Monday, 25 July 2011

New sculptures celebrate Leeds’ rich tailoring heritage

*****Photo/film opportunity today,Monday 25 July*****

Five new sculptures reflecting Leeds’ historic tailoring heritage have taken pride of place in the city centre.

Designed by local artist Linda Schwab the sculptures have been installed on Bond Street where the city’s famous Marshall and Snelgrove department and tailoring store once stood before it closed down in the 1970s.

The sculptures are also located in place that marks the transition from the Leeds’ business district to its retail and shopping area. They are part of a wider Leeds City Council project to renovate the city centre and bring public art to the streets of Leeds for visitors, workers and shoppers to enjoy.

Leeds was once at the forefront of England’s tailoring industry. Following the First World War around two thirds of British men’s suits were made in city by great tailoring firms such as Montague Burton, Henry Price and their competitors who made suits affordable for the masses. Until now, little visible evidence of the city’s tailoring industry has survived.

Photo/film opportunity
What: Councillor Richard Lewis and local artist Linda Schwab view the new sculptures on Bond Street. There are five stainless steel sculptures around 1 metre high, all in a row and representing different tailoring themes: three mannequin silhouettes, two have a tweed print.
Where and when: Bond Street, outside Tesco on Today, Monday 25 July at 11am.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for city development, said:

“Leeds has a rich tailoring heritage and this project is a great way of celebrating what was an extremely successful industry for the city and an important part of its development and heritage.

“I am sure there are many people alive today who worked in the industry or had family who did and feel it is part of their family history. We hope these sculptures will help them and the city’s residents remember and celebrate this legacy.

“Since this project was funded largely by the private sector it is also a great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership with businesses and helping to secure further investment in the city centre.”

Marshall & Snelgrove, ‘garment and textile retailers of distinction’, stood on the junction of Park Row and Bond Street, a site currently occupied by Lloyds Bank and its distinctive Black Horse statue.

Linda Schwab said:

“The project, called “THREADS” is a series of five sculptural bollards which pay homage to the manufacturing and retailing innovations of Montague Burton, Henry Price and their competitors.

“The sculptures reflect the engineering ingenuity and craft skills of Leeds tailors by exploring positive and negative shapes of pattern cutting and quality detailing such as exquisite silk linings.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602