The Leeds Business Improvement District (BID) have revealed the first of a series of public art installations in the city, using leading contemporary artists from the area to produce outstanding pieces of work.
Recently revealed is the George Street Welcome, a 20 metre mural taking over the George Street wall. The piece hints at welcoming John Lewis and the Victoria Gate to the city but also says a big hello to the hundreds of people passing by via Leeds Bus Station. The project is linked to Leeds City Council’s Unfold programme which welcomed the British Art Show in November 2015.
The Leeds-based artist Nathan Evans was commissioned to create the major mural to greet passersby. On the exterior of the iconic Leeds Kirkgate Market (George Street) the artwork spells out ‘Hello and Welcome To Leeds’. The hand-drawn letters reflect the Victorian origins of the buildings, 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.
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of Leeds Business Improvement District says:
“We are delighted the Leeds Business Improvement District investment is bringing these unique pieces of major public art to animate both Kirkgate Market and the George Street gateway into the city centre. By funding the creation of such exciting visual additions to these key city centre locations, produced by outstanding Leeds artists demonstrates our commitment to delivering real additionality through collaboration.”
Nathan Evans, Illustrator says:
“I spent a week painting against the elements and met pretty much everyone associated with the Markets whilst doing so. I heard a lot of happy chatter. This street is going through major change so it was an honour to be able to brighten it up.”
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, says:
“Enabling the public to enjoy and benefit from Leeds’ thriving art scene is at the very heart of the Unfold programme and nothing epitomises this more than commissioning public artworks that everyone visiting Leeds will be able to see and enjoy.”
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