Skippko has been involved in many magical projects across the wards of our city of Leeds. That said, this is the very first time that we’ve worked with a fictional detective, unpicking dastardly deeds, discovering the habitats of unicorns or planting a tree amongst the columns, bookshelves and iron girders of Harehills.

Working in partnership with Leeds Library and Information Service ‘A Curious Chapter’ involved many people investing a lot of time and energy across our city. All of the work was made in libraries in Beeston, Harehills, Middleton and Seacroft and is a testament to the energy, commitment and creativity of the people of Leeds.

As with many of our initiatives, we’ve been working with people who regard themselves as ordinary; nothing special. In our experience, these people are quite extraordinary. They take on responsibilities, commit themselves to something different and create amazing work. As ever, it’s been a privilege for us and our artists to collaborate with these wonderful individuals and to play a small part in their lives.

To return, for a moment, to the tree that we planted in Harehills: this was created as part of our initial work in Compton Road Library and was due to be transferred to Leeds Central Library for an exhibition. However, when the tree took root, it sparked such interest that the library staff requested that it remain. Of course, we were delighted and we made a second tree for the exhibition.

‘I’m currently building my confidence up and this group has really helped me with that.  It has helped me to grow.’

‘The project started with our stories, which made it feel so personal and exciting. We loved sharing and listening.’

‘We all said we’re not arty – we have surprised ourselves!’