THE FOX – an animal inextricably linked to Leicester’s identity – is to be celebrated in a series of life-size sculptures that will be installed at three sites across the city centre.
Created by an award-winning artist, the vulpine sculptures will be shaped from steel wire and depict the fox in a range of dynamic poses.
Leicester City Council hopes that the public art installation will create new talking points at three popular city centre locations.
The first sculpture – a life-size replica of a fox on the move – was installed on the roof of the King Richard III Visitor Centre this morning (Tuesday).
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “These sculptures will complement the investment we’ve made in Leicester’s streets and spaces in recent years.
“Art installations and other design features are important elements of our public realm and help create attractive spaces that people can interact with and enjoy.
“Leicester is famous for its ‘king in a car park’, while the city’s association with the fox is equally well known.
“It’s therefore fitting that our first fox will stand proudly on top of the King Richard III Visitor Centre, bringing two icons of the city together 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 fox’s skeleton and then use thick wire to create a basic muscle structure. Finer wires are then used to model the outer skin and fur. This is the most time-consuming bit, as each hair is represented by a single strand of wire, woven through the sculpture to ensure that the final piece is as realistic as possible.
“I hope that both locals and visitors will have fun, spotting something beautiful and unexpected on a city centre rooftop.”
Two further foxes will be created, with one designed to peek out from the top of the wall at the rear 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 have been funded as part of the Connecting Leicester project – the City Mayor’s long-term programme to better connect Leicester’s places of interest and create a more attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists.