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The Bunting Festival

A post-lockdown celebration – The Bunting Festival

Many of you have probably spotted the colourful, vibrant flags waving around Armley. These unique creations are part of the Bunting Festival and were made by people from your neighbourhood. 

The idea came from Natasha Joseph, Visual Artist and Founder of local CIC We Belong Here. “I saw a washing line and I thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was an exhibition on this washing line?’ because I hadn’t been to a gallery in 3 months – and I lived inside a gallery because I was constantly putting up art, curating”, she explains. 

Photo Credit: We Belong Here

In partnership with Interplay Theatre, the project came to life when Natasha and her team prepared little DIY kits that included all the necessary items – like paint, fabrics and a step-by-step guide on how to make your own flag – and handed them out to the local community. The craft packs turned out to be a welcome distraction during lockdown and generated a huge response. 

We Belong Here then joined all the individual flags together and put up the bunting. “The Bunting Festival is a way to bring people together, it’s a way to engage people in art and bring art to the street”, Natasha says. 

Photo Credit: We Belong Here

It’s also a way to celebrate being part of a bigger community after being locked in for so long. If you want to join the bunting hunt, here’s a map of all the various locations. Look out for a few colourful surprises along the way! Here’s Natasha again:

“Imagine you’re walking past, going to your bus stop and you’re having a really bad day. It’s raining and it’s grim and for one second you’re looking up and street after street you see these colours and the art . Maybe for a short while you stop thinking about your problems and just experience the art – and you feel part of something.”

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