Artist's Brief: Open Call

We seek to commission a public sculpture championing the achievements and recognition of women in the City of Leeds. Conceived by Rachel Reeves (MP Leeds West), and project-managed by Leeds Arts University in collaboration with Leeds City Council, the aim is a more balanced gender representation of public sculptures in Leeds.

A series of major UK cities and towns are now making concerted attempts to tackle the historical oversight of women’s achievements by way of public sculpture. Yet, it is also clear that many examples have tended to conform to a figurative and largely nineteenth century model of public sculpture, featuring women who have long since passed away. It is proposed that Leeds, with a long tradition of being an avant-garde city, contribute to this national debate in a ground-breaking way with an innovative structure that can both celebrate multiple women’s achievements and offer a creative model that can be added to democratically with living exemplars in years to come.

Interested candidates are advised to refer to the Artist's Brief. Submissions should be made electronically and must include:

  • A CV detailing relevant experience
  • A 500 word proposal statement (to include a justification of the chosen medium)
  • Up to ten images of the proposed concept

Please direct applications and inquiries to the University Curator, Dr Catriona McAra at

Deadline: Friday 21 September 2018

After that time, a shortlist of up to four artists will be subsequently provided with £1000 (one thousand pounds) each to develop a 3D maquette for exhibition in the new gallery space at Leeds Arts University. During the exhibition in May 2019, the shortlisted artists will need to pitch their concept to the selection panel via interview. The successful artist will then be commissioned £10,000 (ten thousand pounds) to deliver the final sculpture at the Gateway Court site at Quarry Hill in 2020 (this fee will not include fabrication costs nor structural engineering and maintenance costs which will be budgeted for and managed separately). Please note, the fundraising campaign may include corporate sponsorship.