“It was really nice. Even nicer to have non-business things happening. It bring the place to life.”
Masood Malik, ABC Specialist Tobacco

'Shift' set about to re-generate and re-ignite community within the Merrion Superstore (now called the Merrion Market), by commissioning high quality challenging art works from practitioners in the Yorkshire region and beyond. Eighteen artists were selected from an open submission and the project had a number of elements involved. The first two weeks were 'Process Lab' where the artists were encouraged to use the market unit as a site to develop work. The final week saw a curated exhibition of the work that had been made or was still in the process of being completed. Alongside this was a programme of street based performances, networking and seminar events, a volunteer programme and an education/resource area.

An audience of just under 1000 came to the various scheduled events, and many more experienced the street based performances. We also made friends in the Merrion Market by drinking lots of cups of tea and eating too many chip buttys:

“We really enjoyed having you here. It won’t be the same without you.”
Jean Baranyi, Superstore Snack Bar

The inspiration for 'Shift' came from my frustrations with Leeds being an overly image conscious, mainstream consumer-driven city. I wanted to make something different happen to disturb the everyday routines:

“…on leaving the space, it quickly becomes apparent that subtle effects have been achieved, as I catch myself looking at things and wondering if they are part of the ‘art’ or not.”
Wayne Burrows, The Big Issue in The North, ‘ Consuming Passions’, P.22-23, March 29 – April 4, 2004