Armley Town Street mosaic brings colour to Leeds community

The mosaic in Armley.
The mosaic in Armley.

Colour and creativity came to an area which has suffered anti-social behaviour as a mosaic made by more than 500 Leeds residents was unveiled.

Staff and volunteers from Seagulls, St George’s Crypt representatives and youngsters from pupils from Christ Church Primary Upper Armley turned out on Thursday as the piece was presented in Town Street, Armley.

Cat Hyde of environmental social enterprise Seagulls, who lives in Armley, said: “We felt it was really important to try and make something colourful and creative, and to try and make something to celebrate about the community as well.

“We’ve worked with hundreds of different people, from local schools, community groups, who have contributed in different ways making and placing the tiles.

“We’ve had great feedback so far. Because so many people have helped, hopefully it will be respected in the area.

“People are stopping, and showing their children the bits that they did. It’s lovely to see, and people are really proud of it.

“The children at the school think it’s great to see something they’ve contributed to, and it does make people proud.

“It’s about trying to make art accessible to all, so it becomes a community piece rather than something by an artist.”

Seagulls initially had the vision to create a piece of public art on Town Street.

The idea was to promote “community cohesion” in an area that was suffering from anti social behaviour and negative press, they said.

St George’s Crypt got behind the project and allowed the mosaic to be installed on the charity’s shop wall.

The mosaic was designed and made by more 500 Armley residents, with Seagulls delivering workshops in community organisations, schools and summer fairs.

Town Street has been known for reports of anti-social behaviour, with community leaders expressing concerns about the role of street drinking in the area.

Events such as Armley Festival have been organised in recent years as a way of bringing people in the area together for a positive purpose.