We Are Ten – East Street Arts Reflection

We have a lot of great memories with the team at NN including sitting in the Reliance in Leeds talking about their cheese project, or hanging out in Lille, or seeing them grow and develop as equally they saw us grow and develop.

I think though as simple as it sounds the various visits we made to Dundas House over the years to meet, chat, look at art, eat, drink, plan and plot are the things that stick the most.

There was always a really genuine welcome and inclusive feel when we visited Dundas House. Not an easy building to occupy as it was so large and had that feel that abandoned offices have. Worn carpets, tired décor, corporate wipe boards and odd bits of furniture gave indications of its previous occupier. The way NN approached the building was efficient but sensitive to its very recent history.

Studios, facilities, office and meeting space, and art works found their places and made the most of left over furniture and the buildings layout.

We visited one studio that had become a camera obscura, a space that was set up as a DIY printmaking room where classes took place, a small kitchen that always seemed to have club (mint) biscuits as well as tea, and various exhibitions and pop-up art shops.

I remember conversations about Ken getting stuck in the lift and just because it is a space that Ken made happen makes it also a bit special.

But the best bit that we always had to go and visit was the ‘penthouse’ on the roof. Windy Middlesborough viewed from a flat roof where you could see for miles, and an amazing council house with floral wallpaper perched as some kind of pre-runner to the more luxurious penthouse. We never tired of heading up and out.

Reflection from Karen Watson and Jon Wakeman, our friends and long time partners East Street Arts.