Public art commission celebrates city’s ties to the fox

Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 2021

THE FOX – an animal inextricably linked to Leicester’s identity – will be celebrated in a series of life-size sculptures that will be installed at three sites across the city center.

Created by an award-winning artist, the Vulpine sculptures will be fashioned from steel wire and represent the fox in a range of dynamic poses.

Leicester City Council is hoping the public art installation will create new talking points at three popular locations in the city center.

The first sculpture – a life-size replica of a moving fox – was installed on the roof of the King Richard III Visitor Center this morning (Tuesday).

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “These sculptures will complement the investment we have made in the streets and spaces of Leicester in recent years.

“Art installations and other design elements are important parts of our public realm and help create attractive spaces that people can interact with and enjoy.

“Leicester is famous for its ‘king in a parking lot’, while the city’s association with the fox is equally well known.

“So it’s fitting that our first fox stands proudly atop the King Richard III Visitor Center, bringing together two icons of the city and creating an original new landmark for Leicester.”

Artist Candice Bees – whose sculpture of an urban fox won the 2016 David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year award – said: “The fox is synonymous with Leicester, so I was delighted to be responsible for create this trio of sculptures.

“Each fox takes me about six to eight weeks to complete – and each one is completely unique. I start by making a simple frame that represents the skeleton of the fox, and then I use heavy yarn to create a basic muscle structure. Thinner threads are then used to shape the outer skin and fur. This is the longest part, as each hair is represented by a single strand of thread, woven through the sculpture to ensure that the final piece is as realistic as possible.

“I hope locals and visitors alike have fun spotting something beautiful and unexpected on a downtown rooftop.”

Two more foxes will be created, one designed to peek down from the top of the wall behind the Corn Exchange in Green Dragon Square, while the other will be set up on a flat roof at LCB Depot on Rutland. Street.

Both will be installed in 2022 as part of the £ 14,500 public art project.

The sculptures were funded as part of the Connecting Leicester project – the city’s long-term program to better connect places of interest in Leicester and create a more attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

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