DARE prizewinner Katie Surridge chosen to create stage@leeds' sustainable sculpture

The metalwork artist will create a 'living wall' in collaboration with University researchers and a community theatre.

After a competitive process, Katie Surridge – who won the DARE Art Prize in partnership with Opera North – has been appointed to the commission for a sustainable sculpture.

The funding for the sculpture comes from a University of Leeds alumni David Budworth.

Research-led sculpture

Katie will develop a concept for the sculpture over the coming months. Her aim is to connect to the importance of peatlands, taking knowledge and inspiration from researchers at the University and community participants from Mafwa Theatre.

The research and development stage provides an opportunity for the artist to prepare through consultation and engagement with the commissioning committee, research lead Dr Cat Scott, and Mafwa Theatre.

Following the concept development, Katie’s proposal will be presented to the team for their approval.

A Living Laboratory

The ‘living wall’, will be installed at the exterior of the stage@leeds building. The intention of the wall is to support the University’s sustainability principles and to engage students, staff and the public with ongoing climate research and teaching. 

It coincides with the release of the University of Leeds’ Climate Plan, including its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The University’s sustainability team will provide guidance throughout the process and ensure it aligns with their wider approach to sustainability.

Leeds 2023 Year of Culture

The aim for the wall is that it will be launched as part of the city-wide Leeds 2023 cultural festival and will link student and community engagement activities.

It will align with the Leeds 2023 theme “Surprising and original works: brings together artists, specialists, creatives and practitioners in unexpected and unique ways”.

Once Katie’s developed concept is approved, she will create the sculpture throughout 2023.