What a relief! Sculpture finds new home
May 13, 2016 | Simon Jenkins
The University of Leeds has welcomed back one of its largest pieces of art, a sculpture which will be remembered by thousands of former Bodington Hall residents
Untitled Bas-Relief, a 38 square metre aluminum sculpture by Hubert Dalwood, was commissioned in 1961 and adorned Bodington for more than 50 years. Following the hall’s demolition, the sculpture has now been installed on the stage@leeds building, the University’s contemporary performance space.
Dalwood won a prestigious Gregory Fellowship at Leeds in 1955 and used his four years at the University to develop his talents as a sculptor and artist.
His daughter Kathy, who attended the event to mark the unveiling of the sculpture in its new home, says that the period was hugely important in the development of her father’s career: “The sculptures my father made during his years in Leeds, thanks to the Gregory Fellowship, were really what launched his career,” she said. “Leeds was an epicentre of contemporary art at the time and he found it a very stimulating and exciting environment.”
“The Bodington Hall commission gave him an opportunity to translate his current ideas to a monumental scale.
“Growing up in Leeds myself it was wonderful to be able to see the relief whenever I wanted and I was very proud to tell people it had been made by my father. I’m absolutely delighted that his sculpture has been saved, restored and re-installed at the centre of the University for subsequent generations to enjoy.
“I remember visiting the foundry in Leeds with him and his excitement at seeing his original panels – in clay, wood and plaster – transformed into aluminium. He was delighted to have such an important sculpture commissioned in the city. “I hope art students and lovers of art will continue to be inspired by it.”
The work is included in the University’s Public Art Trail, which guides visitors around important artworks on campus.