Simon Warner

Artist in Residence - 3 November 2009

3 November 2009

Photographer and performance artist Simon Warner, has a new job - 'Artist-in-Residence' on the Number 36 bus.

Throughout the summer, Simon, who is a freelance photographer, has filmed and photographed not just passengers but also views from the bus and explored the villages that the iconic service passes through.

Though the idea of an 'Artist-in-Residence' is an increasingly popular one (with roots in the pioneering Gregory Fellowships at Leeds University in the 1950s) this is believed to be the first time there has ever been one on a bus.

The residency is part of a groundbreaking collaboration between Harewood House and PSL (Project Space Leeds) in Leeds city centre, both of which are linked by the Number 36. This summer the two organisations have looked at "Town and Country" as the theme for exhibitions and projects.

During his residency, the 58-year-old has looked at the red, black and silver liveried buses and their role linking inner city Leeds with the surrounding countryside.

Simon said: "My work will look at the idea of the very visible bus service linking all these little places along the route.

"The 36 follows an ancient route which must have been used by the monks from Fountains Abbey to come to Kirkstall. I want to reveal its stories and those who have used it over the years."

Diane Howse, trustee of the Harewood House Trust and Co-Director of PSL said: "In the exhibitions we've been staging at both Harewood and PSL we're exploring the relationship between Town and Country, and the Number 36 project literally links the two.

"The bus goes every 20 minutes, throughout the year, taking passengers from the city into the country and back again. We're all looking forward to seeing how Simon develops work in this very unusual context."

Transdev Harrogate & District, who run the Number 36, are delighted to be involved. Marketing & Communications Manager Paul Hodgson says: "We're proud of our buses, we even think they are a work of art in themselves. Now they really will be! Having Simon on the Number 36 will certainly be different! We hope our passengers enjoy the experience. We've a reputation for being an innovative bus company and Harewood and PSL, just like Transdev, are keen to do new, better and exciting things. So we can guarantee a smooth and easy as well as an interesting ride!"