New outdoor artworks celebrate history, life, and culture of Leeds: Cllr Hayden Anna Weeks 2

Wednesday 8 Nov 2023

New outdoor artworks celebrate history, life, and culture of Leeds

Region & Route:
| Eastern: North & East

Ten unique large-scale artworks are set to celebrate history, life, and culture in Leeds as a new outdoor exhibition opens on Neville Street. 

The artworks, displayed on the eastern wall of Neville Street, are all produced by locally based artists and focus on past, present, and future culture, industrial heritage, music, nature, and Leeds people with particular emphasis on communities within the south of the city. 

In developing the artwork, each artist engaged with local communities, much of which is reflected in the final designs, aiming to celebrate the cultural and historical links between south Leeds communities and the city centre. A companion webpage for each artwork has also been developed, with access to information about the artist and a video explaining the inspiration and methodology behind their work. 

The artwork linking the heritage and culture of south Leeds to the city centre is designed to complement a wider package of environmental improvement works to Neville Street and surrounding areas delivered under the first phase of the Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan. These works include improved pedestrian, cycling and wheeling infrastructure between the north and south of the city.

Commissioning for the exhibition came through a collaboration between Network Rail, Leeds City Council, the Leeds Civic Trust, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and local Councillors. The exhibition forms part of the improvements being delivered by the Leeds Station Sustainable Travel Gateway scheme and is being unveiled as part of Leeds 2023, the city’s year of culture.

Anna Weeks, Principal Programme Sponsor at Network Rail, said: “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.”

Executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, Councillor Helen Hayden, said: “These unique artworks on Neville Street will provide a positive and thought-provoking entrance to Leeds, further underpinning 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 think people will enjoy these works for many years to come.”

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “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.”

The exhibition can also be viewed online by clicking here.

Notes to Editors

The Neville Street bridge and supports remain a Network Rail asset, and Network Rail will be responsible for the management of the artwork refresh over time following installation.  

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Joshua Chapman
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