Wakefield Council has revealed plans to introduce a series of captivating sculptures in its city centre, set to be unveiled between the end of July and September. Renowned artists Halima Cassell, Andy Holden, Annie Morris, Ro Robertson, and Jason Wilsher-Mills have been commissioned to create site-specific artworks for this initiative.
These remarkable sculptures will be strategically placed at various key locations throughout the city, offering residents, businesses, and visitors the opportunity to engage with and appreciate world-class contemporary art.
Cllr Michelle Collins, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Sport, expressed enthusiasm about the city’s rich heritage in sculpture and public art. Wakefield boasts a significant artistic legacy as the birthplace of globally acclaimed artists Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, as well as being home to the renowned Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Collins commented, “We are excited to continue the development and growth of this aspect of our heritage with our new city centre sculpture trail. The introduction of these new sculptures will not only foster a genuine sense of pride and unity by connecting different parts of the city but will also utilise the power of art to prompt discussions on various issues and themes.”
She further added, “By animating the streets of our city centre with public art, we hope to attract an even greater number of visitors, allowing them to immerse themselves in the wonders of our remarkable district.”
The city centre public sculptures program has been made possible through a generous £1 million investment from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). Administered by Arts Council England (ACE), the funding specifically aims to curate outdoor contemporary sculptures in Wakefield’s city centre. To ensure a meticulous selection process, the Council enlisted the expertise of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a leading institution in outdoor sculpture, to collaborate and assist in choosing the five participating artists.
The upcoming collection of sculptures, set to debut this summer, will serve as a testament to the city’s extraordinary cultural heritage and will undoubtedly captivate both residents and visitors alike.
Launching from late July until September, the sculptures will form a free and accessible outdoor public art trail, providing a distinctive and immersive city centre sculpture experience.