Eyebrow-raising street signs celebrating an unusual history – including a food fight over a rhubarb tart – have appeared in a Leeds market town as part of the lead-up to its literature festival.
The alternative take on conventional street signs has been installed by five local artists in the pedestrianised precinct between Morley Town Hall, Windsor Court and Queen Street.
The public art programme, Signs of the Times, has been supported by Leeds Inspired, as part of its 2012 theme to make Leeds more playful, and by Arts Council of England.
Festival director Jenny Harris said: “We are trying to get the literature festival out of the building and on to the streets.
“It is a really nice way to get the festival to the people who might not normally experience it.” She added: “We think that a festival should not only celebrate its subject matter but also the location that it is held.”
Works include a pop-culture sign that aims to get people’s head spinning, inviting passers-by to make a choice and interact with it, and the infamous food fight.
Jess Mitchell, 23, is a former student of Leeds College of Art and Design.
She has contributed a piece referencing the Morley suffragette movement from the early 20th century
Jess said: “I am a bit of a history buff and the topic is something that I have always been interested in.
“It references the independent attitude of Morley which is still there today.”
Paul Ashton, who also contributed work to the project, said that his piece, named Smile Camera, focuses on how we look at road signs and said that he made it out of an old sign that he found out and about.
The playful pieces of art have also been created by Amelia Crouch, Clare Charnley and Vikkie Mulford for the festival, which is into its seventh year.
This is the first year Morley Literature Festival, which runs from September 29 to October 14, has included a public art programme within the 10-day event.