In Leeds we are known for our creativity and diversity – which is reflective in our art. To showcase the variant styles and beauty in what they do, we created this feature to spotlight the wacky talents on our Leeds streets and get to know the people behind the creations.
We spoke to Mandy Jayne Broadley of thehangingskull about the in’s and outs of what she does, and what inspires her to do it.
Mandy is an artist from Yorkshire. She studied at Bradford College and received a First Class Honors in Art & Design before becoming a Display Technician at a Secondary school. Unfortunately at the start of 2016, Mandy was retired from work due to ill health, which spiralled her hobby in making things.
“I began to create Steampunk and Goth inspired art pieces. These were purely just for the joy of creating. I started making my handmade oddities to keep my mind busy whilst I was no longer working and it allowed me to do something that I love to do.”
It got to a point when Mandy’s creations began to overrun both her art studio and the rest of her home – which is when her daughter Eleaner encouraged her to finally set up her own business and sell her wonderfully weird creations to the rest of the country. This was then the start of The Hanging Skull.
The oddities she makes are from mostly recycled materials that she has acquired from car boots sales, charity shops and auctions. She also uses real animal skulls that she purchases from eBay to make her pieces as authentic as possible. Each piece she creates is unique and one of a kind – meaning they can take her anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of days.
“My inspiration comes from the Steampunk scene, but also a lot of Goth Horror. I can see a piece of jewellery and suddenly have an idea come to mind. Or I can see an old box and then once I’m in my art studio then the thoughts in my mind come to life in my art.” says Mandy.
Leeds is a very individual place and no two people do the same thing, this is just reflecting in the unique art that Mandy makes. Our minds are just full of variant different aspects of creativity.
“I really enjoy the art scene as a whole in Leeds as I feel that it allows everyone to just be themselves. No matter where you drive your inspiration from, there can always be some found in Leeds.”