Hidden Gems On University Of Leeds’ Campus

University of Leeds Art and Sculpture Trail

If you need an excuse to step away from your reading list, then look no further than the Art and Sculpture Trail. Dotted throughout the University of Leeds campus are many interesting art installations and sculptures sure to help you take a quick break from academic life. Most noticeably, is the iconic “wobbly bacon” or ‘Sign For Art’ by Professor Wilson situated opposite the Great Hall, and the gravity-defying ‘The Dreamer’ by Quentin Bell floating in the Clothworkers Court. However, there are many pieces hidden away for an observant student to find, such as the ‘Man-made Fibres’ by Mitzi Cunliffe hidden high up on the Clothworkers South Building, or the striking ‘Wire Sculptures’ by Rachel Ducker in the Worsley Courtyard.

The Dreamer, by Quentin Bell (Image Credit: University Of Leeds)

Sketch Club at Leeds University Library Galleries

Whether you are the next Leonardo Da Vinci, or can’t even draw a stick figure, Sketch Club is for you! A long-established event of the Leeds University Library Galleries, Sketch Club is a really enjoyable way to spend your Friday afternoon. While originally in person (held in the Galleries located in the Parkinson building), for now, these are still being held online. Every Friday at 12.30pm you can follow the Galleries’ Twitter and Instagram sketching prompts for a ‘Friday Focus’, join in the lively conversation with like-minded students and devote some time to pure creativity in this wonderful break from your studies. 

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Pen to Paper at Leeds University Library Galleries

Another classic event from the Leeds University Library Galleries team, Pen to Paper allows all students to come and try their hand at creative writing. Similarly to Sketch Club, the sessions are still currently being held online, so just visit the Galleries’ Twitter and Instagram pages every Wednesday at 12.30pm to join in the fun. Each session is based around an item from the Galleries’ collection, so not only can you try your hand at creative writing but you’ll also have the opportunity to see some amazing pieces too. This is certainly not something to be missed if you need a creative break away from the academic journals and assignments.

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Green Spaces on the University of Leeds Campus

At almost 100 acres, the University of Leeds campus is definitely vast. Luckily, we have over 1400 trees as part of our campus so finding a lovely green spot when you need a break from student halls, lecture rooms or your own cluttered desk is not hard at all. Why not visit the Sustainable Garden, a calm area run entirely by volunteers, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a vegetable patch, herb garden and edible flower garden? Or perhaps St George’s Field, a lovely space filled with nature that was once a Victorian cemetery? Not forgetting, of course, the Roger Stevens Pond where you can sit on benches at the water edge as the visiting family of ducks quack a melodic backdrop to your morning coffee.

(Image Credit: University Of Leeds)

The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery 

Located in the heart of the stunning Brotherton Library, The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery includes a rich array of items from the University of Leeds Special Collections that cannot be missed. Within this gallery one can find an abundance of information and variety: from original handwritten materials from the Brontës and Elizabeth Gaskell, to medieval manuscripts and rare texts from across the globe. Furthermore, the Brotherton Gallery also organises themed talks from specialist curators and opportunities to be hands-on with some of the unique texts. Currently, the Brotherton Gallery is showing the ‘Cottingley Fairies: A Study in Deception’ exhibition that focuses on the secrets of the well-known twentieth-century hoax.

Image Credit: University of Leeds