A new outdoor exhibition on Neville Street in Leeds is set to feature ten distinctive large-scale artworks celebrating the city’s history, life, and culture. Created by local artists, the pieces focus on various aspects including past, present, and future culture, industrial heritage, music, nature, and the people of Leeds, with a particular emphasis on communities in the southern part of the city.
Throughout the development of these artworks, each artist actively engaged with local communities, and this engagement is evident in the final designs. The goal was to honour the cultural and historical connections between the communities in south Leeds and the city centre. Additionally, a dedicated webpage has been created for each artwork, providing information about the artist and a video explaining the inspiration and techniques behind their work.
Councillor Helen Hayden, the executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, expressed her thoughts on the exhibition, stating, “These unique artworks on Neville Street will provide a positive and thought-provoking entrance to Leeds, further solidifying our identity as a culturally vibrant and creative city. The artists have done an incredible job of representing so many aspects of our heritage, history, and the wide range of cultures in Leeds within their artwork, and I believe people will enjoy these works for many years to come.”
The artwork, which links the heritage and culture of south Leeds to the city centre, is designed to complement a broader set of environmental enhancements to Neville Street and its surrounding areas, carried out as part of the first phase of the Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan. These improvements include upgraded pedestrian, cycling, and wheelchair-friendly infrastructure connecting the north and south of the city.
The commissioning for the exhibition was a joint effort involving Leeds City Council, the Leeds Civic Trust, Network Rail, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and local councillors. The exhibition is a component of the improvements being implemented through the Leeds Station Sustainable Travel Gateway scheme and is being unveiled as part of Leeds 2023, the city’s year of culture.
Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, commented, “This vibrant exhibition is a fantastic way to celebrate our region’s diverse communities and rich cultural heritage. This will help bring our wider improvements around the station to life, as we work to build a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire.”
Anna Weeks, Principal Programme Sponsor at Network Rail, added, “Over the next few years, Leeds station will see major transformation, and this unique display of artwork is part of that. It has been brilliant to work with the artists and local partners to turn this idea into a reality – an idea that will hopefully deliver enjoyment and a lasting legacy for everyone who passes through Neville Street as part of the new Leeds station.”
For those interested, the exhibition can also be viewed online by visiting:https://leedscitystation.commonplace.is/en-GB/proposals/neville-street-exhibition/step1