Art | Leeds City Digital Portrait

Leeds City has just had its digital portrait taken, courtesy of Artist Brendan Dawes. Dawes’ work engages very much with space, shape and the relationships between people and objects, making him an ideal candidate to embark on the project. Dawes’ has created six portraits in total, all at the behest of EE, to consolidate the launch of a new 4G network. The privileged cities include Liverpool, Cardiff, London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

These images provoke a mixed reaction. At the first glance the concept is not immediately obvious. In fact, striped of their context the concentric circles are even vaguely naff, less contemporary art, more Argos duvet cover. However they are built from the results of extensive data analysis they represent the point at which the aesthetic and the numeric converge. They stand out as eerie translations of our everyday interactions, circular units of colour spiraling on an impenetrable black background. The circles apparently represent conversations unfolding on a list of diverse subjects, such as the new James Bond film, Leeds United football team and the X-factor. Predictably for a city as wet, windy and chilly as Leeds has been over the last month the weather also features highly on the list of topics.

The portrait was presented to Lord Mayor Ann Castle on January 22nd and remains open to the public at the Leeds City Museum.


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