Commuters and people visiting Leeds will soon see the emerging colours of the city’s street art with a series of works set to flourish at the forefront of the thriving scene.
And as signs of spring poke through, Leeds is literally set to become ‘A City Less Grey’.
Work has begun on a street art installation in Sovereign Square, as artist Jo Peel nears completion of a giant hand painted mural to face on to the central park at Sovereign Square.
The installation depicts personal stories and the wider urban context of Leeds’ transformation as a city over its past, present and future and will run the length of hoardings facing onto the park.
Ms Peel said: “It’s a great spot in the middle of Leeds and it’s been lovely to meet the people in the area who will be watching it take shape over the next few weeks.”
It is the second piece from the City Less Grey project, initiated by East Street Arts, who are working with LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District) which has fully funded the project.
The collaboration will see local and nationally based artists creating art installations and events across five sites throughout the city centre.
The first piece was launched in November last year on Kirkgate, the oldest street in Leeds, as Kasia Breska installed abstract mapping and secret Morse code messages, relating to Kirkgate and its historical significance within the city.
In April tattoo artist Joe Dickinson will begin a second installation, followed by spoken word organisation, A Firm of Poets, whose piece will be installed in August.
Andrew Cooper, LeedsBID Chief Executive said: “A City Less Grey is about bringing colour to key sites in the city, animating buildings and places and creating cultural points of interest.
“The diverse mix of artistic styles and physical canvases will enhance both the look and feel of Leeds for visitors, commuters and residents.”
The project is one of many kick-starting an exhilarating time for urban art in Leeds which should largely be credited to the East Street movement.
It was established in 1993 in Leeds with the aim of supporting artists, collectives and emerging arts organisations through professional support and learning sessions, studio and facility developments and a Temporary Space Programme.
Nicola Greenan, external relations director at East Street said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer artists paid opportunities to be part of a project that aims to reflect the vibrancy of a growing, multicultural hub by bringing colour, curiosity and interest to the streets of Leeds.”
This week also saw the launch of new artwork for the Windows of Leeds letters at the train station’s south concourse.
The new two metre high neon letters are the work of Leeds College of Art graduate Abi Moffat and were unveiled on Monday.
Abi has created an abstract and textured interpretation of the city and each letter has a different theme from day to night-life, with colours of the city, architecture, places and people, environment and weather.
The idea behind the letters is to give artists a platform for their work while also creating an unusual welcome to Leeds city centre visitors.