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New permanent gallery tells stories of city’s people

Image credit: Leicester by Barbara Bagley. © Barbara Bagley

A fascinating new permanent gallery opens at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery on Saturday (14 May) that will inspire conversations about the city today.

The Leicester Stories Gallery has been co-produced with the help of local people and presents their views on the city’s achievements, challenges and defining events over the past 70 years.

The central themes of the gallery have been selected and explored by the volunteers, who have also shared their personal stories of their time in the city.

Themes, including sport, community, diversity and industry, as well as education, prejudice and work, are brought to life through dozens of everyday objects.

Items made in Leicester, including a Fred Perry shirt and an Imperial typewriter, as well as objects associated with key moments in the city’s recent history – such as a clap banner from Leicester City’s title-winning season – are all part of the display.

Gurpreet Grewal-Santini, who was one of the volunteers who joined the gallery’s co-production group, said: “It’s been fantastic to be involved in the development of the Leicester Stories Gallery.

“So much has happened in Leicester over the past 70 years, and it’s been fascinating to hear about everyone’s very different experiences in the same city.”

The gallery will also feature new work by Leicester artists, including a poem called Semper Eadem by Jess Green, photographic portraits of Leicester people by Leonie DuBarry-Gurr and a film by ImageNova.

ImageNova’s film focuses on the significant events that have taken place in the city over the last 70 years, with each of these ‘Leicester Milestones’ proposed by the public.

Photographic work created by a group of young people, led by photographer Leonie DuBarry-Gurr, will go on display in the new gallery’s temporary exhibition space.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh-Clair said: “Our Leicester Stories Gallery has used a new approach to create a permanent exhibition, with content suggested by people who live in the city.

“We’re very grateful to all the volunteers who have given us their time and shared their stories. The result is a fascinating new exhibition, featuring stories from Leicester told by those who call the city their home.”

The £350k gallery has been created on the ground floor of the museum in space formerly used as offices.

Admission to the museum on New Walk is free of charge. Opening hours are Monday to Friday: 11am - 4.30pm and Saturday and Sunday: 11am - 5pm.

More information about the new Leicester Stories Gallery is available here

Innovations in Leicester’s museums are made possible thanks to regular funding from Arts Council England (ACE). A £407k National Portfolio Organisation grant has been secured from ACE for 2022-23.


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