Photo: Anne Akers

New sculpture brings colour to Kirkstall

22 July 2019

A new sculpture by a local artist has brought more colour to Kirkstall. Latent Power, the car-sized sculpture in bright yellow-coated steel was officially unveiled to coincide with the Kirkstall Arts Trail, writes Anne Akers.

The artist Rebecca Appleby was brought up in Burley and knows the area well, so when she was commissioned to produce the work as part of East Street Arts’ A City Less Grey project, she was thrilled.

“I was excited at the prospect of having a piece of public art right here in Kirkstall,” she said. “I consulted the community to research ideas and wanted to reflect the modern as well as the area’s heritage.”

She worked with children from Hawksworth Wood Primary School, adults at Hollybush Farm and set up stalls at Kirkstall Festival and the Kirkstall Arts Trail.

“Each community group has given me an insight into what Kirkstall means to them. We have had some incredible creative sessions that have sparked ideas and conversation.

“The groups have also produced some incredible artwork that has been reproduced on banners for Kirkstall centre.”

She chose the bright yellow to represent the road markings on the many roads through Kirkstall. The design represents a deconstructed water wheel.

“I’m delighted with the way it looks here in front of the Leisure Centre, I hope people enjoy it!”

The sculpture is part of a regeneration of the area outside the Leisure Centre, which includes new paths, landscaping and planting. Funding is through Leeds Business Development Improvement. 

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Sarah says:

It’s a good idea and the community involvement can’t be faulted. The plinth is beautiful and, if the welding was better, I’d probably love the sculpture itself.

Muhammad Akhtar says:

Having now walked past the sculpture many times, I can confirm it’s complete garbage and has nothing at all to do with our industrial heritage. I didn’t even know what it was until I read this article. Apparently, it’s a deconstructed water wheel painted bright yellow, for some reason, when an actual water wheel, perhaps from the nearby Kirkstall Brewery, or some sort of replica, would have been all the more fitting. It’s an eyesore and a complete joke.

Christine Schofield says:

The sculpture is at odds with the surroundings. It is a waste of money when young people especially in the outer areas of Leeds need somewhere to go and Leeds City Council cries poverty. In times of austerity strange art installations are the last thing we need.