Sunday, 22 November 2009


For The Leeds Summat 21/11/09 Black Dogs displayed and illustrated their DIY Survival Kit. The Survival Kit is a publication that gathers together local skills and knowledge through ‘how to’ cards that explain an activity you might normally be afraid to tackle yourself. The kit can then be consulted in sticky situations like ‘I don’t have a bed to sleep in’, ‘How do I make a chicken stir-fry’, ‘I can’t afford to go to the barbers’, or ’I’m bored’.

Attendees of the Leeds Summat were invited to browse a scaled-up version of the kit and also to join previous users in submitting a card for inclusion in future kits. In addition, members of Black Dogs enacted, performed and vainly-attempted a selection of the activities from the DIY Survival Kit for the entertainment and education of those gathered.

Activities include How To Snazz up an Outfit, How to make a Beuys Chair, How to make an Envelope, Personal grooming with Grandad, How to Play a Heavy Riff, How To Land Interviews With Big Names and many more indispensable life-skills and survival techniques.

Black Dogs for the DIY Survival Kit: Live! were
Andy Abbott, Michael Burkitt, Yvonne Carmichael, James Hill, Richard Ormrod, Bryony Pritchard, Dave Ronalds and Mick Welbourn

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Black Dogs at ANTIFREEZE

For Contents May Vary's ANTIFREEZE artist's car boot in Manchester on July 4th 2009, Black Dogs distributed free audio works by kindly contributors. The audio was compiled into a single playlist and pumped out of the back of the car loudly for the day. Interested passers-by were also offered the opportunity to take away the playlist by uploading it to their iPods or by accepting free CDs.

The audio included field recordings, music, songs, lectures, performances, and found material made or selected by Andy Abbott, Lawrence Abu-Hamdan, Giles Bailey, Michael Burkitt, Gareth S Brown, Yvonne Carmichael, James Hill, Ben NCM, Rory Macbeth, Matt and Ross, Dave Ronalds, Phil Slocombe, Jennyanne Smith and Mick Welbourn.

Those contributors that have generously agreed to have their material made available to download from this website have been compiled into four manageable chunks so as not to clog up your computer pipes. Please select from one or all of





Simply click on the words above to be directed to the files for download. Due to its formidable size Matt and Ross's contribution is best accessed by following this link.

Black Dogs car boot attendants were
Andy Abbott, Yvonne Carmichael, Vince Carmichael, Jennyanne Smith, Mick Welbourn

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


In 2009 Black Dogs worked on a series of interventions, events and exhibitions in response to the Tower Works site in Holbeck, Leeds. Throughout June we invited the public to ponder over the curious history and origins of the three Italianate chimneys that make the site one of Leeds’ most eccentric yet criminally overlooked landmarks.

Maverick pin-maker Colonel Harding opened the site in 1864, choosing to give Leeds factory workers and residents a little taste of Italy by replicating three towering attractions from Florence, Verona and Tuscany. In a tri-part series of exhibitions, installations and activities, Black Dogs offered the opportunity for people to celebrate, learn, and share stories about Tower Works playing on their Italian connection.

1. The Bells of Florence brought to Leeds.

With no small amount of technical wizardry the Florentine Campanile rang out across Holbeck three times a day as the Leeds version finally fulfilled its bell-tower ambition helping to close the gap between these estranged tower twins.

2. Exhibitions of photography from South Leeds and Florence.

A selection of photographs and video that brought together The Giotto Tower and its original big brother in Florence were displayed across two sites; The Carriage Works on Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre and The Midnight Bell pub opposite Tower Works.

3. Walks around Leeds and Florence

Black Dogs designed a map that transposed Florence on to South Leeds using the Giotto Tower as a common point and illustrated the histories of the two cities.

Download the map here

In June and September the group offered tours around Holbeck and the City Centre that took in the viewpoints from which the chimneys of Tower Works are visible. Two guides delivered information alternating between history relating to Leeds and the sites that would be visible stood in the same spot in Florence. The events were also used as opportunities for participants to share their knowledge, experiences and stories relating to the area.

images by Sue Ball

Self-guided walks were also available by picking up a free copy of the map from various venues in and around Leeds.

Black Dogs’ Tower Works interventions and projects were commissioned by MAAP and formed part of the Yorkshire Forward redevelopment of Tower Works.

Black Dogs Tower Workers were
Andy Abbott, Michael Burkitt, Yvonne Carmichael, James Hill, Richard Ormrod, Dave Ronalds, Jennyanne Smith, Mick Welbourn

Saturday, 21 February 2009

OLD, NEW, BORROWED, BLUE. Ukranian Centre Wedding Commission.

Old, New, Borrowed Blue was an exhibition and programme of events as part of a private commission for Sue Ball and Garry Barker’s wedding party. Guests were invited to contribute an object that was either old, new, borrowed or blue with their RSVP. These were then displayed in an exhibition at the party and combined as a catalogue and box-set for the happy couple to keep.

Alongside this Michael Burkitt and Charlotte welcomed guests with a Giravolta, Jennyanne Smith invited guests to contribute to her ‘Tell Me Something About Your First Love’ project, and Stockpot Stopcock performed a specially written set downstairs.

Black Dogs wedding interveners were:

Andy Abbott, Michael Burkitt, Yvonne Carmichael, James Hill, Martha Jurksaitis, Stockpot Stopcock, Bryony Pritchard, Jennyanne Smith, Mick Welbourn.

Friday, 10 October 2008

DOSE OF SUMMER for Light Night 2008

Where did our beautiful British Summer go? Did we blink and miss the hose-pipe bans, melted 99s, and embarrassing t-shirt tans of 2008? The lack of an entire season left us pasty and depressed, unable to work and confused about what day it was.

Black Dogs provided members of the public with a short sharp Summery shock in their Lost Summer Marquee on Briggate including deck chairs, beach-balls, Summery party games, trashy pool-side literature, Cliff Richard and of course, immense bloody heat and no sodding rain.

Black Dogs for this project was:

Andy Abbott, Michael Burkitt, Yvonne Carmichael, Luke Drozd, James Hill, Jen Ohlson, Bryony Pritchard, Eva Rowson, Tom Railton, Lawrence Molloy, and the Werewolves of London.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


The DIY Survival Kit is a collaborative publication in very limited supply, no two of which are the same. Any one copy acts as a resource of knowledge and advice contributed by previous owners of the publication to help you address everyday dilemmas including ‘I don’t have a bed’, ‘I want to be an avant-garde musician but I don’t have any equipment’, ‘I’m hungry but I’m wary of MSG’, ‘I have no idea how to shave with this thing’ and so forth. The kit has been lent out at various events as a travelling Black Dogs library performance.

DIY Kit Manufacturers and Distributors:
Andy Abbott, Michael Burkitt, Yvonne Carmichael, James Hill, Lawrence Molloy, Richard Ormrod, Bryony Pritchard, Dave Ronalds and Mick Welbourn.