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Leeds, United Kingdom –

Leeds stretches along both sides of the River Aire in West Yorkshire in northern England, with a rich history that date back to the Roman occupation days. Many believe the city’s name comes from an old Brythonic term, the language used by the Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons. The term «Ladenses» refers to the «people of the fast-flowing river.» A Roman historian described it as «a region which is called Loidis» (in Latin). Some people believe that the name came from the Welsh «lloed,» which refers to «a place.» Over the centuries, Leeds has grown from a farming community into a center for the industry as well as arts and culture – one of the largest in England. The University of Leeds, a public research university, is the epicenter of a lively academic community. It’s also a city of parks and greenery, set in a landscape of rolling hills.
Leeds is situated about 48km northeast of Manchester, just to the east of Bradford, and 272km northwest of London. The Aire Valley is about 63m above sea level, with the mountains of the Pennines ranging up to 340m in the area of Ilkley Moor. The city’s terrain incorporates variations in elevation, rising to 198m above sea level about 9.7km from the city center. The rich history of Leeds owes much of its impetus to its geography. With a ready supply of fresh water from the River Aire and its tributaries and in the middle of a fertile valley between the rolling green foothills of the Pennines mountain range, it was a natural area for settlement. Both coal and iron deposits were discovered in the area by the time of the ancient Romans, about 350 BC, fuelling the city’s first era of growth and the region’s Iron Age.
Even though landlocked, Leeds is about 100km from the North Sea, and therefore the region experiences an oceanic climate as per the Köppen climate classification. The Pennines mountain range also influences the weather of Leeds. The city experiences mild summers and cold winters. The highest average daytime highs of just under 20°C occur in July and August, as compared to under 6°C during the coldest months in January and February. There is moderate rainfall during the summer, and occasional snow in the winter, amounting to lower than average rainfall for the United Kingdom. Extreme temperatures during either season are uncommon but occur occasionally.
The area now home to the city of Leeds was once part of the Brythonic (Celtic) kingdom of Elmet, which governed the area from the 5th century into the early 7th century. During that era, the region was largely forested. Some artifacts belonging to the Romans have been found in the area, along with those of the Brigantes, a native Briton tribe. After the Romans, the Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons came to the area. In 2008, a cache of artifacts called the West Yorkshire Hoard was discovered, including six pieces of Anglo-Saxon jewelry made of gold and precious stones and believed to date from the 10th century. During the Anglo-Saxon era, Leeds became a township and local market center for the surrounding agriculturally rich region. The township was incorporated in 1626. From the 16th century, the city also became a leading center for the wool trade and began its pattern of growth driven by the economy, which continued into the Industrial Revolution. Leeds was granted City status in 1893. The industrialized economy drew many people from the surrounding agricultural areas for work opportunities. By 1801, the city had a population of 92,000. That jumped to over 225,000 by 1841 and 609,000 by 1911.
Along with the city of Leeds proper, the City of Leeds metropolitan borough also includes several smaller suburban towns in the surrounding area. With a city population of over 525,000, the metropolitan area of the City of Leeds is just under 799,000. The larger Leeds City Region incorporates a population area of over 3 million, coming second to the Greater London area in the United Kingdom. More than 140 ethnic groups make their home in modern Leeds, with a visible minority of about 18% of the population. Children represent about 20% of the population, with just over 15% counted as elderly. The vast majority (over 86%) of the population were born in the United Kingdom. Along with the University of Leeds, the city is home to the Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, and Leeds Art University. The student population is estimated at 40,000. The city’s population has been growing slowly but steadily in the modern era, at a rate of about 11% between 2002 and 2022.
From its early days as a farming market town, Leeds has become a major urban center in the UK. During the 14th century, contact with innovative Flemish weavers set up the basis for the cloth trade in Leeds, an industry that would become increasingly important over the ensuing centuries. By 1770, Leeds handled one-sixth of England’s export trade, mainly fuelled by textiles. Coal mines led to early industrialization and, as the Industrial Revolution progressed, led to the growth of the mechanical engineering industry. A canalized section was created to make the Aire more navigable, called the Aire and Calder Navigation, with the first section put into place in 1704. In 1816, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal construction was completed, and the Leeds and Selby Railway was set up in 1834, sparking further growth. Locomotive engineering became a new growth industry. With longstanding transportation links, which today include the M1 from London to Leeds and the Leeds Bradford International Airport, Leeds became the industrial hub of the Yorkshire region. Along with industry, the city is a financial center and home to the head offices of several banking institutions, including Yorkshire Bank. Digital manufacturing and creative industries make up a significant part of the city’s economy, along with retail and tourism.
Leeds is an ideal center for exploring West Yorkshire’s natural beauty, including the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which is located less than 32km from the city center. More than 600 hectares of green spaces are incorporated into more than 200 parks and open spaces in the city. They include wooded areas and farmland, as well as parks per se. Tourists can enjoy hiking, trekking, cycling tours, and other outdoor activities.
Leeds’ history is easy to explore by strolling through the downtown area, as well as in historic properties like the Tudor-Jacobean mansion called Temple Newsam House. The Abbey House Museum preserves the city’s Victorian past.
There are more than 16 museums and art galleries to explore the area’s history and culture, including the Leeds City Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre contains exhibits depicting the Norse occupation era, circa the 9th century. As a center for the arts, there is a thriving culture and night-life scene, from significant productions to independent artists, and many yearly festivals that celebrate arts and food culture.
Leeds is a city with a fascinating history that has evolved over the centuries, from the forested region of the Celtic people of antiquity to today’s vibrant mix of industry, education, and culture. The city wears its past with pride, including landmarks like the 13th century York Minster cathedral, existing sections of medieval wall around the old city, and many other structures dating from the Middle Ages and different historical periods. Areas developed in the city’s industrial past that fuelled its massive growth from the 19th to 20th centuries have been redeveloped into live music venues, bars, and other cultural venues. Leeds is a city where the past continues to evolve into the present.
All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2022


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Tattoo Artist, Entrepreneur, and Oil Painter Kirby van Beek Makes a Mark in the Industry

Kirby van Beek, a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter, has emerged as a prominent figure in the world of tattooing, showcasing his expertise in black and grey realism. Known for his distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist, Kirby has established himself as a highly regarded artist, earning recognition both locally and internationally.

Kirby’s journey as a tattoo artist began at the age of 18 when he taught himself the art form while simultaneously pursuing his education in forensic science. During this time, he displayed unparalleled dedication, working at a morgue during the week and honing his tattooing skills during weekends and spare hours. Kirby’s passion for tattooing led him to work at various tattoo studios in the Netherlands, solidifying his experience and expertise in the field.

About Kirby van Beek:

Kirby van Beek is a talented tattoo artist, entrepreneur, and oil painter based in [City]. Renowned for his expertise in black and grey realism, Kirby’s distinctive designs and captivating portraits with a dark twist have earned him a prominent position in the industry. With a passion for tattooing and oil painting, Kirby aspires to become a globally recognized artist, leaving a lasting impact on the world of art.

«The things I love most about tattooing is meeting different clients and getting to know them on a personal level during a long tattoo session,» says Kirby. «There is nothing more rewarding than tattooing individuals who appreciate my art so much that they choose to wear it on their skin for life.»

Specializing in realistic black and grey tattoos, portrait tattoos, and horror tattoos, Kirby’s work has garnered attention both nationally and internationally. His talents have been showcased at several tattoo conventions abroad, and his captivating designs have been featured in prominent tattoo magazines. Additionally, he has been recognized by esteemed publications such as LINDA magazine in the Netherlands and the local newspaper BN de Stem. Furthermore, Kirby’s exceptional skills led him to participate as a tattoo artist in the Dutch version of MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us.

Looking ahead, Kirby aspires to become a world-renowned tattoo artist and oil painter, with a particular focus on portrait tattoos and dark horror tattoos.

His ultimate goal is to reach clients and famous individuals around the globe, sharing his unique artistry and leaving an indelible mark on the industry. In the future, Kirby envisions opening an art show to showcase his diverse body of work.

To learn more about Kirby van Beek and explore his captivating portfolio, visit his official Instagram page (@kirbyvanbeek) or his website

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DJ Khenya Takes Center Stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Spreading Joy and Connection

The music of DJ Khenya pulsates with rhythm and emotion. A rich mélange of sun-kissed sounds that blend percussive beats with indie and deep house. The artist’s journey to Ibiza has laid the foundation for a musical expression that communicates joy and connectivity. Taking the reins at Blue Marlin Ibiza, Khenya’s vibrations will inspire dance floor dreamers to move and let go.

From the stage at Blue Marlin Ibiza, DJ Khenya has shared experiences alongside some of the most influential names in the music industry. When asked about the impact of these experiences, the artist responded humbly: «The truth is I feel lucky. I have total admiration for them as they are a source of inspiration for me.»

The energy at Blue Marlin Ibiza is unlike any other, according to DJ Khenya. He describes the place as «a life experience,» synonymous with summer and with all the ingredients to feel in a state of bliss when you’re there. He thanks the team for being like a family to him and for everything they’ve done.

This summer, DJ Khenya will take his audience on a journey filled with unforgettable emotions. He comments, «My goal is to transmit uplifting and unforgettable sensations. My audience is what sets my heart on fire, and I want them to feel my desire to make them dance.»

The path that led DJ Khenya to become a DJ began in Havacia, Cuba, where he grew up in an environment where rhythm, dance, and poetry are like the air we breathe. With son and salsa running through his veins, his first experience at an electronic music party in the early 2000s marked a shift in his life. Khenya recalls hearing ‘The Underground’ by Celeda and says, «It was a different Cuba, and I loved it. I think from that moment, something changed inside me. A seed had been planted, and life would take me in that direction.»

Having traveled the world and now based in Ibiza, DJ Khenya reflects on how these experiences have shaped his identity as an artist. He comments, «Traveling the world is a privilege that every human being should have, especially an artist because when you have these experiences, you can understand different ways of life and the musicality of each place. Creativity is born from that knowledge, and I still have a lot to learn in that sense.»

This summer, DJ Khenya promises to take Blue Marlin Ibiza to new heights with his unique music and his desire to make everyone dance. The experience is guaranteed to be a celebration of life, joy, and connection through music.

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Oliver Rouz: Weaving Ink and Inspiration into a Legacy

Born on February 13th, 1988, Oliver Rouz’s path to success is one marked by determination, passion, and the pursuit of creative endeavors. From a young age, Oliver exhibited a profound love for various forms of creativity, which ultimately led him to become one of the country’s most celebrated tattoo artists.

During his school years, Oliver’s artistic talent set him apart. His favorite cartoon characters became his canvas as he tirelessly recreated them in his own style. However, drawing was merely a pastime during his teenage years, a source of pleasure until music took center stage in his life.

In 2005, Oliver formed the «Fairy Tale Jelissa Rose» band, a pivotal moment that expanded his horizons. Immersed in the music community, he developed a newfound fascination with tattoos and ink artistry, spurred by the band’s association with the tattoo culture.

A serendipitous encounter with Artem at the «Quick Silver» shop in Moscow in 2010 marked a turning point. Artem’s influence led Oliver to consider a life-altering decision. By 2012, Oliver, now ignited by a passion for tattoos, made a bold move to another city, all while nurturing his tattoo aspirations.

Artem’s transformation into a tattoo artist himself inspired Oliver further. As fate would have it, an opportunity arose in 2012 for them to collaborate and open their tattoo studio in Moscow. This venture required Oliver’s dedicated efforts, alongside his commitment to saving funds to fuel their creative endeavor.

Oliver’s tattooing prowess flourished within a year, prompting a return to his hometown to establish several home-like studios. Yet, he recognized that true growth beckoned him back to Moscow. Thus, in 2017, he joined Good Hands Tattoo, laying the foundation for his continued ascent.

Oliver’s indomitable spirit and devotion to his craft bore fruit, as evidenced by his stint at Black Point studio, born out of a collective dream. His trajectory exemplifies the power of dedication, leading him to become a recognized tattoo luminary within the nation.

Oliver’s journey, however, extends beyond tattooing. From his early affinity for music, highlighted by the formation of his punk rock band at 14, to his involvement in the music industry and flirtation with global recognition, his story embodies the resilience required to navigate creative industries.

A pivotal moment arrived in 2021 when Oliver, undeterred by previous setbacks, chose to channel his creative energy into designing game art. Leaving behind a stable job, he invested his savings of around $5,000 to embark on a transformative journey. Guided by Hexeth’s interview and tutorials, Oliver delved into the realm of game design.

Fueled by dedication and a newfound purpose, Oliver’s creative expression culminated in designing elements for popular games like CS:GO and RUST. Through unwavering commitment and rigorous self-education, he harnessed the potential of his artistic flair.

Today, Oliver Rouz’s name resonates as a testament to the potential of human determination. His path from a young artist with a penchant for creation to a revered tattoo and game artist serves as an inspiration to countless dreamers. Oliver’s legacy continues to evolve, as he pushes the boundaries of his craft and inspires others to chase their passions unrelentingly.

For more information and to view Oliver’s work, visit his Instagram profile: @oliverrouz.

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