Chance to win £75,000 and create public art at Stonewater housing developments

A Leeds housing provider has launched a public artwork competition following similar success at the Cookridge House development.

By Rebecca Marano
Thursday, 1st July 2021, 6:53 am
Bench at Stonewater’s Cookridge House development by local metal sculptor Mick Kirkby-Geddes.
Bench at Stonewater’s Cookridge House development by local metal sculptor Mick Kirkby-Geddes.

Cookridge House, adjacent to Ireland Woods, is a Grade II listed former hospital dating back to Victorian times.

Stonewater worked with contractor Vistry Partnerships and other partners to transform the dilapidated building to create 30 homes.

As part of the project, mosaic artist Frances Taylor was commissioned by the company to work with children from the local primary school to design a piece.

It will be installed this summer.

Stonewater also commissioned metal sculptor Mick Kirkby-Geddes to create a bench for the communal garden and an archway for the entrance of the scheme.

Stonewater has now launched the George Blunden Public Art Prize, a competition to find an artist who can produce creative public artworks as a focal point for five other homes it is building across the country.

The winning artist will be awarded the prize of £75,000 for their creativity, project management and scoping out of the artwork pieces.

Each commission will be allocated a separate budget for delivering and executing the public art at each site, covering costs such as the fabrication, build, materials, and logistics.

Jonathan Layzell, Executive Director of Development at Stonewater, said: “Stonewater has been a longstanding crusader of public art within our new developments, recognising the visual and social value it brings.

“Such artworks encourage people to visit, gather and socialise, presenting an exciting opportunity to build a strong sense of community among new and existing residents of the area.

“Over the last year, while many of us have spent more time exploring our local surroundings during the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of having beautiful sights and engaging outdoor areas near our homes has never been greater.

“With this, our first public art award competition, we are looking to bring communities together to express and voice new ideas, enriching our existing public art initiatives.”

The competition is open to artists, both emerging and established. To find out how to enter, go to: