New mosaic for historic Leeds arcade

A Beautiful mosaic is being created in one of Leeds city centre's historic shopping arcades after its owners teamed up with Leeds Arts University.

Saturday, 17th February 2018, 5:00 am
AT WORK: Ruth Wilkinson lays tiles in the new mosaic.

Victoria Leeds developer Hammerson commissioned local artist Ruth Wilkinson and students from the university to breath new life into a dilapidated Victoria Quarter mosaic.

Ruth said: “It’s been a great project to have been part of as an artist. I enjoy the challenge of working with other people’s ideas and a brief – it pushes me in a direction I may not necessarily have considered otherwise.”

The new mosaic interprets the rich heritage and architectural features of the city’s Victorian arcades.

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Four central images celebrate the original trades that once flourished in the arcades, including the fruit and vegetable market that was once in County Arcade. Also featured are the butchers and slaughterhouses in the central arcade, the dressmakers and haberdashery suppliers, and the dance hall that was once in County Arcade.

Decorative bands circling the mosaic reflect the ironwork in the Victoria Quarter’s ceiling, while motifs and features from the newly launched Victoria Gate will be present as well.

Hammerson community executive James Rogers said: “It has been a fantastic project to work on and we are delighted with the stunning design that Ruth and the students have created. Victoria is steeped in history and the new mosaic is the perfect way to recognise and celebrate its cultural heritage.”

Work to install the mosaic has begun this week, with the full design to be revealed soon.