The Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Fellowship, Leeds

November 15, 2021

Leeds Arts University has appointed Katrina Cowling to the Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Fellowship, Leeds, a two-year post based within the University.

The Fellowship is a new partnership initiative from Leeds Arts University and The Kenneth Armitage Foundation, in association with The Henry Moore Foundation. The Fellowship celebrates the significant contribution made by the sculptor Kenneth Armitage (1916-2002) to the evolution of British sculpture.

Image: Katrina Cowling, Roughcast, 2018. Photo credit: Kieran Leach

Katrina Cowling is a Bradford-based artist whose work spans sculpture and installation with a focus on materiality, process and the body in space. A trained glass-bender, she has explored the combination of light, electricity, glass and noble gases for over six years. She has exhibited new and commissioned works across the UK, most recently at Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds. In 2019 she was the recipient of the Pangaea Sculpture Production Award and invited to exhibit at Coventry Biennial, and in 2021 was shortlisted for the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award.

Cowling will be provided with studio space, access to University resources, and a research and production budget for the tenure of the Fellowship.

Katrina Cowling said: “It is an unexpected privilege and a joy to be appointed to this fellowship and to be a part of Kenneth Armitage’s legacy alongside such brilliant and diverse fellows. I hope to utilise the precious time and space that this role provides to expand and sharpen my sculptural vocabulary. I am delighted to be situated at Leeds Arts University for the tenure of the fellowship; the world class facilities and potential for the cross pollination of disciplines is of particular interest to me, along with the chance to get to know students and staff at LAU and to contribute to the wider sculptural discourse. I’m excited to see where this significant moment might take my practice; a generous opportunity in which there is plenty of room for play, reflection and new material encounters.”

Professor Sheila Gaffney, Programme Director, Leeds Arts University said: “Katrina’s professionalism as an ambitious young sculptor stood out at interview and I am now delighted to welcome her into the Fine Art community at the University. Her residency is an opportunity to practise sculpture, with the freedom to innovate, experiment, explore and develop new ideas.  I anticipate that our students will benefit greatly from her presence.”

Image: Katrina Cowling, propelling her shiny vehicle, 2019 Photo credit: Alexander Hoyles

Robert Hiscox, Chair, The Kenneth Armitage Foundation said: “Trustees warmly congratulate Katrina Cowling as the inaugural Kenneth Armitage Fellow at Leeds Arts University. We are grateful to the University and to the Henry Moore Foundation for their support in establishing this post to enable artists to benefit from, and to contribute to, the rich sculpture resources of Leeds and Yorkshire.”

Laurence Sillars, Head of the Henry Moore Institute said: The Henry Moore Foundation is delighted to be collaborating with Leeds Arts University and the Kenneth Armitage Foundation on this exciting new partnership. Henry Moore and Kenneth Armitage launched their international careers as graduates of Leeds Arts University. To celebrate their legacies by supporting the next generation of artists through this fellowship feels especially fitting. Leeds and Yorkshire have become the home of British sculpture not only through this rich history but also its specialist sculpture institutions. We very much look forward to welcoming Katrina to this unique context and to working with her over the next two years.”