Making lion masks in Huddersfield with ‘The Joy of a Roar’ – celebrating the town’s heritage and wellbeing 

A chance to make a dramatic lion mask in a craft studio on Huddersfield’s Piazza.  

Chris Marsden, well known Huddersfield architectural historian and Laura Mateescu, University of Huddersfield research student and photographer, invite local people to join them in making lion masks. 

Credit: Laura Mateescu Photography

The workshops are a key part of The Joy of a Roar, a community arts project commission from the Historic England Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ). 

With support from mask makers Laura & Chris, you can make a lion mask with card, paper and your imagination. All materials and tools are provided. 

The two and a half hour bookable workshops are free, everybody age 12 and over is welcome. Under 18s need to be accompanied by an adult. 

Chris said, “We have developed a mask style that is easy to make, adapt and wear, that is dramatic for photography.” 

Laura said “We are making masks to be worn during a photoshoot in a local studio. Local people with lion masks will be photographed in sport, dance or play. These ’lion’ portraits will be exhibited larger than life on Huddersfield town centre streets. We hope many of the masks will go on display in local businesses windows, too.” 

Credit: Laura Mateescu Photography

Chris and Laura appreciate how the lion is a well-known symbol of Huddersfield’s heritage, which also represents agility, strength, fierceness, courage, leadership and community pride. 

Chris said “This commissioned project will generate massive portraits promoting sports and wellbeing by engaging local people. We want them to consider Huddersfield’s history through lion mask-making workshops. There are over 150 sculpted lions in the town centre.” 

Free ‘The Joy of a Roar’ mask-making workshops are running at No 42 Princess Alexandra Walk (the old Poundworld shop) on Tuesday 15th February 3pm, Sunday 20th February 1pm, Thursday 24th February 11am and Saturday 26th February 10am & 1.30pm. 

Laura said, “Symbolically, the lion highlights Huddersfield’s diversity and will engage local people by building connections between the town, its history and town-centre users, promoting fun and community-making, placing creative activities at the heart of the project, bringing a sense of ownership through making and crafting and promoting health & wellbeing through arts and physical activity.” 

Places are limited. Booking is advised, either by Eventbrite or by emailing a request for a  place to 

In addition to The Joy of a Roar workshops children and families are invited to make their own lion masks and contribute to the window displays at Maker World at 33/34 Princess Alexandra Walk in the Piazza Centre on Saturdays 12th and 19th March 11am-3pm. These sessions are drop-in and free – no need to book. 

The project has the support of Calder Art Supplies, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Kirklees Council, Arts Council England and Temporary Contemporary

Find them on Twitter @TheJoyofaRoar 

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