1000 Handshakes Exhibition. 

What a wonderful few days we had last week sharing the final outcomes of Sarah Caputo and Brenda Unwin's 1000 Handshakes project. Thank you to all of you who joined us for the exhibition launch. In total we hung 599 handshakes by 1000m of fishing wire and collected some more along the way.

We met hundreds of people throughout the course of the exhibition who spent time chatting and sharing stories with us. We were joined by an investment banker who travelled the world and shook hundreds of hands a day and reflected on how he never thought about the space in between – but now he would. We met a little girl who came in and wanted to shake every single one so she could say she had met 600 people. Compass cant wait to bring similar art works and interventions to the city in our 2020 festival in November. 

We would like to thank Leeds Inspired, Leeds BID, Leeds Bus Station and La Bottega Milanese for their support during this project.

Images by Daisy Petley


We're looking for collectors! 

Do you collect?

Joshua Sofaer, artist in residence with Compass in 2019, wants to meet private collectors in Leeds. 

He is looking for small but unconventional collections. Think less stamps, and more vintage ketchup bottles and cat whiskers. 

If you'd be interested in getting involved and would like to meet Joshua for a cup of tea, send us an email: info@compassliveart.org.uk 


Artist Development Bursary Award: Meet the Artists! 

Matt Allan 

Matt Allen is an artist and performance maker based in Leeds. Matt creates digital and participatory art under the name Closed Forum. The latest project Matt is working, The Journey is a series of interactive narratives that lets participants to reimagine places in Leeds. These take the form of mobile games that are played on the streets of Leeds. The Compass Bursary is allowing Matt time to research and develop his projects while focusing on ethical participation and how he works with artists and audiences.  

Alice Bradshaw

Alice Bradshaw is an artist, curator and writer. She is interested in discarded, everyday materials and words. Recycling and repetition are important strategies in her work, which sets up a dialogue around the value of rubbish through objects, publications, exhibitions and events.

Through her Compass Live Art Development Bursary, Alice is exploring the role and value of dialogue in art practice. Alice is blogging daily about dialogue as part of her artist development project. She is focussing on everyday conversations relating to her art practice, the liminal spaces of dialogue and dialogical learning.

Nicole Murmann (She/They)

Nicole Murmann has lived and worked in Leeds since 2016. Nicole’s areas of research explore inclusive-feminism, queer, politics, the limits of the body.ies, collecting opinions, stories and sharing conversations. Nicole’s current research explores public space as political strategy of exchanges with no-specific “audience”.

With the Compass bursary, Nicole is developing a one-to-one performance/installation about her childhood using sound, imagination, memories and stories. Nicole will share childhood memories, inviting participants to share their memories or to simply have a conversation. 

China Duke (They/Them) 

China is a changeling born from the Yorkshire dirt. Constantly shapeshifting into witches, fauns, clowns and oracles, their practice is an attempt to elude the social order in order to reimagine those structures and forge a new spirituality within them. They use ritual, storytelling, visual art and dance in a tiny, desperate attempt to edify, protest and heal the wounds caused by the late-capitalist hellscape we're all trapped in. They can usually be found in liminal spaces like nightclubs, hotel corridors and fields (places where God is easier to hear).

They intend to use their time with Compass Festival to research methods of communality and kindness in live art, and develop a piece of work intended as a gift to Leeds.


Compass Festival Video

 Take a look at our new video, filmed by Luke Shoesmith, celebrating everything we do at Compass. Cast your mind back to festivals gone by and watch our video!