Feminist Public Sculpture:
Championing Women's Achievements in Leeds

24 May - 04 July 2019

The exhibition showcases the work of four artists chosen to create a new public sculpture to celebrate the achievements of women in the city of Leeds.

This project aims to readdress the gender balance of public sculpture in an innovative way, celebrating the achievements of the women of Leeds and will follow in the footsteps of Leeds Arts University alumna, Barbara Hepworth, with an avant-garde approach.

The contribution of women in Leeds has shaped the city’s industrial and cultural life, from Isabella Ford, who helped to form the Leeds Women’s Suffrage Society in 1890, to the women textile workers she represented. In more recent years prominent Leeds women have included Dame Fanny Waterman, DBE, piano teacher, and the founder, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition as well as Nicola Adams OBE, the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title in 2012. However, as is the case in cities throughout the country, the achievements of the women of Leeds have been historically underrepresented, especially in the provision of public sculpture.

This exhibition will be the first opportunity to see the proposed designs created by the four shortlisted artists:

  • Briony Marshall, sculptor and installation artist
  • Pippa Hale, Leeds-based contemporary artist
  • Wendy Briggs, installation artist working across a variety of media
  • Zsófia Jakab, interdisciplinary artist

This is a joint project developed by Rachel Reeves (Member of Parliament for Leeds West) in partnership with Leeds City Council and Leeds Arts University. Additionally, the exhibition aims to research the broader context for women's visibility in the public realm from across the UK, with select examples from Glasgow and Manchester, among others. 

This exhibition is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday at our Blenheim Walk Gallery.


Opening night: Thursday 23 May 5-7pm
Free entry. Booking not required.

Research forum: Thursday 4 July 3pm
Confirmed speakers include: Professor Griselda Pollock, Hazel Reeves, Sharon Thomas, and Rachel Reeves. The event is free and open to all.

Image (from left to right): Briony Marshall, Pippa Hale, Wendy Briggs, Zsófia Jakab. All images courtesy of the artists.

  • 24 May - 04 July 2019
  • Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University, Leeds, LS2 9AQ