Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Leeds Art Gallery begins final countdown to Hirst exhibition

Captions: The ARTIST ROOMS exhibition of Damien Hirst's work begins at Leeds Art Gallery next week (if any images are used the following associated captions below MUST be reproduced in full)

The Anatomy of an Angel
Carrara Marble
73.62 x 38.58 x 30.91 in (1870 x 980 x 785 mm)
Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011

Butterflies and household gloss on canvas
60 in (1524 mm)
Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011

The Pharmacist’s Creed
Lightbox and glass
106.3 x 63.58 x 7.87 in.
collection: Anthony d'Offay
Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011

UV ink and charcoal on canvas
108 x 84 in (2743.2 x 2133.6 mm) x 2; diptych
Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011

Leeds Art Gallery has released further details of the exhibition of works by world-famous artist Damien Hirst which will go on display next week.

There are now only days to go before the first-ever major free public display of Hirst’s work to be held in the city where he grew up and studied begins on Friday 15 July.

The exhibition which will run at the art gallery managed by Leeds City Council on The Headrow until Sunday 30 October is part of the national ARTIST ROOMS programme, which sees collections of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland going on display around the country.

Further details of the make-up of the exhibition sponsored by Leeds-based legal firm Walker Morris have now been revealed, with the items to be on display reflecting the development of Hirst’s career from his student days which began at Leeds College of Art and Design to his later works after he had established himself as one of the world’s highest-profile artists.

Alongside the iconic ‘Away from the Flock’, one of Hirst’s signature pieces of animals suspended in formaldehyde which shot him to international prominence in the early 1990s, the exhibition will also feature a large cabinet piece ‘Trinity – Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology’ (2000), ‘Monument to the Living and the Dead’ (2006), a large ‘butterfly’ painting and a spot painting from 1994.

The key ideas which have underpinned Hirst’s career - birth, illness, death and religion – will all be identifiable in the exhibition, which has been boosted by items on loan from private collections including ‘Anatomy of an Angel’ carved from carrara marble, and ‘He Tried to Internalise Everything’ from the Arts Council Collection. Hirst’s recent work is also included as A Poison Painting diptych from Hirst’s ‘Poison’ series from 2010 will also be on display.

In addition to the ARTIST ROOMS display, a world-first will also see items from Hirst’s London restaurant ‘Pharmacy’ being exhibited. The Notting Hill restaurant, which was open from 1998 to 2003, was co-owned by Hirst who embedded his art in all aspects of the interior design.

Following the closure of Pharmacy the contents were dispersed through a Sotheby’s sale but in a major coup elements of the restaurant have now been brought back together to be shown as a gallery display for the first time ever as part of the Leeds exhibition.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“The excitement is beginning to really build now as we are only weeks away from this fantastic exhibition of Damien Hirst’s work opening at Leeds Art Gallery.

“The exhibition was always going to be huge attraction but the team have worked tirelessly to secure further items of Hirst’s work and the addition of the Pharmacy elements which have never been on display like this for the public to see for free is an amazing coup for Leeds. This is certainly going to be a must-see exhibition and we are very grateful to Walker Morris for their generous support as sponsors.”

Preparations have already begun as the highly-successful Henry Moore exhibition which ended last month has now been removed to make way for the display of Hirst’s works. As a result sections of the art gallery remain closed to the public.

Walker Morris partner Debbie Jackson said:

“Walker Morris has over 20 years of history of sponsoring the arts and we are thrilled to be involved in this latest initiative to help make the works of one of the nation's iconic artists available to everyone. Encouraging art at every level is something we are very proud of as a firm - from the grass roots at primary school age through our calendar competition, to events of international prestige such as this exhibition. Throughout his career, Damien Hirst has encouraged us to look at the world differently and challenged our perceptions, which is something we encourage in our approach to business and legal practice too.

“Our sponsorship follows on from our successful partnership in 2006 when we brought Saatchi's 'Triumph of Painting' exhibition to Leeds Art Gallery, which was hugely successful and broke all visitor records at the time."

ARTIST ROOMS is jointly owned by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland and was established through The d’Offay Donation by collector Anthony d’Offay in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. ARTIST ROOMS On Tour is an inspired partnership with the Art Fund - the fundraising charity for works of art, making available the ARTIST ROOMS collection of international contemporary art to galleries throughout the UK.

To find out more information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour visit www.artfund.org/artistrooms. To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection visit www.tate.org.uk/artistrooms and www.nationalgalleries.org/artistrooms

For more information on Leeds Art Gallery visit the website at www.leeds.gov.uk/artgallery

Notes to editors

The ARTIST ROOMS Damien Hirst display has been shown previously at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and at Tate Britain, but this is the first time elements from Pharmacy will be on show and Leeds Art Gallery has worked closely with Science, the Hirst studio, to create a full room-like installation that echoes the original restaurant.

The ‘Pharmacy Restaurant & Bar’ was a joint venture between Damien Hirst, PR guru Matthew Freud, Liam Carson, (now deceased) of the Groucho Club and Jonathan Kennedy, a co-founder of the earlier ‘Quo Vadis’ restaurant.

ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund is devised to enable this far-reaching collection to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people. For more information on the Art Fund call 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org.

In September 2008 items of Damien Hirst’s work smashed the record for a single-artist auction at Sotheby’s selling for an amazing £111 million.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds City Region puts forward dynamic bid to support business growth

The Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership (LEP) has submitted its bid for a share of the remaining £850m Regional Growth Fund (RGF) pot.

The partnership has submitted a bid for £15m of the RGF funding to support programmes and projects that will leverage up to £78m of additional investment.

If successful, this would provide the city region with around £93m total new investment, with the potential to create 3,000 jobs.

In addition to those projects directly submitted by the LEP the Board endorsed a further 29 projects which, if successful, will bring further RGF funding and even higher levels of new investment and job creation across the city region.

The partnership has worked with companies and public sector partners from across the city region to identify a range of projects and programmes that will enable businesses and the city region economy to grow.

Neil Mclean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Board said:

“We have learned a lot from the first round of RGF, and have taken on board feedback received from the Government to develop a dynamic bid aligned with our economic priorities of boosting economic growth, supporting start-ups and creating more jobs in the city region.

“We have a fantastic offer in the city region and we have worked hard to ensure that our bid is strong and reflects both the economic challenges and the opportunities this city region has to offer.”

Projects supported by the LEP fall into two categories: the development of infrastructure and places to unlock barriers to private sector growth and direct support for firms to help them overcome clearly defined market failures.

The LEP has supported infrastructure projects from around the city region, including a major project to invest in Bradford City Centre, the Leeds City Region Green Business Growth Fund, and investment in key transport projects to improve labour market connectivity.

The LEP also supported 17 company-specific projects, several of which form part of an ‘Unlocking Growth in Advanced Manufacturing’ package. This package aims to provide funding to help businesses in the area make a step change in their operation, either through unlocking research and development or enabling growth that would otherwise be restricted.

It responds to demand from companies whose funding requirements are below the RGF threshold of £1million, and the thresholds of most other public sector funding programmes such as the new Business Growth Fund.

The second round of RGF bidding closed on 1 July. Support for applicants provided by the LEP included advice on the development of bid proposals, and letters of endorsement demonstrating how projects contribute to the city region’s economic priorities. Pro bono support on state aid compliance was provided by Jonathan Branton at Cobbetts LLP in Leeds.


Notes to editors:

The Regional Growth Fund
1. The Regional Growth Fund will provide £1.4bn over 3 years between 2011 and 2014 to stimulate enterprise. Funds are intended to provide support for projects and programmes with significant potential for creating long-term private sector-led economic growth and employment. The main objective is to help areas dependent on the public sector move towards private sector-led growth.
2. For further details on RGF please visit http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/economic-development/regional-growth-fund

The Leeds City Region Partnership

1. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.
2. The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership area is the largest city region economy and the largest financial and manufacturing centre outside London. With a £52billion economy representing 5% of the overall UK economy, over 100,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region plays a key role in accelerating national economic prosperity.
3. The Leeds City Region’s main objectives are: providing sustainable and affordable housing, better connected transport system, skills and training that reflect the needs of city region employers, creating the environment for businesses to innovate and supporting low carbon, sustainable communities.
4. For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.

For press/media enquiries please contact:
Racheal Johnson, Marketing and Communications Officer
Leeds City Region Partnership
Tel: 0113 247 4227/ 07525 988361