Pavilion was founded in 1983 by graduates from the Department of Fine Art at the University of Leeds. It opened in a disused park pavilion on Woodhouse Moor in Leeds, as the UK’s first Women’s Photography Centre. Over ten years, it ran a programme of events, exhibitions and educational activity that sought to enable new democratic structures, art practices and radical social change. While no longer a women’s centre, Pavilion’s programme continues to be inspired by the organisation’s founding aims.

Research Resources
Documentation on the first decade of Pavilion’s activity is held by Feminist Archive North at the University of Leeds.

The following articles discuss Pavilion’s early years:

— Elizabeth Chaplin, “Visual and Verbal Critique: Feminism and Postmodernism” in Sociology and Visual Representation (1994).

— Shirley Moreno, “The Light Writing on the Wall: The Leeds Pavilion Project”, in Photographic Practices: Towards a Different Image, ed. Stevie Bezencenet and Philip Corrigan (1986)

— Gill Park, “The Pavilion Women’s Photography Centre 1983-1993: Deciphering an ‘incomplete’ [feminist] project” [PhD thesis] (2019)

To the Editor of Amateur Photographer
In 2014 Pavilion produced a 70 minute film with artists Luke Fowler and Mark Fell which interrogates Pavilion’s history as a feminist photography centre and the organisations fragmented archive. Further details →

Pavilion’s original gallery and workspace on Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, early 1990s

Poster for The Image in Trouble exhibition at Pavilion, 1984

Pavilion’s darkroom, c.1984