University of Leeds Public Art

Award-winning artist Simon Fujiwara has produced a new artwork for the Laidlaw Library. It sits between two former churches in Woodhouse Lane – close to the University’s iconic Parkinson Building and was commissioned as part of the development of the new building.

A Spire is his first public artwork. He said: “It came out of my thinking about the shift in production in Britain from heavy industry and mining, to a state of almost complete immaterial industry – entertainment, services, education. Leeds exemplifies this shift – once a city of ‘100 chimneys’, much of its industrial history has been removed and a new, post-globalised urbanism flourishes. I wanted to respond to the city’s image as well as the library’s function as both a place for learning – often through new media rather than books – and make an object that would stand as a modern relic, catalysing and combining elements of the city’s past and possible future.

Our advisors worked with the University to develop a University wide arts strategy and provided curatorial guidance to appoint the artist for the commission.