Train Station Welcome to Leeds: Windows of Leeds

The Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) have revealed the second piece in a series of public art installations in the city

The Leeds Business Improvement District (LeedsBID) have revealed the second piece in a series of public art installations in the city. Using leading contemporary artists from the area to produce outstanding pieces of work and continue the improvement of the city’s welcome experience, setting it apart from other cities in the UK.

This morning they revealed the new Train Station Welcome, a project which started out as a celebration of Leeds hosting the British Art Show. The new commission funded by Leeds Business Improvement District and commissioned via Leeds City Council’s Unfold project with support from Network Rail, ‘Windows of Leeds’ aims to give local artists a huge window to shine a light on the City’s hugely talented visual art community.

The project led by Leeds design studio Something More is a 2-metre-high typographic sculpture, one that is iconic and offers a welcoming façade to Leeds Rail Station.  The concept is simple, to showcase the diverse nature of Leeds’ creative talent. The first artists being showcased are Something More, Kristyna Baczynski, Alphabet, Hungry Sandwich Club, Idiot’s Pasture. The work they have developed is incredible varied from a friendly big wave, to the inside of a synth (representing the music scene) to a piece entitled “Off t’Pub’ which indicates the brewing heritage of Leeds, past and present, with over 60 breweries in the region.

The engineering team, supervised by Something More, started installing the artwork at 9pm on Thursday March 3rd finishing their work around 5am the following morning. As commuters began to arrive from 7.30 am that morning, they were greeted by four of the LeedBID Welcome Ambassadors who handed out an info card which provided an overview of the concept, theme and context behind this amazing new addition to the station that had appeared overnight. The magic of the impact, the bright,  positive surprise it created will resonate from today for many station users who experienced it for a long time and continue to provide a stimulating daily enhancement for all who move through the station in the future.

The installation also gives the city a unique, artistic focal point that will reach new national and international audiences and contribute to the growth in promotion of Leeds as a cultural tourism destination.

Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive Leeds Business Improvement District says:
“We are delighted that Leeds Business Improvement District investment can continue to bring major pieces of art to Leeds Station. Paid for by the businesses in Leeds and continuing our commitment to delivering an enhancement to the overall welcome into our amazing city’ .

Neil Henry, area director for Network Rail said:
“Following the opening of the new Southern Entrance and the colourful artwork on the public gantry, this is another excellent addition to Leeds station. With the retail units gone, they provide a fantastic welcome to passengers who are visiting the city what is now a bright and vibrant area of the station.”

Window of Leeds

L          Something More

“Hi / Bye”
Leeds is a friendly and welcoming city, so it’s only right to give a big wave to lovely people passing through the station.

E          Kristyna Baczynski

“A Mighty Habitat”
The city of Leeds has been a nurturing creative environment for me. I can happily live and work here amidst art, music and culture, while also being surrounded by stunning landscapes. You’re only ever a short walk, bus or train-ride away from the rugged hills, forests and natural beauty that make the city and Yorkshire so special.

E          Alphabet

Leeds has all the opportunities of a big, global environment combined with the benefits of a small Yorkshire community. Our artwork is a visual representation of all the relationships and connections that constantly take place and form the tight–knit community of our city.

D         Hungry Sandwich Club 

“Super Music Synth Rack”
We were originally drawn to Leeds by its vibrant music scene, the chance to see well known artists in small, intimate venues across the city. Our piece celebrates the local music scene by providing an upbeat welcome to visitors with a colourful and happy synth rack.

S          Idiot’s Pasture

“Off t’ Pub”
The piece is inspired by the brewing heritage of Leeds as well as celebrating the independent brewing industry going forward. There are more than 60 breweries in the region – more than the whole of London, despite the population being around 4 times less. Independent pubs and breweries are important to any community and we’re lucky to be able to home so many in Leeds and the wider West Yorkshire region.