Ribbons

A new sculpture for Quarry Hill, Leeds

September 2019

—August 2024

Permanent

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‘Ribbons’ is a sculpture that has been selected for the Feminist Public Sculpture to be sited at Quarry Hill in Leeds. The project has been conceived by Rachel Reeves (MP Leeds West) in partnership with Leeds City Council, Leeds Arts University and Leeds City College to champion women’s achievements in Leeds and to provide a more balanced gender representation of public sculpture in Leeds.

The work comprises several metal ribbons that weave their way through the city, embedded in pavements and piazzas, rising up in places to create benches and low-level walkways. At Quarry Hill, the ribbons meet, reaching out of the ground to create a central sculpture that appears to swirl and flutter in the wind.

Each ribbon carries the names of 384 Leeds women (nominated via the public) and although constructed from corten steel, the sculpture appears fluid, almost feminine as it curves through space creating flowing patterns that dance and contrast with the crisp geometry of the surrounding buildings at Quarry Hill.

This is a sculpture that celebrates many women, not the few, both past and present, who have made a contribution to our city. Their names are connected, tied together over space and time in a celebration of womanhood that is embedded in the very fabric of the city.

The title of the work references the ribbons used to decorate female clothes and hair or to denote allegiance to a particular cause (eg suffragettes) but also a strip of fabric that binds many parts together.

The project is supported by Leeds City Council, Leeds Arts University, Leeds City College, LeedsBID, Leeds Civic Trust, Caddick Developments, the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the Henry Moore Foundation.

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You can read more about the making of Ribbons in my Journal.

Press coverage:

https://www.leeds-art.ac.uk/news-events/news/artist-commissioned-to-create-new-feminist-public-sculpture/

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/people/leeds-arts-university-opens-display-of-shortlisted-sculptures-for-quarry-hill-artwork-championing-women-in-the-city-1-9786362

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005h0m/look-north-yorkshire-evening-news-23052019 (from 14:00)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005h0m/look-north-yorkshire-evening-news-23052019 (from 02:09:50)

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