New art trail planned for Leeds waterfront
PUBLISHED: 10:56 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 March 2019
Credit: robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Spend time by water to help you feel glad, river research reveals.
A new art trail is being created on the waterfront in Leeds city centre. Waterway and wellbeing charity, Canal & River Trust says the planned art work aims ‘to make a real visual impact to enrich the visual and educational experience’ of commuters, families, workers and visitors using the route from the Leeds Dock area into Brewery Wharf and Leeds city centre. It estimates 4,000 people walk, run or cycle along the waterfront route daily.
The charity which looks after 2,000 miles of waterways, including the Aire and Calder Navigation (that flows into the River Aire) has been awarded £7,000 from the Waterfront Investment Fund to support funding of £9,750 from the Trust.
Tom Wright, engagement and development manager at Canal & River Trust said their research showed spending time by water helps make us feel happier and healthier. ‘Canals and rivers on our network flow through some of the most heavily populated communities in England and Wales, providing accessible green and blue space where it’s needed the most. That’s why we’re working with volunteers and communities across the country to transform canals and rivers into places where people want to spend time and feel better.’
Eight large-scale panels will be mounted onto the existing empty fence and wall area and depict laser-cut steel portraits of significant people from the city’s past and present. The ‘Heroes of Leeds’ art installation will celebrate the achievements of and contributions made by Heroes from Leeds, either in their own specialist field, or to the city of Leeds itself. The eight artworks will each focus on a different theme and linked hero. The themes will be health, social activism, waterways, education, nature, creativity, innovation and sport.
Drawing upon heraldic symbolism, each of the works will be similar in appearance to a coat of arms, linking the work visually and conceptually to the Royal Armouries. There will be an informal seating area overlooking the River Aire and Fearns Island created on a small, under utilised plaza to the east of Crown Point Bridge. Landscape and Design students from Leeds Beckett University will be designing the seating area to enable a viewing space of waterfront, Fearns Island as well as the new art installation.
Graffiti artist Ged Walker from Menston, near Leeds is one of the artists from Artworks Creative Communities involved in the art installation which aims to be completed in time for the Leeds Waterfront Festival in June. Meanwhile Canal & River Trust staff will clear the site from Crown Point bridge as far as Knight’s Way footbridge along the south bank of the river Aire of vegetation.