Friday, 28th March 2014
Greener Living Spaces comes to the Archive
On Thursday 27 March we were delighted to welcome Robert Swannell, Chairman of M&S and Mike Barry, Director of Plan A to help open a brand new sculpture outside the Marks In Time Exhibition.
Created by local artist David Mayne, the sculpture celebrates the Greener Living Spaces Programme which was funded from the sale of 5p food carrier bags. Between 2008 – 2011 the profits from the sale of carrier bags raised £5.2 million which was donated to environmental charity Groundwork UK who works with communities to address their needs and improve their living spaces, giving new life to derelict land. Through this joint initiative Groundwork and M&S transformed over 100 parks, play areas, and public gardens across the country including Victoria Gardens in the centre of Leeds!
The sculpture is made of sustainable materials and is the final project to commemorate the partnership and serves as a lasting legacy of the programme’s achievements.
David Mayne said: "I'm really thrilled at having the opportunity to create a piece of public art for the city I was born and brought up in. The woven stainless steel mesh connects with the textile origins of M&S while the coins on the base refer to the carrier bag scheme that made so many incredible environmental improvement projects possible."
Mike Barry, Director of Plan A at M&S, said: “Groundwork has played an important part in helping us to achieve our Plan A commitments and we are thrilled to celebrate the successes of our ‘Greener Living Spaces’ programme with such a wonderful piece of public art. It was only fitting that the sculpture is based at the M&S Company Archive in Leeds, with the city being such a significant location for M&S, with our first Penny Bazaar stall opening in Leeds’ Kirkgate Market 130 years ago. The sculpture will be the embodiment of the work we have done throughout our partnership with Groundwork and I am proud to unveil it to the public.”
Photo left to right: Adrian Curtis - Executive Director Groundwork Leeds, Mike Barry - M&S Director of Plan A, David Mayne - Artist, Graham Duxbury - CEO Groundwork UK, Robert Swannell - Chairman of M&S