Alison Smith’s series of lanterns, created from the discarded, man-made materials of Leeds’ retail industry, hang high from the central tree in Park Square this December.
Part of the city centre’s business district, the Square hosts Alison’s ethereal, glowing lanterns. The works paradoxically create warmth and cold, as their light suggests festive lantern light and simultaneously mimics the layers and textures conjured by the season’s ice, frost and snow. The installation creates textures and shapes reminiscent of ice formations in evolution as they melt, re-form and grow.
Alison created her spiky lanterns from 100 cones of sheet plastic, giving the packaging for new mattresses, recently delivered to the Leeds Marriott Hotel, a further lease of life. The softer lanterns she has created are made from layer upon layer of discarded sheet foam, acquired from all sorts of businesses around Leeds, and cut by hand.