New sculpture unveiled in tribute to Dr Geraldine Connor thought to be first honouring a black woman in Leeds
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PhD student Lara Rose’s life-size sculpture of Dr Geraldine Connor is thought to be the only sculpture of a black person on public display in Leeds, a precursor to the David Oluwale memorial coming next year.
Coun Abigail Marshall Katung said: “Unveiling the very first statue of a black person in Leeds is a great achievement that we all need to celebrate.
"Lara Rose, who has done this magnificent work, is my constituent, and I’m proud to support her, and the university, in commemorating Dr Geraldine Connor.”
Dr Connor was a renowned performer, writer and director. She was also a senior lecturer at the University of Leeds.
Lara had a close relationship with Dr Connor, starring in the Carnival Messiah production and also choosing her PhD topic based on Dr Connor’s advice to explore West African Yoruba culture. Lara added: “On her discovery of my Yoruba heritage, Dr Geraldine Connor said to me, ‘child you need to tell your story, your Yoruba story in your art.’”
Lara Rose said: “There are only four or five sculptures of black people across the UK, and that’s not enough. I hope this will inspire people and I really think it will.”
The public can see the statue in the Leeds School of Arts building at City Campus and will be on display until the New Year. For more information, visit the Leeds Beckett University website.