art · arts trail · exhibition · saltaire

Contemporary art exhibitions in the living-rooms of Saltaire village

P1030530Last weekend the brilliant annual Saltaire Arts Trail took place in my village.  I enjoyed a great day wandering round the houses, through the historic streets, and in and out of strangers’ kitchens.

Saltaire Arts Trail is a community arts event, with an unusual slant.  Local homeowners throw open their living-rooms and kitchens to the public, allowing artists from across the UK to exhibit their works right inside the villagers’ tiny Victorian terraces.  There is also a makers’ fair in the magnificent Victoria Hall, loads of events for kids, and every cafe and pub is bursting to the seams.

Saltaire Arts Trail
Mum’s the word

We started our afternoon by having Sunday dinner in a pub cheekily named Don’t Tell Titus.  Titus Salt was the entrepreneur and philanthropist who built the mill village in the nineteenth century.  In Sir Titus’ day, alcohol was banned throughout the village.  Anyone found drunk would be sacked on the spot.  Nowadays, Don’t Tell Titus stands right opposite Titus Salt’s famous mill, and people sit in the windows brazenly drinking their pints of bitter.

Saltaire Arts Trail
Bonkers Clutterbucks’ 3D dioramas

The first exhibition we visited was in the lovely Saltaire second-hand bookshop.  (Or rather, it was right through the bookshop, and into the owner’s living-room at the back.)  There was a fabulous display of Bonkers Clutterbucks 3D models hanging from the ceiling and draped over the mantelpiece.  And we also witnessed one of the visitors trying to buy some of the owner’s own vinyl records.  One of the perils of opening your living-room to the public!  (And Bonkers Clutterbucks later won the Best of Open House award for the weekend.)

Saltaire Arts TrailI loved this garden at number 6 Harold Place, and my photo hasn’t done it justice.  It was an unusually fine weekend, and the house owner, Paula Dunn, placed some of her landscape paintings outside in her garden, to great effect.  You can see some of her own (much better) photos here on her blog

My absolute personal favourite artist in Saltaire is Claire Caulfield, who lives on Fanny Street.  Yes, that is the actually the name of the street :)  Fanny was a common name in Victorian times, and Fanny Street was named after Fanny Salt, Sir Titus’ second daughter.  (There is also a real ale pub called Fanny’s Ale House in Saltaire now – which Sir Titus would definitely not approve of.)

Claire Caulfield works in pen, water-colour and mixed media and has a very distinctive style.  I couldn’t take a photo as her tiny living-room was packed with visitors, but you can see many of her works here on the Heart Gallery blog , and I’ve reproduced one below:

Saltaire Arts Festival
Boutique Shopping in County Arcade, Leeds

If you’re interested in checking out any more of the artists, and news from the Saltaire Arts Trail, there are loads more photos and gossip here on the Saltaire Arts Trail Facebook page.  And if you’d like to see more photos of the village, and hear some old stories from weavers, you can read more in my prevous post about Saltaire.

Hope you enjoyed some of the photos from my village.  Do you have any community arts events in your home town?  And do you enjoy visiting art exhibitions?  If so, who are your favourite artists?  Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

10 thoughts on “Contemporary art exhibitions in the living-rooms of Saltaire village

  1. I loved getting a glimpse of this beautiful fair in your village. Just even calling it a village invokes the quaint setting. Your photos and article were fantastic.Yes, we have craft fairs and festivals in our small town. The biggest one usually the third week of July is the National Baby Food Festival (originated here in Fremont, Michigan because we are the headquarters for Gerber Baby Food.) Our church sponsors a garden tour in July. Four or five gardeners open their gorgeous gardens to the public. I drool over the displays of flowers, ponds, waterfalls, etc. All proceeds go to the church mission projects.


    1. Oh, I’d love to see that garden tour, JQ. I’ve only lived in my house a couple of years, and I’m trying to establish my garden, which was a total mess when we moved in. I love to get ideas from what other people grow in their gardens. And I expect in your part of the world there are many plants and flowers which we don’t see here. Also, what a great idea to do this for charity. Thanks for your great comment!


  2. What a great idea this Art Trail is! You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. I must say that I absolutely love the name of the pub (and the name Titus too!). That was a lovely post Helena.


    1. Hi Marie, thanks for coming. Yes, it’s a great idea to showcase art. And I do love living here, although it has its downsides. There’s a lot of traffic, for example, and the weather in the north isn’t great – as you know! But there’s a lot going on, and of course there are the beautiful moors just nearby. Hope you can come over and have a pint at Don’t Tell Titus some time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.