It’s Heaven at Left Bank – Inflatable Art Exhibition to Open in Leeds

Heaven at Left Bank Leeds. Image credit Jazz Kane (1)

New art commission takes visitors to inflatable Heaven with installation from leading Leeds artist that will bring the community back together after lockdown.

A new art commission, ‘Heaven’ will be unveiled at Left Bank Leeds on 29 May. A Grade II* listed former church building, Left Bank Leeds sits in the heart of Burley, one of Leeds’ most vibrant, diverse, and popular residential neighbourhoods.

Heaven at Left Bank Leeds. Image credit Jazz Kane (1)

“Enjoyed by all ages”

Heaven has been created by Leeds-based contemporary artist Pippa Hale. In collaboration with children from the local community, a giant inflatable interactive sculpture is the artist’s interpretation of drawings created by the children when they were asked to describe heaven. And the installation will strike a bold contrast to its surroundings of the ecclesiastical building.

Between lockdowns during the summer of 2020, artist Pippa Hale worked with young people and families from the local community to devise a series of 3D shapes. The result is a site-specific installation that will sit in the heart of the one hundred-year-old building. It’ll be placed proudly between the original neo-Gothic stone colonnades and arches. Designed to be enjoyed by all ages, the larger sculpture features a collection of abstract forms in contrasting colours and sizes, jostling together on a bouncy base. And a separate work has been developed particularly for babies and very young children with 12 soft, moveable pieces.

Heaven at Left Bank Leeds. Image credit Jazz Kane (1)

“Joyful and fun”

Pippa said: “When experiencing contemporary art, we’re so often told ‘don’t touch, stay back!’ which can be really frustrating when seeing artworks with children. Heaven is the complete opposite of this. I wanted to make something beautiful and interactive, but more than this – playable. I’ve really enjoyed taking the kids’ drawings – their scribbles, shapes and patterns – and turning them into a ginormous 3D artwork that you can touch, climb and jump on, hide in; a place to play with friends, resolve conflicts, take risks, meet new people. I want it to be joyful and fun!”

A sculpture that is also playable, ‘Heaven’ is an unusual fusion of more traditional inflatable art and large-scale leisure pieces.  Inflatable art dates back to the 1960s when mass-produced plastic made it cheaper. This allowed artists including Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons to experiment with a new medium. These works were often striking but not interactive. Hale offers something different with ‘Heaven’, a striking piece of art that invites physical interaction.

Images: Jaz Kane


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