Music & Poetry

The Brief

‘Music & Poetry’ is two nine-foot female figures representing music and literature created to adorn the façade of the Majestic building in Leeds city centre. Andrew was approached to help with the restoration of one of the city’s most iconic and historic buildings. The Majestic has over-looked Leeds’ City Square for nearly a hundred years. Now, as part of its redevelopment into 66,000 square foot of future-focused, office accommodation across seven floors, the architects were conscious their design decisions should be sympathetic to the building’s past. This included the commissioning of new statues to adorn its façade. The two sculptures, representing music and literature, act not only as a nod to the building’s past, but also to its future as the home of Channel 4’s offices.

The Creation

As one of the world’s leading realist figurative sculptors, Andrew Sinclair MRSS SWAc was the obvious choice to deliver sculptures faithful to the building’s heritage and its original styling. The Majestic was opened in 1922 as a 2,400-seat cinema and the two new figures, plus four individual urns, follow the design influences of the original figurative sculptures of the day created by Burmantofts-based Leeds Fireclay Company.

The Sculpture

Speaking on behalf of the commissioning firm, Rushbond, Real Estate Manager Mark Finch stated, “Since commencing works, we have been determined to deliver a sympathetic, comprehensive restoration programme which respects and pays homage to the Majestic’s rich history. Andrew has done an amazing job, displaying true craftsmanship and bringing an exciting set of additions to the building.”

Created in Andrew’s workshop in the heart of Devon, the figures eventually made the 300-mile journey to their new home laid on the back of a flat-bed lorry, before being winched into place via crane. The whole project from concept to delivery to installation was seamless. Andrew commented, “This was an interesting and significant brief for us, and we’re delighted with the result. The Majestic is one of the most exciting projects happening in Leeds at the minute, so it was a real privilege to be involved.”

As part of this landmark building, Music & Poetry will stand as a symbol of Leeds’ passionate support of culture and the arts, overlooking City Square for many years to come, and stitching together the city’s past and future.

Photography by Duncan Lomax, Ravage Productions