Hammerson is pleased to announce that Victoria Leeds has collaborated with Leeds Arts University and local mosaic artist, Ruth Wilkinson to bring back to life a beautiful mosaic located in Victoria Quarter.
Recognising that the current mosaic’s dilapidated state needed rectifying, Hammerson commissioned Ruth, together with students studying creative arts degrees at Leeds Arts University, to undertake a project to recreate a new iconic mosaic.
Led by Ruth, the students researched the history of Victoria Quarter, spending time photographing, sketching, and getting a sense of how to position the mosaic. During the course of the project, the students will gain valuable skills required to create and install a mosaic. As the only specialist arts university in the North of England, these types of assignments are essential in providing students with experience of real-life projects.
The rich heritage and architectural features of the Victorian Arcades have been interpreted in a number of ways through the mosaic. Key features include white arches and black curves, drawing on the design of the shops fronts in the newly launched Victoria Gate, as well as diamond shapes with gold centres featuring a Yorkshire Rose, also both found in Victoria Gate. To further mark the historical significance of the arcades, the decorative bands circling the mosaic reflect the ironwork in Victoria Quarter's ceiling.
To complete the mosaic, there are four central images that celebrate the original Victorian trades that once flourished in the arcades. These include the fruit and vegetable market that was once in County Arcade, the butchers and slaughter houses in the central arcade, the dress makers and haberdashery suppliers and finally, the dance hall that was also once in County Arcade.