The finishing touches have been put to the UK’s tallest piece of street art.
The giant artwork entitled “Athena Rising” soars a monumental 46.8 metres (153 feet) from the ground, making it several metres taller than the statue of Christ which looms over Rio de Janeiro, and a similar size to the Statue of Liberty!
Using the full length of Bruntwood’s Platform building as its canvas, which can be viewed from Leeds train station’s platforms far below, the striking 11 metre-wide design centres on an owl in flight, alongside the moon and a crown, as a nod to the artists involved.
It has taken internationally-acclaimed street art muralist pair Nomad Clan, dubbed ‘one of street art’s finest female duos’, just over two weeks and hundreds of cans of spray paint to complete the work. The duo – Cbloxx and AYLO (aka Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner) – have worked up to eight hours a day harnessed in a cradle suspended down the side of the building, through the last few weeks’ heat, wind and rain.
The huge statement piece is part of the citywide street art project ‘A City Less Grey’, initiated by East Street Arts and fully funded by LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District). The project aims to animate the city and incorporate works of art onto and into Leeds’ buildings and streets.
Cbloxx of Nomad Clan, said:
“It has been a challenge but one we have taken into our stride, finishing sooner than we had expected. We have had great feedback and are receiving endless heart-warming emails from the public in Leeds. We hope we have done you proud!”
This ambitious and bold mural is the result of crucial collaboration between the artists, East Street Arts, LeedsBID, building owners Bruntwood and Network Rail.
Nicola Greenan, External Relations Director at East Street Arts, said:
“East Street Arts’ vision to create the UK’s tallest mural here in Leeds has been a challenge, but an astonishing achievement.”
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID:
“This striking piece of art is testament to how artists and businesses can work together to produce something spectacular, which celebrates and strengthens Leeds’ cultural offering while showcasing the city nationally and internationally.
“A key ambition of the Business Improvement District is to work collaboratively to enhance the place shaping agenda – the look and feel of the city centre for those who live, work and visit here. A City Less Grey is a fantastic example of what can be achieved.”
Craig Burrow, Bruntwood’s Leeds Director, said:
“The completed Athena Rising artwork is fantastic. We’re so happy to be involved in this project and to support creativity in the city. We’re delighted that Platform has been able to act as the canvas for this great piece of artwork, with Athena Rising providing an excellent welcome to the city at Leeds station. Bruntwood firmly believes that the strength of our cities is directly impacted by social and cultural vibrancy, so it’s great to see citywide projects like ‘A City Less Grey’ bringing organisations from across the region together to create powerful art.”
‘A City Less Grey’ sees both local and national artists creating art installations and events across five sites across Leeds city centre. The project aims to inject colour into key areas to enhance the look and feel of areas for residents, commuters and visitors alike.