Found Cities, Lost Objects at Leeds Art Gallery

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
An artwork featuring many rectangular mirrors with coloured frames. In the mirrors are the fractured reflections of a young woman with dark hair, in the act of taking a photograph of two other unidentifiable young women in a street.
Hannah Starkey, Mirror – Untitled, September 2015, 2015. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © the artist

Found Cities, Lost Objects at Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds Until 21 April 2024 Entrance is free — Visit now

Leeds Art Gallery invites viewers to explore the urban environment through the eyes of women and gender non-conforming artists in the show Found Cities, Lost Objects.

Curated by the superstar artist, curator and cultural activist Lubaina Himid, the exhibition addresses topics of power, urban safety and navigation as well as more intimate aspects like belonging. How are cities constructed to allow privileges to some and limit others? How do urban environments impact the way we make choices, and more broadly, shape our lives? Through the works on display, Himid asks if it is possible to envision an inclusive city where everyone would feel comfortable and welcome.

Found Cities, Lost Objects features works from the Arts Council Collection and Leeds Art Gallery’s collection together with works by artists based in Leeds and Yorkshire. You’ll find pieces from over 40 artists, from Phyllida Barlow to Cornelia Parker and Mona Hatoum.

Photographer Hannah Starkey’s poster image for the exhibition Mirror – Untitled, September 2015, shows a reflection in a wall of mirrored tiles, drawing attention to both the fragmentation of the city and the fleeting moment of pause when urban living usually happens in a hurry. As a photographer wandering the city, she is an embodiment of the concept of the ‘flâneuse’ – a female wandering observer.

Rebecca Chesney’s intimate collection of works entitled Future Landscapes include small paper collages showing houses and apartment blocks adrift in the sea, often terrifyingly close to hurricanes or eruptions. These works are quiet and unassuming in style yet scream with a very clear message – this is what our cities will look like if humans continue on the path we’re currently on. At first glance they may seem like delicate little landscapes but on closer inspection they gain monumentality.

Elsewhere, you’ll come across a number of films including Rhea Storr’s A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message, a piece which considers forms of authority and carnival as a subversive form of protest. Storr takes a closer look at the visibility of Black and mixed-race bodies in rural spaces.

These are just a few highlights from a show that thoroughly examines the urban environment and the way it’s utilised and explored by its female and non-binary residents and visitors. Found Cities, Lost Objects previously travelled to Birmingham, Southampton and Bristol so don’t miss the chance to see it while on display in the North.

Found Cities, Lost Objects at Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds Until 21 April 2024 Entrance is free Visit now


  • Captioned
  • Relaxed

Where to go near Found Cities, Lost Objects at Leeds Art Gallery

Vue Leeds The Light

Vue Leeds The Light is a massive 14 screen multiplex located in the city centre.

Gaucho Leeds

High-end Argentine restaurant with a focus on steaks, glamour and wine.

City Varieties Music Hall
City Varieties Music Hall

Established in 1865, City Varieties Music Hall is Leeds’ hidden gem, and holds a record as the nation’s longest-running music hall.

The White Swan Leeds
The White Swan

The White Swan is a charming side-street pub next to the world famous City Varieties Theatre. It serves simple hearty food and a range of continental and American beers.

The Decanter Leeds
The Decanter

The Decanter is a sophisticated modern bar, specialising in all things wine. It’s outfitted as a premium wood bar, plush, cosy furniture and luxurious wines and spirits

drinks at Kapow Coffee Leeds
Café or Coffee Shop
Kapow Coffee

Kapow Coffee is an independent coffee shop located in Thornton’s Arcade in the heart of Leeds City Centre, serving cakes, sandwiches and delicious coffee.

OK Comics Leeds
OK Comics

OK Comics is Leeds’ leading comic book shop, with everything from classic items to obscurities. Their modest shop is designed with ease of use in mind.

Village Bookstore Leeds
Village Bookstore

Leeds’ Village Bookstore is a classic-style bookshop, with a neat line in self-published zines.

Shopping Centre
St John’s Centre, Leeds

With a great mix of retailers over two levels including fashion, gifts and food, plus its own secure car park, St Johns Centre makes shopping in Leeds easy

Henry Moore Institute
The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds

The Henry Moore Institute boasts one of Britain’s strongest public collections of sculpture, and ‘makes a significant impact on the future of art history’.

Olive and Rye Leeds
Olive & Rye

Olive & Rye is a restaurant deli in Queen’s Arcade, Leeds, specialising in top-class sandwiches.


Artsmix is a arts and crafts market in the centre of Leeds that has been supporting the creativity of artists and designers for more than a decade. T

What's on: Exhibitions

Culture Guides

Festival-goers at Green Island
Music in Manchester and the North

Gazing longingly towards the good times that will accompany the surely imminent sun, we take a look at the best music festivals coming up in Manchester and Salford.

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre in Manchester and the North

Affecting contemporary performances and fresh, relevant takes on enduring classics, we pick out shows that help us scrutinise the world we live in.