Public sculpture to champion women’s achievements in Leeds

04 June 2019

Leeds Arts University’s latest exhibition shows the work of four artists shortlisted to create a new public sculpture to champion the achievements of women in the city of Leeds.

The four artists were chosen in response to a project which aims to redress the gender balance of public sculpture in an innovative way, celebrating the achievements of the women of Leeds with an avant-garde approach. One artist will be commissioned to create the sculpture.

The selected artists have developed models of their proposed designs which will be shown in the Blenheim Walk Gallery, alongside examples of work from other cities to highlight the broader context for women's visibility in the public realm across the UK. The exhibition coincides with a major fundraising campaign, which aims to find support both from the public and corporate sponsors keen to engage with the project.

This exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to see the proposed designs created by the four shortlisted artists, Briony Marshall, Pippa Hale, Wendy Briggs, and Zsófia Jakab.

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.

The exhibition will be shown in the Blenheim Walk Gallery at Leeds Arts University from 24 May - 4 July. The winning sculpture will be selected by panel interview, but visitors attending the exhibition will have the opportunity to give their feedback until the panel make their selection on 7 June.

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

“We are delighted to invite visitors into our new University gallery to see the diverse range of work from the shortlisted artists, who have all demonstrated a real interest in developing the representation of women in Leeds.

I am looking forward to seeing the next stage of the project develop as one artist is selected to create an exciting and ambitious public artwork to celebrate the achievements of women across the city”

Image: (from left to right) Dr Catriona McAra (University Curator), Pippa Hale. Zsófia Jakab, Rachel Reeves (MP Leeds West), Briony Marshall, Wendy Briggs, Professor Simone Wonnacott (Vice-Chancellor).

Rachel Reeves Member of Parliament for Leeds West added:

“I am so pleased that the ideas from our shortlisted artists are now becoming a reality. We welcome everyone from across the city to get involved in this fantastic opportunity to celebrate women in Leeds through public art.

The University gallery will showcase the designs for several weeks and it’s really important that everyone has their say on choosing which sculpture will be the winner. I look forward to the next stage of this exciting project!”

The chosen 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. 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.

All images photographed by Memory Potifa.