Emmaus Leeds has partnered with Leeds BID and artistic collective Found Fiction to take part in city centre art installation; ‘My Christmas Home’. The installation, which is located in Bond Court, will feature the community of Emmaus Leeds from 14th until 21st December.

The free art installation invites members of the public to step into an immersive video and audio experience that highlights how different households in Leeds spend Christmas Day.

The three men who feature in the film, named Dave, Alan and Tony, are currently residential companions at the Emmaus Leeds community building in Burmantofts. Each of the men are currently rebuilding their lives after experiencing homelessness.

Left to right; Paul Cloke Community Leader, Tony, Dave, Alan, Steve Clarkson Founder of Found Fiction

Emmaus Leeds is a homelessness charity that supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing a home, work, training and individual support. The charity raises funds by operating a large second-hand superstore on St Mary’s St and a market stall in Kirkgate Market.

Tony, current Emmaus Leeds companion and one of the three men involved in the film said: “‘The experience of the Christmas filming was good. At this time of the year, some people get forgotten and it was nice to be approached and remembered at Christmas, and to acknowledge others at this time of year. Emmaus treats you like a real person all year, but you feel part of a larger family at Christmas. I am looking forward to seeing the final film finished and being a part of this amazing project.”

Gina Morrison, General Manager of Emmaus Leeds, said: “We are very excited to be taking part in My Christmas Home. We love that the installation will show the diversity of households in Leeds, and highlights that Christmas looks different in every household.

“Being involved in a large community project such as this can help to raise the confidence and self-esteem of our companions (service users), who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing homelessness.”

Dave, Tony and Alan watching their big debut

Steve Clarkson, founder of Found Fiction, said: “The big thing about this Christmas is that we should be able to open up our doors and celebrate together — and after 2020 we’ll never take that for granted again

“That’s exactly what we’re saying with this installation, by giving people the chance to experience a Christmas that’s completely different to their own. I’m really proud to be celebrating a cross-section of society and bringing lesser-heard voices to the fore — it’s my artistic obligation, and the privilege of a lifetime. My hope is that My Christmas Home will build empathy and connections between different Leeds communities by allowing everyone to share in a multitude of Christmas experiences.”

The exhibition as a whole runs from 27th November until 30th December and is open daily between 11am and 7pm (11am to 5pm on Sundays).

Find out more about the My Christmas Home exhibition.

Alan, Tony and Dave at the My Christmas Home exhibition on Bond Court, Leeds