Beam, guided by the Wakefield Arts Partnership have commissioned artist Andy Abbott and are working together to find out about the hidden aspects of the Wakefield District as part of a new project celebrating independent activity in the area.


The Wakefield Centre for Dark Matter is a travelling pyramid that gathers and exhibits information about the weird, wonderful and under-appreciated. Its contents are generated by residents and visitors to Wakefield. The project’s creator Andy Abbott explains,

‘Dark Matter doesn’t necessarily mean morbid or seedy. I’m interested in the invisible mass of culture that holds everything together; the independent, amateur, Do-It-Yourself, underground, marginal and self-organised elements of a place that give it its character.

This can include a vintage bicycle club that meets at the local labour club, a pioneering environmentalist and satirical taxidermist like Charles Waterton; a grassroots refugee and asylum seeker support group; and a shut-down 90s rave that went down in history despite only two records being played.  

People, places and groups like these help make Wakefield different to other districts and it’s fascinating to hear about sides to a place you didn’t know about.’

If you want to contribute to the Wakefield Centre for Dark Matter the pyramid will be appearing at various events across the district this August and September including National Coal Mining Museum on Sunday 28th August and Bank Holiday Monday at Nostell Priory, Wakefield Art Walk and pop ups at various car boots and festivals around the district.

You can also contribute online at – and be in with a chance of winning vouchers for culture and independent shopping in the district. The material and information submitted will become part of the travelling pyramid that reveals its contents using augmented reality technology, and will be archived on a dedicated website launched later in the year.

If you’re interested in hosting the Centre for Dark Matter at your event then get in touch with Andy Abbott or call Beam on 07718 564376.

Further information: This project is funded through Arts Council England Grants for the Arts as part of its support for Beam’s, Arts in Place II Programme.

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