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Leeds Art Hostel – The making of the Fred Dibnah Suite

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Late last year, we helped break the news that Leeds was opening its very own Art Hostel! Brought to you by the fine people over at East Street Arts, we were more than happy to get involved and sponsor a room. Who else could we ask to decorate it but Drew Millward? Well, actually Drew asked us and of course we said yes!

Your first job is to watch this video that ESA put together which features our room – ‘The Fred Dibnah Suite…’

As you can see, Drew has done an amazing job on the room! He designed the amazing wallpaper, curtains, the massive vinyl floor sticker and all the pictures that were hung. Here’s a short time lapse of us hanging the wallpaper…

Here’s the vinyl floor sticker going down…



You’ve seen the videos and now it’s time to check out a few of our favourite pics. Here’s what you see when you open the front door and go into the hostel… looks warm & welcoming, right?

A short journey up some stairs and you come to room number 3… which is ours!


As well as being full of Drew Millward art, our room is resplendent with 5 bunk beds; a vintage bureau (for artists to create whilst staying there) – not to mention an array of plants and the hoist! It’s essentially a dumb waiter (it’s not in service any more though) and is part of the building’s 18th century origin.

We asked Drew what had inspired him to create the room in this style and he said: “The Fred Dibnah Suite was inspired by the industrial heritage, not just of Leeds, but of the North as whole. The artwork around the room is part of a series of work I created for ‘Dust’, a solo show which explored the reimagined history of the post-industrial north. The rest of the decoration and pattern design was a continuation of these themes, from the factories and pits of the wall paper, to the Leeds heraldry on the curtains. The painted brick, the uncovered floor, the scaffolding bed frames, all stand unapologetically proud of their own pervious uses and their own small part in the northern powerhouse.”



The Art Hostel have just had a glowing review in The Guardian who also name-checked loads of other great Leeds businesses!


So there we have it! Next time you’re in Leeds – you literally have somewhere awesome to stay. Book yourself a bed from only £23.50 a night… here’s the info.  Maybe you’ve already stayed here? Send us a tweet! You don’t need to be from out of town to experience it – it’s great to support creative Leeds ventures.

You can follow the Art Hostel on Twitter, too.


*Wanna see what the Art Hostel looked like before it was developed? Check this out!*

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