British Art Show

UNFOLD – is the umbrella brand for this years British Art Show showcase event which comes to Leeds for 3 months from mid-November
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UNFOLD – is the umbrella brand for this years British Art Show showcase event which comes to Leeds for 3 months from mid-November. Throughout the three month show, the Leeds Art Gallery will provide the central focus for the various art shows, but Leeds programme also involves a number of large installations in public spaces across the city centre. This range of programmes will deliver innovative events, installations, exhibitions and artworks, welcoming visitors and animating the city centre with creative city dressing and live art.

The Leeds Business Improvement District investment has enabled to leading contemporary artists to produce outstanding pieces of public art that will be installed at Kirkgate Market (as part of the current wider refurbishments to the markets currently underway) and the Leeds Station. These new commissions include public art installations to welcome visitors and locals to Leeds. Five Leeds-based artist collectives are working with Network Rail and Leeds Business Improvement District to produce a new typographic installation at Leeds Train Station. Five large three-dimensional letter frames spelling out ‘LEEDS’, each individually customised by a different artist, will welcome the c.12,000 people that pass through the station every day.

Leeds-based artist Nathan Evans has also been commissioned by the city in partnership with Leeds Business Improvement District to create a major mural to greet passersby. On the exterior of the iconic Leeds Kirkgate Market, the artwork will spell out ‘Welcome To Leeds’. The hand-drawn letters will reflect the Victorian origins of the building while the vibrant colour palette and geometric background root the work firmly in the 21st century. The installation also features an interactive spot where visitors can take photos of themselves framed by the colourful work behind them. The installation starts on January 4th and will be completed over the following two weeks and officially launched for all visitors to the city centre to enjoy from the  middle of January.

Further public interactive and live projects as part of the Unfold programme include a ‘Pop Up Pod’ at Leeds train station, hosted by retailer Colours May Vary, that will also function as a live exhibition space showcasing new commissions from a rolling rosta of artists. Illustrator, comic book artist and designer Kristyna Baczynski will have her work on show until 15 November, followed by the playful and vibrant work of illustrator and printmaker Rose Blake.  The Leeds BID station installation will be completed on January 3rd. Each letter shape will be around 1.5m in height, providing a striking and highly visible welcome to this important city gateway & celebrating the creative talent of Leeds. The inside of each letter will be filled with perspex screens, allowing for varied artwork and graphics to be displayed, alternating over time.

Local collective Buffalo, working with Purple Patch Arts, have also created a new work for the city. A multi-sensory 3D installation inspired by Dylan Thomas’ famous story Under Milk Wood can be found in the Exhibition Space at Leeds Central Library. A deconstructed version of Dylan Thomas’ writing shed stands on a small sand outcrop, inviting the public to enter and immerse themselves in sights, smells, textures, sounds and tastes, all inspired by the stories of Milk Wood. Visitors are encouraged to share their memories, dreams and ideas of community at the exhibition and to return to experience Dreams of Milk Wood again, when their story will be part of the experience.

‘We are delighted the Leeds Business Improvement District investment is bringing these unique pieces of major public art to animate both the Kirkgate Market and Leeds Station. By funding the creation of such exciting visual additions to these key city centre locations, produced by outstanding local artists demonstrates our commitment to delivering real additionality through collaboration’

Andrew Cooper, Chief Exec LeedsBID