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Donate to Uganda 50 artwork appeal at pop-up event this week

Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2023

4 minute read

Sculptural Gateway photo

PEOPLE will be able to find out more details about how to be part of a public art project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the arrival of thousands of Ugandan Asians to the city.

A colourful new landmark – entitled Sculptural Gateway – has recently been installed on Belgrave roundabout, at the entrance to the city’s Golden Mile, as part of a series of events and activities marking the anniversary.

A donation platform has been launched, giving people the chance to contribute to the landscaping, benches, plants and commemorative stone tiles which will create the setting for the sculpture.

A pop-up event is taking place in Leicester’s Highcross Shopping Centre, on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, giving people the chance to discover more about the fundraising scheme and to get involved.

Visitors will be able to watch an animated film showing the proposals for the finished scheme, as well as finding out more on how to contribute via the various donation options.

There will also be a range of family-friendly arts and crafts activities on hand, including the chance to create beautiful birds, mini sculptures of the artwork and to cut out stencils similar to the shapes which appear on the artwork itself.

The event will be on the upper mall of Highcross, opposite Costa Coffee.

The donation platform was launched last month, encouraging people to get involved in donating towards the wider landscaping options for the site, including having their personal names engraved in granite paving.

Donors can choose how much they want to give in return for different levels of sponsorship. All those who contribute will also be included in a commemorative book recording the artwork. 

Sculptural Gateway was chosen from a number of shortlisted designs by a panel which included Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby, Chair of Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association (BNCHA) Jaimini Bharakhada, BBC Radio Leicester broadcaster Rupal Rajani, along with the city council’s Anne Provan and Jo Jones, head of Leicester’s Museums and Arts service.

Midlands-based artist Anuradha Patel was commissioned to create the sculpture marking the 50th anniversary of the arrival of thousands of Ugandan Asians fleeing the dictator Idi Amin.

It commemorates both the thousands of people who chose to make Leicester their home as well as celebrating the rich cultural heritage which has helped create the city’s multicultural identity over the last five decades.

The sculpture is the result of work between the city council, local communities and Leicester Museums. Leicester City Council funded the artwork itself at a cost of around £200,000, including the commissioning, manufacturing and installation work.

Leicester assistant city mayor with responsibility for community cohesion, Cllr Manjula Sood MBE, said: “The story of how Uganda Asians came to settle here is part of the story of the city’s people, and this donation platform is a lovely way for people in the community to be part of these commemorations.

“The landscaping proposals – benches, bulbs, pathways and engraved stones – will really transform this stunning new artwork into a place of contemplation, celebration and remembrance, and this week’s event is a great way to find out more and get involved.”

More details of the donation platform are available here