Ey Up Mick Ward

I’d always seen Mick around at art openings in Leeds - often dressed more like what you might expect an artist to look like than the Deputy Director of Adults and Health for Leeds City Council. Though we’ve had a few short conversations over the years, it was wonderful to be able to talk much more at length and learn about his many years in social care, his appreciation and integration of artists into it, and his famous Grandfather; but also to talk through his difficult youth, starting work at 16, gaining confidence through trade unions and political activism, and eventually being in a position to influence his beloved Leeds United to become one of the first dementia friendly football clubs, and currently attempting to make them more LGBT+ friendly.

Though I’m only in the position to try and get commissions, it was also fascinating to learn about his approach to commissioning with multi million pound budgets and wondering if certain models or methodologies could be applied to artistic commissioning.