Left Bank community hub to unveil playable inflatable sculpture installation made by Leeds artist

A new art commission at Left Bank in Leeds is set to take visitors of all ages to inflatable Heaven.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 11:45 am
Heaven at Left Bank in Leeds (photo: Jazz Kane)

The new art piece, called Heaven, will be unveiled at Left Bank Leeds in Burley on May 29 as the venue welcomes its community back after lockdown.

Created by Leeds-based contemporary artist Pippa Hale in collaboration with children from the local community, the commission is a giant inflatable interactive sculpture.

It is Hale's interpretation of drawings created by the children when they were asked to describe heaven, and will strike a contrast to the former church building's traditional nave.

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Pippa worked with young people and families from the community between lockdowns to devise a series of 3D shapes and the result is this site-specific installation.

Placed between the original neo Gothic stone colonnades and arches, it is designed to be enjoyed by all ages with a separate work with soft, moveable pieces developed particularly for younger children.

The bouncy base joins together the collection of abstract forms in contrasting colours and sizes.

Hale said: "When experiencing contemporary art, we’re so often told ‘don’t touch, stay back!’ which can be really frustrating when seeing artworks with children.

"Heaven is the complete opposite of this - I wanted to make something beautiful and interactive, but more than this - playable.

"I’ve really enjoyed taking the kids’ drawings – their scribbles, shapes and patterns – and turning them into a ginormous 3D artwork that you can touch, climb and jump on, hide in; a place to play with friends, resolve conflicts, take risks, meet new people.

"I want it to be joyful and fun!

"I am so looking forward to when we can all come together and enjoy a little piece of ‘Heaven’ right here in Leeds.”

She is also working on Ribbons which is a sculpture selected as the Feminist Public Sculpture for Leeds, commissioned by Leeds Arts University in collaboration with Rachel Reeves MP.

Sue Jennings, director at Left Bank Leeds, added:: “Left Bank Leeds is a stunning building that is coming back to life as an important place for so many people in the local community as well as a significant and distinctive cultural venue in Leeds.

“It’s also somewhere that is a hub for the neighbourhood, a safe place to meet, something that has been more important than ever over the last year.

"We wanted to re-open our doors with something positive and joyful, and Heaven is just that.

"Created by and for our local community to generate a smile and eventually, bring us back together.

"We hope that it becomes a hopeful re-start to life after lockdown.”