Photos: Lizzie Coombes, Simon Persighetti - Graphic: Tim Jukes

Etheridge & Persighetti (Small Acts)

Public House: The Yorkshire Square

Modelled on the dimensions of the unique fermenting vessel made famous by Tetley’s Brewery, The Yorkshire Square was reimagined by artists Katie Etheridge & Simon Persighetti (Small Acts) as a four-sided Pop-up-Pub serving brews and views from across Leeds.

Prolonged closures of the UK’s already endangered pubs during 2020, brought into sharp focus both the fragility and the importance of the Public House. 

Since 2017 Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti (Small Acts) have been working with Leeds brewers, publicans, campaigners and individuals to explore the future of social landscapes by investigating the enduring role of Pubs as places of community, intergenerational exchange, entertainment, (hi)story telling and activism. 

The four sided structure contained two working bars and over 9 days, we invited the public to explore the idea that the pub of the future has many faces.

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"Nirvana, Blur and Coldplay all played early shows at the Duchess of York. Twenty-one years after it closed, a new pop-up version calls attention to the plight of today’s small venues"

Explore The Yorkshire Square 

A homage to the spirit of former pub and iconic music venue The Duchess of York was created to explore how pub closures impact on culture and community. The Duchess won our Lost Pub Competition with over 200 votes. From the sign to the chairs and tables, part of the venue was brought back, alongside a night of Duchess themed performances and talks.

Chameleon Bar served a range of local hand-crafted ales and craft beer, and hosted a programme of talks by pub campaigners, brewers and activists – including: Women on Tap celebrating women in beer; pub campaigner, Greg Mulholland; and legendary promoter of The Duchess, John Keenan.  

The Third Space acted as a project info hub and was a meeting place for a programme of guided tours given by people from across Leeds reflecting on the city’s varied social and community spaces. 

You could tap into history at the Time Bar – watch and listen to specially recorded interviews on pubs past, present and future and play an interactive Pub Quiz machine. 

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Public House: The Yorkshire Square by Etheridge & Persighetti (Small Acts). Commissioned and produced by Compass Festival. Made possible by the The National Lottery Heritage Fund with support from Leeds Civic Trust. Many thanks to Leeds Kirkgate Market and Nomadic Beers.

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