Public art commission celebrates city’s ties to the fox

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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 which will be installed at three city center sites.

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

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

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).

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

“Art installations and other design features are important parts of our public realm and help create engaging spaces for people to interact with and enjoy.

“Leicester is famous for its ‘king in a car park’, while the city’s association with the fox is also well known.

“So it’s only fitting that our first fox stands proudly atop the King Richard III Welcome Centre, bringing together two icons of the city and creating a quirky new landmark for Leicester.”

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

“Each fox takes me around six to eight weeks to complete – and each one is completely unique. I start by making a simple armature that represents the skeleton of the fox, then I use thick yarn to create a basic muscle structure. Yarns finer ones are then used to model the outer skin and fur.This is the longest piece, as each hair is represented by a single strand of yarn, woven through the sculpture to ensure 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 pop out of the top of the wall at the back of the Corn Exchange in Green Dragon Square, while the other will be installed on a flat roof at the 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 mayor’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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