Leeds University restores famous sculpture to a new home on campus

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LEEDS University is welcoming back one of its largest pieces of art - a giant sculpture which has affectionately been known by generations of students as “the Bod.”

The aluminium sculpture - which is more than six metres tall - earned the name as it adorned the wall of the university’s old Bodington Hall of residence for more than 50 years.

Matt Fairley, sculpture conservator and installer from Holmfirth, puts the finishing touches to the Untitled Bas-Relief, by Hubert Dalwood. Picture: James Hardisty.

Matt Fairley, sculpture conservator and installer from Holmfirth, puts the finishing touches to the Untitled Bas-Relief, by Hubert Dalwood. Picture: James Hardisty.

When the halls were demolished in 2013 the listed art work by Hubert Dalwood, one of Britain’s leading post-war sculptors, was carefully taken down, stored and conserved until a new home could be found for it on campus.

Now the sculpture, Untitled Bas-Relief, is to be installed at the university’s stage@leeds building on Wednesday.

University librarian Dr Stella Butler said: “It’s great to see the Dalwood back in a prominent position on a university building and we are pleased to have been able to find a new home close to the heart of campus where it can be appreciated by students, staff and visitors.”

One of Dalwood’s daughters, Kathy Dalwood, who is an artist and a graduate of Leeds College of Art, will attend the celebration event on campus.

Nicola Stephenson, Public Art Project Coordinator at Leeds University

Nicola Stephenson, Public Art Project Coordinator at Leeds University

She said: “Growing up in Leeds myself it was wonderful to be able to see the relief whenever I wanted and I was very proud to tell people it had been made by my father. I’m absolutely delighted that his sculpture has been saved, restored and re-installed at the centre of the university for subsequent generations to enjoy.”

Mr Dalwood was awarded a Gregory artist-in-residence Fellowship at Leeds University in 1955 and remained until 1959. It was during this period he first began to work in aluminium. The work at Bodington Hall was his first large scale relief for a university building.

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