University sculpture made to human proportions installed
19 December 2019
A striking life-size sculpture designed to change shape as you walk around it has been installed at Leeds Beckett University.
Visitors will now be able to explore the red-painted steel structure which weighs 2,400 kilos and is made to human proportions.
It takes pride of place outside the Broadcasting Place building near Leeds School of Arts at city campus after being gifted to the university by world-renowned sculptor Rob Ward.
He said: “It happened following a conversation with Leeds Beckett University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Slee.
“We both thought it would look great outside the Broadcasting Place building. It’s a gift to the university but it wasn’t commissioned.
“The work is concerned with entrance, exit and the possibility or not of passing through. It doesn’t celebrate anything except for the space and architecture it inhabits.
“If you stand inside the sculpture, it’s the size of a human body and if you extend your arm up, your hand will almost reach the top.
“The idea of the sculpture is as you travel around, it carries you with it. The shape changes as you go around. It moves people around its shape to explore the space.
“My work isn’t figurative, but it is about how the body relates to form, scale, height and size. It’s made to human proportions.”
It took Rob around three weeks to create the structure which was installed on Monday, December 16.
An official unveiling of the structure - which Rob plans to name Smith Gate after the late American abstract expressionist sculptor David Smith - will take place next year.
Professor Lisa Stansbie, Dean of Leeds School of Arts, said: “It is fantastic to have Rob Ward's Smith Gate sculpture standing outside Broadcasting Place, mirroring the iconic design of the building and reinvigorating the outside space.
“It offers an opportunity for the wider public to engage with this impressive sculpture and importantly has a great relationship to our Broadcasting Place practical studios and workshops as the sculpture faces our Leeds School of Arts Fine Art course sculpture studio.”