500 Visitors to Underwater Exhibition

It’s art Jim but not as you know it! Submerged this weekend was visited by a phenomenal 500 people, who came to explore the mind-bending combination of art, swimming and underwater music at Bramley Baths. The inventive exhibition was created by I Love West Leeds Festival’s Jane Earnshaw & Leeds photographer Lizzie Coombes.

The exhibition attracted local residents and visitors from across the city and beyond, with many people visiting the baths for the first time ever to hear an underwater soundtrack of Handel’s Water Music as they swam around the photography exhibition.

Visitors plunged in for the art and music or enjoyed home-made cake and a DIY disco in the form of a wind-up-gramophone on the balcony while browsing an exhibition of photographs charting the work of the prolific I Love West Leeds Festival.

Friends of Bramley Baths took the opportunity to hold taster activities – including free mini-steams in the Russian Steam Room, hula-hoop fitness classes, static bike racing and ping pong. For the Friends, it was a very useful chance to chat to people about plans for the Baths, and test out some new ideas for the enterprise. We received lots of feedback from parents and children, telling us how much they enjoyed short steam sessions, and the hula-hoop keep fit and table tennis seemed to capture people’s imagination.

Andy Phillips led visitors on short tours of the pump room – explaining how they filter the brown mains-water that arrives from the pipes into the clear clean drinkable water we’ve come to expect to swim in at Bramley Baths.

The exhibition has attracted interest from Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Metro, Big Issue North, The Guardian, LOL, Culture Vulture, BBC Radio Leeds, Third Sector Magazine and most recently – BBC Look North. If you missed Look North’s report, watch it again here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-20045306

Thanks everyone who came along, but especially I Love West Leeds Festival (for another brilliant idea beautifully realised) Jane Earnshaw, Lizzie Coombes, Sally Brown, Howard Bradley, Beate Rohle, Fra Panella, Tall Paul (sorry Paul), Sarah Howells. Thanks also to  Jane Zanzarotta of Artemis Leeds who displayed a collection of vintage swimming hats and the brilliant team who made the underwater music happen – Anything Audio. Thanks also to the Bramley Baths team – always lovely to work with, and to the Friends for volunteering their time, and to the FoBB bakers who brought and made cake (you rock)!


Submerged: UnderWater Exhibition at Bramley Baths

Photo by Lizzie Coombes for Submerged: UnderWater Exhibition at Bramley Baths

This weekend, something very special is stirring at Bramley Baths. If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a free underwater exhibition by I Love West Leeds Festival, which will transform the pool into a water-filled gallery. Pack your speedos, and take a dip to look at Lizzie Coombes‘s wonderful photographs taken at Bramley Baths during Water Music – the event everyone talks about – when the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra floated on the surface of the pool, playing Handel’s Water Music to passing swimmers. When you dip your head under the water to look at the photos, listen out…..

Friends of Bramley Baths are supporting I Love West Leeds Arts Festival to present Submerged, this Saturday and Sunday, 3-7pm. The festival is one of the most imaginative we know of, and we’re delighted to be working with them on this event. It’s the start of things to come too, as we’re currently plotting some cheeky new events together for the New Year.

The FoBB volunteers are pulling on their tracksuits for some playful stuff in the fitness room too this weekend. You can enroll in a hula-hoop fitness class (it works!) led by Pete White, get competitive over ping pong, test your skills on the static bike, or enjoy a free 10 minute steam in the Russian Steam Room. On Sunday, join Andy Phillips for a guided tour of the plant and pool room – and find out why the water turns grey when you’ve swum in it, and how they polish it up to make it cleaner than the water in your taps.

We’re looking forward to meeting lots of new people and proving why we love this baths so much. We’re also looking forward to chatting with people who use the baths about the plans when the building opens it’s doors on 1 January 2013 to a fresh start and as a new social enterprise. Come and tell us your ideas for original ways to exercise, tell us about your group or business and how they might benefit and get involved in the new enterprise, or just come and say hello and have some fun!

Submerged: UnderWater Exhibition by I Love West Leeds Arts Festival

Sat 20 and Sun 21 October
Bramley Baths, Broad Lane, LS13 3DF


*due to pool capacity there may be a wait at busy times to enter the water but we have tea and cake to pass the time and tours of the building too!

Bramley Baths Version 1.0




Photo of Bramley Baths Year Unknown

We stumbled on this photo in the cellar at Bramley Baths today, year unknown. We’d love to see your photos & hear about memorable experiences you’ve had at the baths. Do you remember your first visit or your children’s first paddle? Did you meet your partner here, or maybe there’s something that always reminds you of the baths, the people who use it and the wonderful friendly staff…let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Email friendsofbramleybaths@gmail.com, tweet @bbathsfriends of post a comment on our facebook page.