most interesting thing about the vampire slaying kit, arguably, is the fact it is acknowledged by Jonathan and the Royal Armouries to be a bona fide fake. But then no
“I call it an invented artefact”
vampire slaying kit is authentic, according to Jonathan. “The bits in the kit are old, from the nineteenth century. And the box is from the early twentieth century. “It is possible there could have been wooden stakes meant for killing vampires in a shed in Romania somewhere at some point, but I’m sure they would have been used for something else by now – like building a fence.” He added: “There are 90 kits of this quality, none are authentic, but this is one of the nicer ones. “I call it an invented artefact.” The first printed reference to any vampire slaying kit was in an auction catalogue in 1986 – disappointingly recent – on sale for bids starting at $800. Jonathan points out, however, that there is evidence of vampire kits existing a decade or so before that. “A man claims to have invented the kits in 1972, and I’ve no reason to believe he didn’t make one.” He is hopeful that the Armouries’ vampire slaying kit might be earlier still, however. “I don’t know exactly how old it is, it may prove to be older than all the others. “I’d guess it is no older than 1920, but it is really difficult to say. “Dating is still on-going. We’re doing dye analysis, we’re testing the glue and the paper, and we’re using x-ray to look at the construction of the kit.” But why spend a large sum of money on something that is patently staged? Jonathan said: “This is as close as it gets to the supposed real thing. We collect these sorts of objects in an-
ticipation of future history. “Fakes like this allow people in the future to discuss the history of folklore and fiction.” Following their acquisition of the kit, the Royal Armouries has attracted some impressive international media coverage. Jonathan explained: “We got a call from NBC in America and they ended up doing a segment about the auction of the kit, although they knew we would be the eventual buyers. “To Americans, Leeds is vaguely near Whitby, so a strong link to Dracula was made.” There seems to be an obsession with the supernatural undead in modern cinema, with films such as the Blade trilogy starring Wesley Snipes, I Am Legend starring Will Smith, or even the teenage fiction sensation Twilight series proving highly popular. Jonathan said: “I don’t deny that some of the backing I’ve received is because of the Twilight films – it has meant there’s a new, younger audience interested in vampires.” He added: “It’s a shame that Twilight is so far removed from what makes a vampire, but the range of depictions is interesting.”
“For me, it is a film prop for a film that was never made”
For Jonathan, displaying the kit is about more than propagating the myth of vampires. He said: “Museums used to be cabinets of curiosity. That’s why we display the kit honestly – it was made for fun, and we ask that people maintain an open mind. “There’s a balance between it being a tourist attraction, and an opportunity to learn about vampire stuff. “For me, it is a film prop for a film that was never made.” The vampire slaying kit will be back on display at the Royal Armouries in time for Jonathan’s lecture in October, and will be exhibited in the Armouries’ Hunting Gallery. The lecture entitled How to Kill aVampire takes place on October 30, and will give audience members the opportunity to hear about the kit, and to get up close with the contents. More information is available at www.royalarmouries.org/events/events-at-leeds.
Jonathan Ferguson, curator of firearms at the Royal Armouries, holding the vampire slaying kit. ÂŠ Royal Armouries www.royalarmouries.org.uk
The remake of Sam Raimi’s zombie classic The Evil Dead has got us feeling ghoulish...
How to survive a zombie apocalypse...
When the dead rise, all that hard-earned movie knowledge is really going to come in handy. by Jon Cronshaw @Jon_Cronshaw
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
To some, Dawn of the Dead represents a seminal moment in the oeuvre of auteur George A. Romero
that is filled with scathing social commentary that satirises the excesses of consumerist culture – but those insights are useless when you’re trying to escape hordes of the undead. For the survivalist, it teaches you that the biggest danger in a zombie outbreak is biker gangs. It’s all well and good having an almost endless supply of food and zombie-smashing tools at your fingertips, but if you’re holed up in a shopping centre, every thug with a motorbike and a machete is going to want that place for themselves.
Bio Zombie (1998)
When it comes to underrated Chinese zombie films from the late nineties in which Lucozade has been tainted by some top secret military bioweapon that turns people into zombies,
one of the best has to be Bio Zombie. Quirky, funny and lacking in the usual gore and violence of a traditional zombie flick, Bio Zombie is another shopping mall hidefest, the film focusing around two video bootleggers who, during the course of the film, mug, scam and screw over as many people as possible, but you end up warming to them. The lesson for the survivalist? Be horrible and you’ll survive, be nice and you’ll end up dragging your carcass along with the rest of the ghouls.
When mad cow disease mutates to mad person disease and people start running around wanting to snack on the brains of the living, you have to do everything you can to survive. You could take the Tallahassee route and give yourself a quest to keep you
busy and plough through zombie herds with a huge truck along the way, or you could give yourself a set of rules like Columbus to help you survive. The most important rule? Never kill Bill Murray – it might not help the survivalist, but it’s one I choose to live by.
Evil Dead: Reincarnated. Reviewed.
Evil Dead has a lot to live up to by trying to recreate one of the most infamous cult horrors of all time. Produced by the original director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell, but directed by Fede Alvarez, the film has been massively hyped with more than a few sceptics waiting for another botched thriller. The film starts with heroin addicted Mia (Jane Levy) and her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend and their two childhood buddies. The group stumble across the necronimicon,
a twisted book sewn together by human flesh, and accidently release the evil that possesses it. Evil Dead has taken the original’s extreme gore and self-mutilation, and increased it to an eyegouging level. The visceral cinematography and constant dread portrayed throughout the movie will bring excitement to any gore-addicted horror buff. The clichéd demonic insults and myriad household weapons used to stab, burn and hack their way through their friends sticks to the 1981 original, but the black humour
has been removed in an attempt to keep you on the edge of your seat which thankfully it does. The film not only twists the plot but holds surprises and curveballs for fans of the original and newcomers alike. Evil Dead offers a challenge to the world – that demons and gore aren't dead, they just need a group of naive teens to release an evil demon before mercilessly slaughtering each other in the most imaginative way possible. Out now on general release, certificate 18.
by Andreas Mullings @Andy_Mullings
Jane Levy stars as Mia in Evil Dead
Jewish Artists in Yorkshire
It is 150 years since the first synagogue was built in Leeds, marking the Jewish community’s official establishment in the city. And now a new exhibition celebrates the landmark by showcasing the community’s contribution to the Yorkshire art scene. Jon Cronshaw hears more from curator Layla Bloom.
Jacob Kramer, The Jew, 1916, oil on canvas, University of Leeds Art Collection. © Estate of John David Roberts By courtesy of the William Roberts Society Photo: Norman Taylor Jewish Artists in Yorkshire is based around the major Jewish artists in the University of Leeds’ art Collection, including Jacob Kramer, Philip Naviasky and Willy Tirr. Curator, Layla Bloom said: “We felt this would be the perfect opportunity not only to celebrate the artists in our collection, but also to pay tribute to some of the great patrons in our history. The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery is named after some fantastic Jewish patrons – so we’re really thankful to them as well as the artists.” As well as important artworks from the Leeds collection, other works by Jewish artists are also represented, including Jacob Epstein’s stunning bronze portrait of physicist Albert Einstein (1933) and Jacob Kramer’s painting about Jewish identity, The Jew (1916). Layla said: “We were sure from the start that we didn’t just want this to be about the local area. So we’ve got artists featured like Jacob Kramer and Jacob Epstein who are well known internationally. But we also wanted to feature them alongside artists who are well-known locally, as well as some contemporary artists who aren’t as well-known as they should be, but hopefully will be in the future.” The grouping of artists based on religious or ethnic grounds can be incredibly tricky for a curator and in the past has inflamed racial and religious tensions. Layla outlined the careful balance that needed to be maintained: “We were trying to show the diversity of the community. There were a lot of people who were concerned when they heard about the exhibition that we were trying to pigeonhole people into some kind of ethnic stereotype. That’s not
the case – what we’re here to do is celebrate a very diverse community, and one that is very important to Leeds.” The range of artists represented in the exhibition all have their own unique relationship to their Judaism. Layla said: “The artists interpret the world in many different ways – some through the lens of their Jewish identity, and some not at all. It can be just a religion for people, it’s certainly an ethnic heritage for a lot of people, and some people have very little connection to it – but it’s up to the individual artist to define for themselves.” The response from the wider community in Leeds has been an enthusiastic one. Layla said: “I’m overwhelmed – this is the most popular exhibition opening we’ve ever had. I don’t know the numbers yet, but we ran out of wine! We had to bring out the kosher wine which we were reserving just for the religious people – and that was only 15 minutes into the exhibition opening.” The exhibition has encouraged members of the local Jewish community to donate paintings to the gallery’s collection so that they can be seen by the wider public. Layla said: “People have a lot of pride in their heritage. We’ve had a lot of people from the community who heard about the exhibition and got really excited about it. We’ve had to people give gifts of paintings by Jewish artists for our permanent collection.” Jewish Artists in Yorkshire is on display at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds, until June 30. 7
When art meets science
Science outreach and installation art might seem worlds apart. But a daring collaboration between artists Becs Andrews and Dave Lynch and chemical physicists from the University of Leeds aims to demonstrate scientific concepts to a wider audience.
by Jon Cronshaw @Jon_Cronshaw
Recently shown at the Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds, Phase Revival is a fasciBecs has spent much of her artistic life working on set and stage designs and nating art installation bringing together the worlds of art, music and hard scibelieves that Phase Revival addresses a key issue in both the visual arts and science. A sharp beam of light is projected through a series of swinging ence – that of communicating ideas. She said: “Some of the things I’ve seen in pendulums, each of them swinging at a different rate. The result is a beautifully theatre or art galleries just don’t seem to have the same ‘wow’ factor that good hypnotic projection that morphs and oscillates along with an abstract musical science can give you. Artists have all this energy for communication – but what soundtrack. many of them are actually saying isn’t very important. Artist Becs Andrews explained how the concept for Phase Revival was “These ideas in science are things that people need to know about – it’s about formed. She said: “My husband’s a biologist, and a while back we started talktelling people about this stuff in an entertaining way where they are learning ing about the idea that it would be interesting to make some artwork based on about something but don’t actually feel like they learning about something. some of the scientific research he’s doing and how you could use theatre to “Art is more open to discussion, and it’s much easier than science to get incommunicate ideas in science in a more interesting way than a lot of science volved with. Science is like a closed door thing for the experts, whereas art is outreach. something that people feel like they can have a go at.” “I was taught science so badly at school that I would have never considered it Mike agreed, saying: “It doesn’t set out to teach you anything, or explain anyas a career, and having seen how rewardIt’s more art that is inspired by sci“Some of the things I’ve seen in theatre or thing. ing it has been for my husband’s career, I ence, to show that science can be art galleries just don’t seem to have the beautiful, but also to show that science wondered why I never saw it like that – it’s because of the way it was communisame ‘wow’ factor that good science can can be exciting and interesting.” cated.” Becs explained the work could appeal give you. Artists have all this energy for to a wide range of audiences. “Phase ReThe piece represents an ‘optical harmonica’. Dr Mike Nix, a scientist who communication – but what many of them vival seems to grab different audiences worked on the project, explained: “The on different levels. For scientists, it’s a are actually saying isn’t very important.” manifestation of what they already know. optical harmonica is an artistic representation of how our science works. A harmonica’s notes are derived from har- For people that know a bit, it tells them a bit more, and for people who don’t monics. Harmonics are sound frequencies, but in our case we’ve turned the know anything about the science it’s like an open door into finding out more waveforms into something visual. It’s an optical harmonica because it comabout it. And if people aren’t interested in science at all, they can just enjoy it prises lenses.You see light being shone through those lenses, but the lenses are as a work of art,” she said. swinging back and forth - it replicates the way we see atoms in our lab.” She added that Phase Revival’s reach could go far beyond an art gallery setting, Mike specialises in ultrafast processes in photochemistry, especially the inter- saying: “Where is the audience for this? I think it’s in lots of different places. play between electronic states and vibrational motion. He said: “We were Could the audience be art galleries, schools, science museums, universities, awarded £1,000 from the Royal Society of Chemistry to do a little bit of scitheatres? I don’t see why the audience can’t be in all of those places, the more ence outreach. This means taking science outside of the lab, outside of the unidifferent audiences that experience it, the better. “ versity, and try to communicate ideas to people who maybe haven’t done Phase Revival was an inspiration and challenging experience for all involved. much science recently. Mike said: “It’s been inspiring, it’s been interesting, we’ve learnt an awful lot “Traditionally, science outreach would take the form of a public lecture about different ways of doing things – different ways of solving problems.” where you’d try and make it exciting, interesting and engaging for people. We Phase Revival was created by Andrews&Lynch with support from decided to take a different approach in that we chose to produce a piece of art. the Royal Society of Chemistry and DARE. Produced in collaboraThe installation is designed in such a way that it tells you something about scition with Jon Hughes, Dr Mike Nix and Prof Benjamin Whitaker, ence.” School of Chemistry, University of Leeds.