Artist Brief: Leeds Tapestry Panel

Deadline: 17/06/2024

City: Leeds  |  Region: West Yorkshire  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Jen Boyle

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Leeds Libraries seeks a Textile artist(s) to produce a project proposal and funding bid for a new Leeds Tapestry panel reflecting our modern city.

The Leeds Tapestries were created between 1992-2002, as a community arts project to celebrate the Millennium. The 16 tapestry panels remain very popular with visitors to Central Library, where they are displayed on the First Floor by the Art Library.

To mark the 400th anniversary of the Leeds Town Charter in 2026, Leeds Libraries aims to refresh the Tapestry through a new panel celebrating the diversity of the city today.

This commissioned work would belong to Leeds City Council for display alongside the existing tapestries.


The original project was devised by Kate Russell, a local community artist to create a rich tapestry of Leeds life, involving all different sectors of the city. The 16 panels, sewn by dedicated volunteers are themed, with content including education, health, transport, industry etc. See this Secret Library blog post for more information. 


We would like a new tapestry panel to be both a stunning, celebratory visual representation of the different identities and narratives of Leeds and a contemporary artwork for future generations of visitors. 

Exploring connection, empowerment, and pride within Leeds communities, the new panel will include architectural landmarks of the last 25 years as well as representing changes in the cultural landscape and communities across the city.

We are also particularly interested in sustainability themes and exploration of naturally dyed textiles. 


We invite proposals from talented artist(s), collectives, or organisations with strong links to Leeds to lead on a project proposal and funding bid. We are seeking evidence of: 

  • A strong track record of successful funding bids  
  • Experience of leading creative arts projects 
  • Specialist Textile design skills 
  • Experience of delivering and leading groups to create cohesive artwork  

The chosen artist will be commissioned for a fee of £1000 to cover: 

  • Research – 2 days 
  • Completion of project proposal draft and concept ready for ACE funding, as well as potential corporate sponsorship – 2 days 
  • Funding bid drafted and submitted to Arts Council England, with Leeds Libraries as partner – 2 days  

The funding bid made to Arts Council England would include a fee for the artist to create the new tapestry via community workshops. If the bid is successful, the artist would then: 

  • Research and design the artwork, engaging with and acting on feedback from key stakeholders within Leeds Libraries throughout the process. 
  • Deliver consultation and textile skill building workshops in collaboration with community groups and other arts organisations within communities across Leeds.  
  • Provide training and guidance to other artists, staff and volunteers to facilitate workshops.   
  • Curate and provide the concept textile artwork, working closely with Leeds Libraries during the development of the design.
  • Encourage workshop participants to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas to the artwork, ensuring that it truly reflects the collective identity of their community.
  • Teach supportive and welcoming workshops/classes, where community members can actively participate in the creation of the panel. 
  • Support the documentation of the progress of the project and public engagement opportunities, through photos, videos, and written reflections, capturing the collective journey of the community. 


  • The panel will be unveiled in 2026.
  • The funding bid should be submitted by 1st October 2024. 
  • If successful, this will be followed by research and planning in early 2025, with consultation, training and skill building workshops in spring/summer 2025.
  • Supervision of the individual components and assembling/ completion of panel in autumn/winter 2025. 
  • Production of a catalogue or engagement material and additional workshop embroidery programmes should take place in 2026. 

Budget and resources: To support the funding bid, Leeds Libraries will offer a fee of £1000. 

The artist will have librarian research support and unlimited access to library collections during the research phase. Our experienced team will offer feedback and guidance on the draft bid.   

Submission Guidelines:

Submit your proposal highlighting relevant experience, previous funding bids, and estimated project budget and timescales. Include a maximum of 15 images of relevant past work. 

Criteria for assessment:  

As a public sector authority, value for money is paramount. We, therefore, welcome quotes which can demonstrate excellent value for money.  

Please note that, under Leeds City Council’s procurement regulations, all tender assessments are weighted at 60% for value for money, so please consider this carefully when submitting your tender.   

  • 60% value for money.   

  • 30% ability to meet the brief, requirements and timescales.   

  • 10% ability to demonstrate the culture and ethos of Leeds City Council (please use examples of previous work).  

Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
We invite proposals from talented artist(s), collectives, or organisations with strong links to Leeds.
When is the deadline?

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