Leeds City Council commission for Neville Street, Leeds 2023-2024

Final Art work

‘A thread through time’

A public Artwork in Leeds City Centre by Chris Eastham

In November 2022, I felt enormously proud and honoured to be chosen along with nine other artists to create a huge new artwork to be situated on Neville Street just near the dark arches and Leeds City Centre railway station.

The artwork is to celebrate the people and culture of Leeds, particularly its industrial heritage and those communities south of the river. It will be located on the road underneath the railway bridge that connects the south Leeds to City Square.

I like to draw people, so my initial ideas were to draw people representing five major aspects of community both past and present: Retail, Hospitals, Transport, Sport and Culture.

My preparations for the work included meeting and drawing people from all these five areas including young people from the Leeds Hunslet Club, the LS10 Skate Park, dancers from Northern Ballet, a lady who sews garments in the Leeds market and finally an ICU nurse from St James’ Hospital.

I used my iPad to capture these images. I chose vibrant colours as I wanted  these colours to highlight the energy and dynamism of the people of this city – both past and present.

One particular drawing is of great personal significance to me. In the retail section I included portraits of my mother, aunt and grandmother who were all, at one time, engaged in the sewing industry that at one time employed thousands of people in Leeds.

All the figure drawings were then brought together to form a final composition. The final artwork was then sent to the printers to be enlarged to 7 x 2 metres for each artist.

All ten panels were unveiled  in November 2023 

I hope it brings light into what used to be a dark entrance way into Leeds City Centre.

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