Artists shortlisted in search for a sculpture to champion women’s achievements in Leeds

22 October 2018

Four artists have been chosen in response to a project managed by Leeds Arts University with Leeds City Council and Rachel Reeves MP to create a new public sculpture to recognise and celebrate the achievements of women in the city of Leeds.

A panel of representatives including: Leeds Arts University, Leeds City Council, Leeds Arts Gallery, Leeds BID, the Leeds City College and The Playhouse has chosen the shortlisted artists, who will now develop a 3D maquette of their concept that will be exhibited in the new gallery space at Leeds Arts University in May 2019.

The shortlisted artists will also be asked to pitch their concept to the steering committee, who are looking for the work to redress the gender balance of public art in Leeds in an innovative way, celebrating the achievements of multiple women in the city.

Of the submissions received, four artists have been chosen to develop their concept for consideration for the final sculpture:

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.

Professor Simone Wonnacott, Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Arts University, said:

“We were delighted to receive such an interesting range of submissions to the brief, demonstrating a real interest in developing the representation of women in Leeds’s cultural offering.

The four shortlisted artists represent a diverse range of practices, who have much to say about the heritage of Leeds and the achievements of women across the city. I am very much looking forward to seeing their ideas take form, and to exhibiting them in the University’s gallery next year.”

Rachel Reeves, MP Leeds West, said:

“It has been really wonderful to see the level of response from artists who are keen to be part of this historic project. The submissions have been incredibly varied and I am so pleased that we have now shortlisted the four artists who will go on to exhibit their models next year. There is a clear demand for women of this city to be celebrated in the art we see every day and I am really looking forward to seeing these ideas come to life as the project unfolds.”

It is proposed the artwork will be located at the heart of the new development of Gateway Court at Quarry Hill, home to BBC Yorkshire, Leeds City College and Northern Ballet, and sited prominently at the top of a green landscaped, tiered public space visible from Eastgate and The Headrow.

Image: Architects impression of the proposed location for the sculpture. Richard Line at Virtual Planit for SOYO.