A crowdfunding platform has enabled locals to get involved in a new piece of public art commemorating the 50th anniversary of Ugandan Asian migration to Leicester.
The project invites members of the public to make donations towards personalised engraved plaques which will form part of the landscaping surrounding a new sculpture, which takes pride of place on Belgrave Circle. The striking artwork – entitled ‘Sculptural Gateway’ (pictured) by Midlands-based artist Anuradha Patel – was funded by the city council and installed at the end of August.
Patel said: “I am thrilled to have shared this unique opportunity to work in collaboration with the local communities and to help create an artistic vision which will provide a lasting legacy for future generations.”
Patel explains that the steel uprights of ‘Sculptural Gateway’ represent the joining of different communities impacted by the expulsion of Asians by dictator Idi Amin from Uganda in 1972. The structure is connected at the top, symbolising the transition of a generation of people from one country to another.
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The development of the artwork had input from community members across Belgrave and the wider city of Leicester. There has been much enthusiasm for the project, and this is a chance for supporters of the project to contribute to the surrounding area of the sculpture. The proposal is to create a welcoming environment that allows visitors to spend time and contemplate their journeys to Leicester and reflect upon their experiences living in the city.
Through the dedicated donation platform, sponsors are invited to contribute to landscaped elements surrounding the artwork and have their family’s name engraved alongside the artwork. This is a chance to be an integral part of this landmark public art project, the city council said.
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The artwork was chosen from a number of shortlisted designs after an open artist call in 2022. The commission selection panel included Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, BBC Broadcaster Rupal Ranjani, Chair of Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association (BNCHA) Jaimini Bharakhada and Head of Leicester’s Museums and Arts Service Joanna Jones.
*Info: Leicester City Council